The College Scoops Podcast

Episode 132: Advice For Your Freshman Year

July 26, 2022

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On today’s podcast, we are joined by Dana Ponsky to discuss the most common challenges that students face and how to overcome them. As a college counselor, she has a lot of experience advising college students and shares with us helpful tips that incoming freshmen can use in order to be successful. This includes how to manage your time and money, find a community, and much more.

Key Takeaways:

  • When you are choosing a college, it’s important to ask yourself, “Do I see myself finding a community here? Do I see myself among the student body?”
  • Learn how to live on a budget in college. Learning this skill early on can be really beneficial.
  • Do one new thing everyday that scares you
  • People struggle in college because they have too much time on their hands. Students are used to and need structure in order to manage their time effectively.
  • If you’re offered admission for a summer term, jump on the opportunity. It gives students the chance to move in earlier than the rest of the class and get accustomed to their new environment before the rest of their classmates start freshman year.

Important Resources and Links:

Consult with Dana



Dana Ponsky – Your Guide to College

Meet Dana Ponsky

Dana Ponsky began her career in education more than 20 years ago as a student at the University of Maryland where she earned a degree in American Studies, a graduate degree in College Student Personnel from Bowling Green State University, and a post-master’s certificate in Enrollment Management from the University of Miami.  After working with first-year college students and creating programs that would increase retention, Dana transitioned to work as a school-based college counselor. She has served as a high school director of college counseling in Miami, Washington, D.C., Brooklyn, and Northern New Jersey and has volunteered for nationally-recognized college access programs. Dana’s unique background in college admissions counseling, career counseling, and student development services, along with her entrepreneurial spirit, provides high school and  college students and their families with the tools and resources to have a great application to get into college, but most importantly, to develop what is needed to ensure long-term success in college and beyond. To learn more about Dana, her philosophy, and services, please visit

Thank you Dana for sharing such insightful advice on how to navigate the first year of college. Outside of academics, it’s important to find a community. In order to do this, students have to push themselves outside of their comfort zone and try new things everyday! If you have the chance, acclimate yourself to the college environment before school starts and learn how to live on a budget. College is a place that is full of opportunities, but it is up to you to engage in them in order to make the most out of your experience.

Episode 132 Full Transcript

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College Scoops Staff, Author

College Scoops has a team of college interns who share their insights and expertise with our community. Our team consists of editors, writers, videographers, social media experts, and storytellers who work hard to produce relevant and interesting content for students (and parents) whether they are applying to, attending or graduating from college.

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