Calling all freshmen: Advice for your first year

Emilee Atkinson

Graphic by Maddy Van Orman
Graphic by Maddy Van Orman

Going into college as a freshmen can be a frightening experience. There are a lot of things about college that high school does not prepare you for. The college experience is different for everyone, and you’ll learn something new every day on campus. You’ll find out what works best for you, but hopefully these tips will make your first days a little better.

Know where you’re going

After you register for classes, it’s a good idea to walk around campus before the semester starts to know where you’re going. There are maps around campus, and you can plan out which routes to take beforehand. During the first week of school, there will be tables around campus with university representatives who can point you in the right direction. There is also an information booth you can drive up to near the duck pond. Inside, there are students who can answer any of your questions.

Don’t buy your books until you go to class

Getting ahead of the game is always great. Buying your book and being prepared on the first day sounds like a good idea, but it doesn’t always work out that way. Sometimes professors will have the wrong book listed online, or the bookstore will have the wrong edition, which wastes time and money. Also, there is a possibility you’ll get to class and not need it at all. Getting the right book a little later is better than buying the wrong one and not being able to return it.

Follow your syllabus, and don’t lose it

At the beginning of the year in high school, teachers threw a syllabus at you and most of the time you never looked at it again.

College is completely different.

Your syllabus in college is your bible. It tells you when everything is due, a general layout of what goes on each week and when breaks are.

While it’s important to use your syllabus, it’s also important not to lose it because professors may not have extras. However, many of them are accessible online if something should happen to yours.

Explore the eWeber Portal and Canvas

These are the two places you’ll visit online most often. Professors post assignments, class slides, grades and many other notices through Canvas. This tool will also let you get in contact with other students in your classes. The eWeber Portal is where you’ll find online math classes, your course schedule, Cattracks, Chi Tester and many other resources.

Keep an umbrella around

This is something that you may not think of but something you will undoubtedly need. Living in the great state of Utah, you can never be sure when it will rain or snow. Keeping a small umbrella or rain jacket in your car or backpack will keep you from getting soaked while walking around campus all day.

Ask questions

There is a lot going on in college, and it’s hard to learn everything you need to know as a freshman. The key to finding your way is to ask questions. Ask your professors, fellow students, faculty members or whoever else you can find. There are plenty of resources and people who can help you on campus.