Advice from the Dean of First Year Students

“Try Something You Never Thought You Would Try” … and Other Tips for a Great First Year

Here is some advice from our rising sophomores and juniors that they wish they could give to their pre-frosh selves if they had an opportunity for a “do over”:

  • Don’t worry about how people around you are doing, just focus on doing the best you can.
  • There is a lot to do and it is better to sample things a bit at a time.
  • It’s OK to say “no.”
  • You don’t have to know everything now.
  • Take an art class.
  • No one will wake you up in the morning.
  • Remember how you wanted to be a doctor last year, but now you are SURE you want to be a psychologist? Remember that next year when you decide on the next thing you want to be.
  • Trust yourself.
  • School is a full-time job.
  • Take a study skills course—even if you don’t think you need one!
  • Visit your professors during their office hours.
  • Try something you never thought you would try.

First-year students quickly discover that college is very different from high school: new academic demands, many competing (and tempting) diversions, freedom to go to class (or not), intellectually exciting course choices, and bright, engaged students and faculty. All of these opportunities—and more—create a dynamic community. There is much to know, and even more to do.

How can new students be assured that they are getting the best possible start? First year students will find that there are many resources available to provide guidance: academic advisors, professors, study skills counselors, resident advisors, the dean of first year students, and other campus administrators and peers are a few important examples of good people to get to know. Building relationships, beginning on the very first day of school, can make the difference between students who “survive” and students who “thrive” during their years in college.

Information for Parents

The College Center for Advising Services welcomes calls and emails from parents. If you have a concern about your student, we want to hear from you. Parents of first year students and sophomores may find it helpful to call our office. In addition to the services available through our office, you will find many additional resources available from Parent and Family Relations. You can also review a list of University policies.

Advice for Parents

Check out the Parents Buzz newsletter for information and advice. We look forward to being there for your student as well as their families over the next four years and beyond.

Orientation Program

Going away to college is a big transition but have no fear! We have an amazing orientation program that will help make the college transition much easier and more enjoyable. To learn more visit the orientation website.