Advice for First Years

Sometimes it's helpful to hear the perspective of some people who have done what we are getting ready to do. 

We asked ourselves what advice we would offer to incoming first years. Many of us had just completed our First Year when we gathered this advice, so this is fresh. Enjoy.

 

Write stuff in your calendars cause you can't remember everything you need to.

FIRST WEEK

Move-in day can be super overwhelming - try not to let it be! There are lots of people everywhere.

Meet and make friends with hall-mates. Leaving your dorm room dorm open helps with this.

Go to church - don’t fall out of the habit.

Meet some friends (or your roommate) and go explore around campus one of your first nights there.

Learn the layout of campus. Don’t be afraid to get lost. You’ll learn quicker that way.

Take part in all the free food Welcome Week has to offer!

The first week go to as many events as possible (even if you go by yourself), and put yourself out there to make friends.

Don’t be too intimidated by the Involvement Fair; it’s kind of fun. You don't have to sign up for everything.

Join SCF.

Don’t buy the books unless you absolutely need them for the class.

Don’t buy the super expensive bookstore books - get them online for much cheaper.

Explore campus the first week.

Have an idea of where your classes are and know how to get to the building they are located in.

Be prepared for culture shock!

 

SPIRITUAL GROWTH

Bring your Bible.

Community is important.

When you explore campus, find some places to pray other than your dorm room.

Learn how to take care of drunk people. 

Join SCF.

Go to church - don’t fall out of the habit.

Explore your faith. If you believe something that your parents believe, get to know what it is all about. Make sure you learn what you believe and not just say you believe because your parents do.

Learn to do your own finances, including budgeting. Learn to manage finances well.

 

CAMPUS LIFE

Find an organization you’re really passionate about.

Don’t overcommit to groups/ friends. Take time to relax/ rest.

Don’t be afraid to get involved in groups on campus.

 

SOCIAL LIFE
Go to different events, don’t stay in your dorm all of the time.

Sit next to your new friends in class.

There are so many other things to do on weekends than drink/ party!

Never leave a drink unattended, even if it isn’t alcohol.

Know that alcohol is common in college culture, but that doesn't mean you need it.

Learn how to take care of drunk people. 

Join SCF.

Go with the flow. Make memories with friends.

You don’t have to be social all of the time. (Eds. note: if you're an introvert, honor that and spend some time alone.)

Close the loop; talk to people in town you know.

If you like to game, bring your gaming system and invite friends and acquaintances over to play with you - invest in multiplayer games - it’s way more fun that way in college

Don’t think somebody else’s experience has to look like yours.

Don’t be afraid to explore where you are - go on an adventure!! (Be safe.)

Be prepared to share your food, whether you want them to or not, people will take it. (Ah, dorm life...)

 

ACADEMICS

Get involved with groups, including student organizations, that will help your academics.

You have to study.

STUDY.

It’s okay if you don’t know what you want to do with the rest of your life - no one else does either really :)  (Eds. note: we love talking about the future and possible degree options!)

Go to class. Make friends IN your class.

Study.

Think about your major.

STUDY

Teachers do NOT care about their students! (Unless they do.) (Eds. note: You'll find in college that professors have a lot of other things to think about too and are not going to remind you of when assignments are do and all of that. They assume a higher level of responsibility than many high school teachers did.)

 

PERSONAL

Learn to indulge in something you’re passionate about. If there is a group doing it, join them.

Don’t be embarrassed to do things you secretly love to do. Learn to do them in public.

Learn to dress in a style you enjoy.

Do not be afraid to express how you feel. Don’t compromise your beliefs to make friends.

Learn to get organized in a way that makes sense to you. (YouTube and WikiHow and Google help.)

Learn to cook things you like to eat. And learn to cook it well. (YouTube and WikiHow helps.)

Call your mom or dad or other significant people back home.

Start growing the beard early, so you can impress your new friends.

Buy lots of underwear and socks (you’ll do a lot less laundry, which is expensive)

Wash your bedsheets regularly. 

Buy a lock for day lockers at the gym and other places (eds note: the library has lockers too)

Learn to drink black coffee (pretty often).

Live lite. College is the best place to be you.

 

MONEY RELATED THINGS

Learn to do your own finances, including budgeting. Learn to manage finances well.

Ask your parents to help you understand your financial aid.

Buy lots of underwear and socks (you’ll do a lot less laundry, which is expensive)

Don’t buy the books unless you absolutely need them for the class.

Don’t buy the super expensive bookstore books - get them online for much cheaper.

 

As you prepare to go to college:

Spend time with family.

Don't overpack. Dorms rooms are tiny.

BRING THINE BIBLE.

Learn to do your own finances, including budgeting. Learn to manage finances well.

     To parents : try to help your new collegian understand the financial aid situation, etc.

 

SO MUCH FREEDOM (use it wisely).