Things I Wish I Had Known as a Freshman
Dear incoming freshmen,
It’s your first year at a new school. With Welcome Week activities behind us and classes starting up, it can be difficult to figure out where to go, how to make connections, and how to stay on top of all of your homework. At times, it can feel overwhelming. But fear not incoming freshmen, this letter (written by an upperclassman) is for you!
There are a lot of things that I wish I had known when I first started at North Central three years ago. Before we get too far into this semester, I would like to give you some tips to make sure you have the best college experience possible right from the start.
The first tip I have for incoming freshmen is to get involved. Getting involved is one of the most important things you can do to make friends and build community. This is one of the things I struggled with when I first came to NCU. Putting yourself out there can be nerve-wracking, but I promise that it is so worth it.
There are many ways to get involved, but here is a list of some of the main ones:
Your Bro-Sis is your built-in community. Take advantage of floor and Bro-Sis events, Lifecore, retreats, and other fun things like going to a sports event or a late-night Taco Bell trip that may happen spontaneously. Some of these experiences become memories that last a lifetime! Just being in close contact with people creates a great chance to connect, so jump right in and give it a try!
Campus events happen nearly every week! Soccer, volleyball, baseball, softball, and e-sports games and matches are happening all throughout the year and are super fun to attend to cheer on the NCU Rams with your friends. There are parties thrown all the time by student orgs (I’ll talk about those more soon) which are always a blast, and intramural sports are going on all throughout the year! Going to and supporting these events can help you connect with others even better!
Student Organizations (Student Orgs)
One of the last ways to get involved is by being part of a student organization. There are a lot of organizations (orgs) to choose from, and each focuses on different things. From women’s and men’s ministries (Delta Kappa and Journey respectively) to MOSAIC, to Women in the Marketplace, to ASL Alabaster ministries, NCU’s student orgs have a lot to offer.
There are many ways you can get involved with a student organization with varying levels of commitment. You can volunteer as part of an org, attend events, and support them by reposting their posts on social media. All of these things help you make connections with other people and find friends with similar interests.
(Check out our complete list of student orgs here!)
The second tip I have for incoming freshmen is to study. It can be hard to find time, energy, and quiet spaces to get your homework done, especially when there are other things you would rather be doing.
Here are my top three tips on how to study well:
Keep track of your assignments
Knowing what you have to do helps you to plan and stay on top of everything, so time management does not have to be such a challenge. That final dash to get your assignment in by 11:59pm is a real problem, and it causes a lack of sleep. Making a to-do list or calendar can really help you to keep everything organized so you do not forget anything or rush to turn it in.
Find a quiet space
Finding a quiet space that works for you to study is super important. I recommend your dorm (if there are not any roommates or distractions around), the library, or the atrium. Sometimes I will study with other people in Clay Commons, but often I find that it is more difficult to get anything done that way. That is why finding a place that works for you to really focus is so crucial.
I cannot stress this enough. If you have any clarifying questions about concepts, assignments, or projects, please do not hesitate to ask your professors to explain things or for help. They are here to help you learn, so if you are confused about anything, do not feel embarrassed to ask!
Fun (and free) things to do in Minneapolis:
As a college student, planning events and places to go on a budget is a must. Here is a tried-and-true list of fun and free things to do in your free time:
- The Minneapolis Institute of Art
- The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
- Gold Medal Park
- Minnehaha Falls
- Stone Arch Bridge
- Mall of America
Overall, there can be a lot of stress when starting a new school year. I hope that these tips will inspire you to make new connections, do well in your classes, and have some fun things to do!