Regarding advice for new college students:
I also suggest that as soon as you can get in a lab, go regularly research seminars and then ask as many questions of your lab mates as they will put up with. It really leapfrogs the knowledge base.
Good suggestion for those going into science. The sophomores who have put themselves in labs are already halfway into graduate school, even if they don’t know it.
I suppose if you’re in the humanities, the equivalent is pestering people at the espresso bar…