As my freshman year comes to a close, I am thankful for an amazing first year at UD! Transitioning from high school to college is a daunting change, but UD has given me the best first year of college I could have asked for, from joining clubs to living in a residence hall to meeting new friends to learning from awesome professors. Although it seems like I was just a high school graduate looking up advice for college, here are some tips about things I’ve learned during the past year – especially for any incoming freshmen!

  1. Download the UD1743 app and the UDShuttle app

Wondering where your classes are located? Never heard of a building you need to go to? The UD1743 app – while useful during the first couple of days at UD for its schedule of events and more – is also handy beyond the welcome weekend for its detailed map of campus! Also, if you need to make a journey and don’t want to walk – especially if it’s raining or snowing – check out the UDShuttle app to track UD bus routes!

  1. Get involved

Getting involved is a great way to meet new people, maybe find a new passion, and boost your résumé while you’re at it. Take advantage of an activity fair to explore options, ask current students what clubs they’re a part of, or check out Student Central for a complete list of Registered Student Organizations!

  1. Treasure the glory of Russell takeout

In a rush? Need to get some work done during a break between classes? Tired and just want to go back to your dorm but still want food? Grab a to-go container from Russell dining hall and take your meal with you!

  1. Get to know the people who are here to help you

If you live in a residence hall, reach out to your RA and Residence Hall Coordinator and get to know them, and don’t be afraid to ask them if you need any help or advice. For Honors freshmen, your Munson Fellow is a great resource for academic or scheduling-related questions or just for someone to talk to. Also, get to know your professors, and don’t be afraid to ask for help or go to office hours. In addition, you can connect with other students on campus (especially if they are in your major) who can give advice about classes or the best studying techniques for certain professors. I remember during my first week at UD, an older student showed me a shortcut to a class that I never would have known about as a new student!

  1. Take pictures!

Looking back at my camera roll from my first year, I definitely wish I would have taken more pictures. Even just capturing small, seemingly insignificant moments can remind you later on about your life at UD when you are no longer a college student, whether that be a shot of friends or a photo of The Green on a nice day.

  1. Appreciate building friendships

College is the perfect time to meet new people and build relationships. If you live in a residence hall, take advantage of the group of people living around you and get to know them, especially during 1743 days when you all are meeting each other for the first time. Leave your door open so your neighbors can stop by and say hi, plan events for your floor, and every now and then, stay up too late talking to a friend in the floor lounge. Also, start up conversations with people in your classes—you never know who could end up becoming your best friend!—and get to know the members of a club or sport you join.

  1. Plan ahead

Even though you have an advisor, it’s important to familiarize yourself with your degree requirements (and Honors requirements, if applicable) for yourself so you know exactly what you have to do to earn your degree. (UDSIS’s degree audit is an essential resource!) Also, Career Services is perfect for direction pertaining to jobs, internships, résumés, or prospective majors or career fields—don’t be afraid to start networking early on by attending career events!  And, if you are interested in future opportunities such as studying abroad or applying for other programs, go to information sessions early on so you know how to prepare and are aware of the application process and requirements.

Those are just some pieces of advice I have gleaned over my first year at UD. I can’t believe my first year is already ending, and I can’t wait for more adventures and to learn new things as I continue my journey here!

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