Hi, all my new DePauw babies! This week I wanted to share some of my best tips for the incoming class. I know this year is a little different, so I’m going to try to adjust my best tips to our current ~situation~.
- PLAN OUT EVERYTHING
I literally cannot stress this enough. The only way I have even somewhat succeeded in college work is by meticulously planning. I do not mean you have to plan your lunch, study breaks, etc., but write down meeting times, office hours, etc. You need to have a planner. I genuinely do not understand how people make it through college without a planner. Whether it is electronic or physical, you need something. For example, I have a physical planner this year but the past two years I have utilized the sticky notes on my desktop. A good tip I have is to make a sticky note for each day of the week and then write your meetings, to-do lists, assignments on those.
- GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE
Personally, I have struggled with this. I think my biggest advice is to be brave. In college, you really have to just go for it. I know it is scary but I guarantee you, everyone else is in the same boat. We all know no one and are all looking for friends. Also, I know this semester is hard to meet people and make friends, so talk to people in your classes, invite people to a virtual study table, join clubs (but don’t take on more than you can handle).
- USE YOUR MEAL PLAN
I remember my freshman year I always had a ton of meals leftover at the end of the week. I’m not on campus so I’m not sure how exactly cafes are working this semester. But, at the end of the week, definitely visit the C-Store and stock up on snacks. This will also be helpful if worst comes to worst and you end up in quarantine with no snack foods. If you’re like me, stock up on those soups they have at the C-Store. They are so amazing, especially during cold and flu season.
- TAKE CLASSES YOU WOULDN’T NORMALLY TAKE
One of the beauties of going to a liberal arts college is being able to take any class you are even remotely interested in. For example, I thought Human Cultures sounded interesting and decided to sign up for it. Three years later, anthropology is my major. Don’t stick to classes you think are in your major. In your first year, you have so much freedom. I came in thinking I wanted to be a psychology major, took two classes, and decided it wasn’t for me. Don’t be afraid to change your mind a million times. You’re all good if you change your mind. That is the point of college!
I hope these helped even a little bit. Have a great first semester! I know this year is different and challenging but you will get through it!!