Advice for First Years

Advice. Sometimes it's nice to get the opinion of some people who have done what we are getting ready to do. 

We asked ourselves what advice we would offer to students starting college. Many of us had just completed our First Year, so much of this advice is fresh. Enjoy.


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

Don’t be afraid to go to welcome week events alone. You’ll make friends there.

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

Join SCF.

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

The first week go to as many events as possible, and put yourself out there to make friends.

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

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

Don’t worry about blocks at the beginning of the semester - you will definitely have enough.

Don’t be too intimidated by the involvement fair; it’s kind of fun.

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

Explore campus the first week.

Sit next to your new friends in class.

Don’t be afraid to discover who you actually are. It may be a lot different than you think.

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

Go to class. Make friends IN your class.

Go with the flow. Make memories with friends.

Get involved with groups that will help your academics.

This is prime time to experiment with facial hair.

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

Don’t buy the books unless you absolutely need to.

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

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


Think about your major.

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.)

Be prepared for culture shock!


SO MUCH FREEDOM (use it wisely).

Grow a beard.

You have to study.

Community is important.

Find an organization you’re really passionate about.

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

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!)

Move-in day can be super overwhelming - try not to let it be!

To parents : try to help your students understand financial aid, etc.

Go to the activities fair.

As you prepare to go to college:

 1. Spend time with family,

 2. Do not overpack,

 3. Yes, dorm rooms are tiny.

 4. Meet and make friends with hall-mates.

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

 6. Alcohol is common in college culture.

 7. Learn how to take care of drunk people. 


 9. Learn to do your own finances, including budgeting.

Learn to manage finances well.

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

Learn to drink black coffee (pretty often).

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

Buy lots of underwear (you’ll do a lot less laundry)

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

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

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

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

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.

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.)

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

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

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

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

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


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

Be prepare to share your food, whether you want them to or not, people will take it.