Welcome back to DYC everyone! By now, I hope you’ve adjusted to being in school again, and taken notice to all of the improvements to campus over the summer. It all looks great!
As a new freshman class once again enters the college, I thought it would be a great time for me to reflect on my freshman experience—and to hopefully pass some words of wisdom onto others.
On Saturday, August 23rd, the D’Youville College Student Association, Lambda Sigma Honor Society, as well as members of the Residence Life staff helped with the annual Freshman Move-In event. It was great to see so many people excited about DYC, and to meet some upperclassmen and get a chance to talk with them.
Now that the stress of move-in and the first couple weeks of school are over, I hope you all (especially the freshmen), have taken some time to enjoy yourselves…whether it be at an event in the PVR or a game down at our new athletic fields (they’re pretty awesome, go check them out!).
Without further ado, I present…..
Ten Things I Wish I Knew as a Freshman at DYC
This statement seems pretty typical. I know. Everyone says it to you, and it sometimes serves as someone’s excuse to get you to stop complaining about one thing or another. In actuality, it is true. All in all, a quiz (though important), is not going to destroy your entire college career if you get a bad grade on it. So, take a step back, focus, and regroup. You’ll make sure you do better next time, and you will most likely avoid a massive headache.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions
Last year, although it seems silly, I was nervous about asking professors questions for the first couple weeks. I was still getting used to college and I was worried about perhaps coming off as ‘stupid’ or the professor thinking I wasn’t paying attention. Wrong. Ask away. Professors love questions, and the professors at DYC are very committed to your education and are always willing to help you. This isn’t a big university where you are just a number…take advantage of it! Seek help when you need it!
- Upperclassmen Aren’t Scary.
To a freshman, sometimes nothing is scarier than that super tall senior walking through the hall. Or the one sitting alone at a table in the Spartan Café, and you and your friend need that extra chair. Don’t be afraid! We don’t bite. Especially if one is in your program…strike up a conversation! Sometimes, upperclassmen can give you great advice, and even some tutoring help in a class you’re struggling with. Freshmen: when you are at work study, talk to the upperclassmen. You’ll be surprised at what you learn, and what friends you make.
- It is Super Easy to Get Involved
This one I made especially for you, commuters. DYC is a great school in many ways, but especially because we have so many clubs and events for students to attend. Most, if not all events on campus are free, and they’re tons of fun. Perhaps you may walk away with a really nice Under Armor hoodie (like I did last year!), or even a new coffee cup to make mug cakes with in that small dorm room microwave. Getting involved is the key to meeting people and making friends, so don’t shy away from it. Most of the time, you are just a phone call or email away from joining a really great club…..go for it!
- Don’t Visit Spartan Café Between 11 AM and 1 PM.
Again, this seems silly. However, I’m sure all you new folks have figured out by now that getting a sub for lunch down at Spartan isn’t necessarily easy. There’s not only that, but after you’ve managed to buy your lunch, finding a table to sit at isn’t exactly easy either. If you really have that craving for a meatball sub, you may want to consider buying it and going to eat somewhere else, where it will be quieter and less congested. Or, have a late lunch after your class gets out. The lines will be shorter and there will be plenty of tables open.
- Your Mentor Will Indeed Be Your Greatest Asset
I know they tell you all about this at orientation when you get your mentor assignments, and I will confirm that they are right. I am privileged to have one of the greatest mentors on campus, and it has worked out that I am still able to continue work study with her although I am no longer a freshman. Trust your mentor. I can’t say that enough. They are there to help you and to guide you. They know the ins and outs of campus, and they can even help you through that personal struggle you may be having with your friend. Their office is always open to you, and you can always count on the fact that they will greet you with a smile and a wave.
The Montante Family Library is a great resource for all students and staff on campus. They have an immense collection of not only academic works, but books and other media as well. It is a quiet place to study, and is equipped with private study rooms on a few floors. These rooms are great to use to study as a group in for exams…there is a whiteboard and a table with plenty of chairs. Be warned—- bring your own dry erase marker! Sometimes the ones in there no longer work.
- Exam Week Does Not Equal Death By Studying
The dreaded finals week. It happens every December and every May. As a freshman, you’re probably already nervous and thinking about it. Don’t be. Keep it in the back of your head, sure, but don’t lose sleep over it. Study hard all semester, do your homework, and you’ll be great. The horror stories of staying up all night and falling asleep with your head in your cereal won’t happen to you as long as you keep on top of things all semester. So, when you walk into the exam room, relax. Take a deep breath. You’ve got this. And when your exams are done, celebrate! I promise, you will still be alive and well enough to enjoy your Holiday or Summer Break!
- Make a Weekly Schedule
Thanks to your Student Association, you should have all received a super nice DYC planner from Connections at the beginning of the semester. Make sure you use it! There is plenty of spachttp://www.dyc.edu/campus_life/connections/e to write all assignments in the lined sections for every day, and on the far right of the page there is a list of the events going on that day. Look ahead for the days that say “College Closed” and you can start making a countdown if you’d like. Keeping track of yourself is the most important thing. Know when assignments are due and do them ahead of time so you are prepared. Making a weekly schedule of your classes, homework, study time, and even social time is important! It will help you stay on track.
This I know for a fact. Many of my friends go to other colleges in the area, and it seems as if they all have something different about them that people enjoy. However, when they ask me if I like where I go to school, I always reply with an enthusiastic “Yes”! It’s true. I love DYC, and am thrilled with the choice I made. The professors are kind, the classes are small, and the friends I’ve made here are amazing. There is just something about DYC that makes it different from everywhere else…perhaps it’s the fact that we function more like a family. This, freshmen, I hope you realize and embrace. DYC will definitely change your life for the better. Yes, I know we don’t have a football team, and I know our campus isn’t the biggest, but we’re special in our own way. It’s different for everyone, so that I leave up to you to determine for yourself.
Welcome back, everyone! Good luck with the first few weeks of Fall Semester!
Do you have any tips you wish you knew as a freshman? Let us know in the comments section below!