1. Introduce yourself to everyone.
– This is the best way to meet many different people and also find out about events and clubs going on that you can join. Not only introduce yourself to other students but also faculty and staff. My freshman year I introduced myself to all of my professors and that definitely benefited me; not only did they know my name but when I was looking for a research position, I was a familiar face to them. Not only introduce yourself but take advantage of the professor’s office hours (one of the best advice I ever took). This is an awesome opportunity to get to know your professors one on one and also will help you with questions you may have in your class. Also meet the staff that work in your dorm building such as the RA’s (resident assistant) and cleaning staff. These resources can become very useful later on if you were to ever have an issue. Freshman year I had difficulties in one of my classes and one of the RA’s told me about the student learning center , which is a place to go if you need a tutor in any subject. It helped me tremendously with that class; the tutor was able to help me with a research paper. I ended up doing really well in the class!
2. Join everything!
As a peer mentor, I advise all my mentees to join everything. This is beneficial for multiple reasons; you meet many different types of people and meet new networking contacts, it helps you weed out what clubs you actually want to stick with and which ones do not interest you as much, and if you are an undecided major some clubs may help you decide. BUT! do not join too many clubs and overwhelm yourself. That may make you feel stressed rather than enjoying the club.
3. De-stress Exercise
It is very important to find something that will help you de-stress. I believe that due to all the stress of your classes, everyone needs at least an hour a day for yourself (other than meals). For me, every night I go to open hoops and play basketball for an hour or two. This helps me take my mind off of my classes or other obligations and lets me enjoy myself. There are many things that students do to de-stress. There is a fitness center, exercise classes such as Zumba, ab workout classes, swimming classes, spinning, ect. If you would rather do something more relaxing then watch a tv show, read a book, or just hang out with friends for a little while. The semester can get hectic and a little bit crazy, so having time to yourself will keep you sane!!
4. Nom Nom Nommm
Start out college with a healthy routine. I don’t necessarily mean only eating healthy but stick with a healthy lifestyle. Although eating healthy is important! What I mean by a healthy lifestyle is that make sure you’re eating nutritious foods, getting some exercise in, and giving yourself some “me” time. In the dining hall, food written in green mean that they are a healthy choice, foods written in yellow mean that they are somewhat healthy, just don’t eat plate after plate of that food, and red means to have a little because it is not the healthiest choice. While I lived on campus, this helped me make healthy choices. Exercise is important to help de-stress and give you more energy. I found that the weeks where I didn’t have time to exercise everyday, I felt more tired and drank more coffee because I didn’t have the energy. Even going only 2 or 3 times a week will help with your energy levels! As stated in #3, “me” time is important to re-energize yourself.
5. Take classes that interest you
If you have the time, take classes that interest you or challenge you. My freshman year, I took improv. It still is one of my favorite classes I have taken. I met so many new people that I probably would not have encountered if I did not take the class. Sometimes, this may lead to picking up a minor; one of my friends took an art class for fun and she ended up declaring a minor in art. College is a time to explore and find things that help you grow as a person. Why not take a class that will help you. I know people in my improv class that signed up for it just because they wanted to get over their shyness and it actually did help them!