Things I Wish I Knew: Incoming First Years

Summer is ending and the leaves are preparing to turn red and yellow, meaning that it is the start of the school year! While summer isn’t over yet, the school year has officially begun so here are some tips from upperclassmen about things they wish they could tell their first-year selves. 


Try and Meet New People

“Don’t be afraid to gravitate to different friends groups and people in your first weeks! Don’t solidify yourself with one group and limit yourself. Get to know people, learn who and what you like or don’t like, and just explore all the possibilities that college has to offer!” -Anonymous


Try everything!

“It’s so important to join clubs and push your boundaries! It’s totally okay to sign up for a club, try it once, and decide it isn’t up your alley; however, the best way to meet people is by going to events and joining organizations. I met a lot more people this way than I did in my classes,” -Richel Shea, Class of ‘22


Don’t Stress, Be Yourself

“Going into freshman year, I was nervous and scared that I didn’t pick the right school, especially in the weeks leading up to orientation. I absolutely love Lafayette and I wouldn’t change my decision. I believe that students shouldn't have to worry about whether they picked the right school. As long as you put yourself out there, you’ll thrive in any environment. Everybody is nervous but by saying hi and starting conversations, you might meet some of your best friends on campus”

-Richel Shea, Class of ‘22


Rent books and compare prices

Maybe you have already bought your books, maybe you haven’t, but when you do, be sure to rent your books and compare prices. I typically make a spreadsheet with the ISBNs and compare different sellers (Chegg, Amazon, Barnes and Noble,, World of Books, etc). If you are low on time, you can always use which is better than nothing.


Do the assigned reading

 If your professor assigns it, they expect you to read it. If you have trouble, go to office hours and let your professor know what you are struggling with and they will be happy to help!


Plan ahead and DO NOT CRAM

Set aside a few hours every day to focus on your schoolwork and studying to prevent cramming once midterm season comes around. It is recommended that you spend 9 hours a week outside of class doing work for you to do your best! In high school it might have worked, but cramming the night before a test doesn’t work once you get to college.


Passive-aggressive Post Its are not the best way to deal with an unruly room or floormate. As good as an idea it seems at first, it won’t solve the initial problem and will usually escalate it. Try talking to your RA. Try creating a roommate contract to prevent any problems before they begin. If all else fails, your RA is always available for help with conflict resolution.


Learn the best way you study.

Not everyone learns the same way; audio learners like to recite information to store it, and visual learners like infographics to show the relationships. There are so many ways to study from online flashcards, rewriting notes, Khan Academy, practice questions, and more! Find what works best for you and stick with it!


Good luck to the incoming Class of 2023!