Thursday, September 12, 2013

What I Would Have Done Differently: Tips from a Senior

As a senior at UMass Amherst, I often reflect on my past experiences and memories here. When I think about my freshmen year, I think about what a great year I had. Honestly though, if I had to do it all over again there would definitely be more than a couple of things I would have changed about it...

So here's some advice on what I would have changed and what you should probably be doing:
1.) Get Out of Your Dorm
My freshmen year, I spent countless hours in my residence hall hanging out and socializing with my friends..There is so much to experience at this school and in the surrounding communities that instead of hanging out with your friends in your dorm every night, bring your friends out to an event. Whether it's going to sports games, cultural events, lectures, conferences, movies, plays, eating out in Amherst, shopping in Northampton, checking out the other four colleges in our consortium, explore UMass!

2.) Join a Club...AND Stick With It
Like most freshmen do, I signed up for at least ten different clubs at the Student Activities Expo. But then I never went to any of the meetings.. I didn't really get involved with any clubs until the end of my sophomore year and now I am proudly co-president of an RSO on campus. My advice to you is to join as many clubs as you want, figure out which ones you actually want to continue going to, and then stick with at least one or two. It's a great way to meet new people, especially ones with similar interests and passions.
Want to start searching for clubs on campus? Log-in to campus pulse and see what organizations you might be interested in:  Campus Pulse.

3.) Don't Go Home Too Much
Let's face it, you are already planning your visit back home because you miss your family, your dog, your BFF from high school, etc. I know, I get it, I've been there too. But try to stick around! I met some of my best friends from staying around UMass on weekends when a lot of students go home.

4.) Get the Help You Need
Sometimes, it's hard to ask for help. Whether it's an academic problem or a problem outside of your studies, there are people here to support you. When I wasn't doing too well in a class freshmen year, I was hesitant about asking for help but once I started getting tutoring and going to review sessions, finding derivatives in my calculus course became a whole lot easier.
If you have a problem,don't be afraid to ask for help. Talk to your professor, your TA, your advisor, your RA, your residence hall director, or even just a friend.

5.) Start Thinking About Your Future...Just a Little Bit
Yes, it is your first semester at UMass and yes, you might not know what you want to do for the rest of your life let alone the rest of your college career, and that's okay. However, start thinking about it! You do have four years here but trust me they will go by in a flash. Don't stress out about your future but start exploring different majors, try out various internships and jobs, and relax....

You'll figure it all out.

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