Freshman year is a big and exciting change! It’s a time to explore new subjects, develop as an individual, and pursue a campus full of opportunities. Many of these experiences will be in the “learn-as-you-go” category as you embark on your own WashU journey, but here are a few tips to get you started that I wish I had known on the first day of freshman year…
Find What You Need!
Skim those info-packed emails and leverage your resources. There are nuggets of useful info in those. Or even scroll through Facebook groups like “Free & For Sale.” Read the fliers pinned in stairwells or outside offices. There are so many opportunities to find a study abroad trip, internship program, or a used textbook. If you’re looking for an activity to do, a tote bag to purchase or a club to apply for chances are there’s a poster, email, Facebook event… something that can help you! Just keep your eyes open!
Ask an Upperclassman!
Reach out to upperclassmen! Odds on that whatever you are dealing with they have probably dealt with and handled successfully before (or learn from their mistakes!) Ask about classes, printers, projects, and so much more!
Learn More From Your Professors!
Engage with professors. Getting to know my professors is one of my favorite parts of being a student at WashU. Show them you’re invested in their class, they’ll be invested in you! Mutual interest can make for more fruitful classes and learning opportunities. One professor hosted pizza cooking classes in her home because the students in our class had gotten to know her very well in semesters prior.
Get Some ZZzzZ’s!
Take a late night trip to John’s Donuts or watch a midnight movie at the Tivoli with friends… but be sure to pair these nightlife adventures with plenty of sleep! Sleep helps keep you from getting sick and keeps you wide-awake in your classes (along with a Whisper’s coffee) so you can make the most out of your freshman year!
Proud To Be In St. Louis!
Explore St. Louis! With a little creativity, you’ll never be bored… or broke! There are many free or inexpensive ways to enjoy exploring the city. Start with Forest Park, the St. Louis Zoo, the St. Louis Art Museum, the Boat House, the History Museum and then keep exploring. There are plenty of free events to enjoy with friends (that also make perfect photo ops for those important dorm room photo collages) like Balloon Glow!
Set a morning routine, It can be more than just to get to class on-time. Do a morning yoga class, make breakfast, pour a bowl of cereal, get a coffee, choose a nice outfit…or change into clean sweats!
Work Smart, Play More!
Embrace a time management method. This can take some experimenting. Physical planners, digital calendars, sticky notes, etc, etc, And then, once you have an idea of what works, you can change it up from year to year to fit your schedule and interests! Say, freshman year in the dorm study rooms, sophomore year in the library, junior year in studio space for some majors, and senior year in your apartment! Be somewhere where you are comfortable and focused until the work is done. This creates more weekend time to spend with friends. And isn’t that what campus life is all about?
Work smart, have FUN, be patient with yourself!