Dear Incoming Freshman,

The first semester of your freshman year can be a very scary and stressful time. That being said, the possibilities for having great experiences are endless. I came in as a freshman hoping to keep to myself, but that quickly went down the drain. Toward the end of my first semester, I opened up more and had a much more beneficial experience in college.

My first major piece of advice is to get involved. This can be anything from talking to people on your floor to doing community service. I have met a lot of people and had a great time while doing these projects. Even if you do not think you want to meet new people, you should step out and try it at least once.

Another important thing that I would have done is set ground rules with my roommate. The first week could be the difference between a good first semester and a horrible first semester. I wish we could have set rules on who can be in our room and for how long. I also wish we could have established some time rules for lights/TV out.

The last piece of advice I can give is to go to class. This seems like a no-brainer, but I have seen people fall into the “I didn’t miss anything last time I skipped so I can skip today, too” trap. Sometimes it may seem that the class is pointless or that you know the material but it is still important to be there. There are often things that the professor gives to students in class, such as test questions, that they do not give to those who were absent.

There will be difficult times, but hang in there and the good times will come. Remember to step out of your comfort zone and try things.

Good luck,

A former freshman

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