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Tips for first-year students

August 13, 2018
graphic showing door, magnifying glass, clock and more(University of Rochester graphics / Sarah Mossey)

They arrived a year ago—nervous, excited, and full of questions.

But now that the Class of 2021 has experienced a full year at the University, they’re ready to offer advice to the incoming Class of 2022.

Eight rising sophomores provide the following tips.

graphic of a thumbprintBe you! “Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Rochester is the kind of college where it’s OK to be ‘weird’ or ‘different’ because everyone is unique. It may take a second to realize it, but people here tend to be unapologetically themselves. Be you, and accept others for who they are.”

—Mia Leonard, Hilton Head, South Carolina (international relations and Russian)

graphic of a clockBe organized. “Organizing your schedule and free time is so helpful. Knowing when you have free time and time to study really helps alleviate stress and lets you stay on top of your schoolwork, your classes, and your social life.”

—Emily Tompkins, Bethesda, Maryland (political science and philosophy)

graphic of a magnifying glassFind useful resources. “Talk to your advisor about classes and time management. Use the Career Center. And get out of your room and study in one of our beautiful, big libraries to prevent boredom.”

—Erick Holzmeister Klipel Loyola, Vila Velha, Brazil (economics, political science, and business)

graphic of a checklistPrioritize tasks. “Students need to develop good time management habits like planning ahead and writing tasks down on a to-do list. There are too many fun things to do that might make you forget to submit a paper or something.”

—Bienfait Mugenza, Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo (political science)

graphic of a moon and Zzz'sPlan your sleep! “Keep to a sleep schedule as much as possible. I like waking up early, so I went to bed earlier than most on my floor. I got called a grandma a couple times (in good fun, of course) but for the most part, I think people admired that I stuck to what worked for me. Having a schedule was invaluable trying to negotiate all the new changes that college brings.

—Anna Remus, Des Plaines, Illinois (anthropology)

graphic of cutleryExpand your culinary choices. “There are many restaurants to explore in College Town if you’re tired of the dining halls. I personally like the new Tai Chi Bubble Tea. They have great milk, tea, and ramen.”

—Canruo Zou, Wuhan, China (computer science and physics)

graphic of an opening doorMeet and greet. “When you move in, leave your door open. Invest in a door stopper and hang out in your lounge. Meet everyone in your hall. The earlier you meet them, the better the dynamic will be. And become friends with your RA. They’re the ones who open the doors for you—literally and figuratively.”

—Michael Lin, Queens, New York (business, digital media studies, and creative writing)

graphic of an expanding squarePush your boundaries. “Grab every opportunity that comes your way, even if it seems impossible to get. Trying is the key to success. If you don’t try, you’ll never know what you are really made of.”

—Philemon Rono, Nairobi, Kenya (mechanical engineering)

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Category: Student Life

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