New student guide: tips and advice

Submitted by htorborg on
Hailey Torborg
Students engaging in studies

The start of a school year can feel overwhelming, especially when it's your first year attending a university. New home, new people, new environment. It's a big change all at once. Your first year can be scary, but as soon as you walk the stage on graduation day, you'll be wishing you could do it all again.  

These first few years of your college career are important because they can help set you up for success in the long run. Here's a few tips from a graduate to help set you up for success: 

Take advantage of networking opportunities. Join clubs that are both within your scope of study and some that would be considered a hobby. The university has a variety of academic, athletic, and special interest clubs; there are high chances that you'll find something you'll enjoy.  

Attend university events. Sporting events, presentations, free entertainment, research panels. This is another opportunity to network with others while enjoying your time at the university. Being in college doesn't always have to revolve around school work and studying; take some time off to enjoy yourself.  

Get to know your professors. University faculty have some amazing connections of their own, so by getting to know your professors, they could connect you with others to help grow your own network. Many faculty also partake in their own research; chances are, you might have an interest in what they are doing and could learn from them outside of their course.  

Don't worry about finding your "pack" right away. Relationships take time and it's okay to hang out with multiple people. Get a taste for what everyone is like, find people that enjoy hobbies that you do, get to know their values, and don't force alignment, good friends will develop over time.  

Go outside of your comfort zone. Going to college is a very different experience than what you were used to in high school. Don't be afraid to try new things—new foods, new activities, new experiences, new classes.  

Take care of yourself. Eat good food, drink enough water, stay active, and get good sleep. Your physical health plays a huge role in your mental health. Prioritize your body so you can continue educating yourself and working towards your goals.  

Ask for help. There will come a time when you might need a little direction, from your advisor, your professor, or even from your Resident Assistant. These mentors are here to help you, they want to help you, so don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it.  

Time management. Make sure you create a thought-out schedule of how you will get your work done in time. Stay on top of deadlines in your courses, your financial aid, and your personal life. It seems like a lot, but with a little planning, you can do it all.  

Be yourself. Don’t try to create a whole new version of yourself when you get to college. Attending a university gives you access to so many potential connections; with time and effort in networking, you'll find others who you'll "fit in" with.  

Talk to your advisor. Handling your schedule can be confusing. By talking to your advisor, they can help guide you in taking the right courses so you can graduate on time and be set up for success. They are here to help you!

Whether you are majoring in an SST degree or not, consider taking one of our courses to complement your studies! Check out our degrees here