During Welcome Week of my freshman year, I learned a lot: how to properly shake someone’s hand, how to ride a bike while carrying a backpack and a coffee, and how to remember more new names and faces than I ever thought possible.  I had an amazing time, and made friends that I’m still very close with today.  But I’ve also learned a lot since then, so here is some of my best advice for freshmen.

Start conversations with everyone you see!  I made tons of friends by sitting with strangers in dining halls.  During the first few weeks, no one knows each other, so this is the time to approach new people!  Leave your dorm room door open and talk to people who walk by.  Wander your floor and introduce yourself to people.  Exchange numbers with everyone.  Sit with people in your classes, because it’s always helpful to have someone to study with come finals.  Talk to older students too, we know what it’s like to be a freshman and love to share our stories with you!

Explore the campus.  Go to the involvement fair on Trousdale and put your name on email lists that interest you.  Even if you’ve never done something before, you won’t know if you like it until you try it!  If you see a club and you have no idea what it is, go ask them!  They’ll happily explain it to you and won’t mind if you end up now being interested.

Figure out how to best balance your work with your life.  Schoolwork becomes totally different once you live on your own.  There are a million different ways to approach an assignment and what works best for you may not be what worked for you in high school.  I personally like to go to the library, but my roommate likes to work in our room.  Do what works best for you.  The beginning of your freshman year can seem like a whirlwind of activities and new friends, but eventually you’ll settle into a schedule that works for you.  I’ve found keeping a calendar of my assignments and activities to be the most helpful.

Freshman year is an incredible experience, but it also goes by really fast! So step outside of your comfort zone, make new friends, and take a lot of pictures!

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Civil and Environmental Engineering, Class of 2016, Learn more on her profile here!