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The Top 10 Tips for Incoming Freshman at The U

When you are waiting in your car, on the line to move into the dorms at University of Miami, in that sweltering heat, you may have a lot of thoughts running through your head. Having been a freshman at the U, I can remember some of those thoughts on that August afternoon, full of both anxiety and excitement for what lies ahead. If I could look back and tell myself 10 things, it would be the following...

Get Involved

When you first get to UMiami, the advice you hear most often, is to get involved in groups and activities on campus. Though everyone says it, it truly is the best way to settle into your new community.

We have approximately 300 clubs and student organizations on campus. When first starting out in a new environment where you don’t know a lot of people, it’s a great opportunity to find something that interests you and meet like-minded people.

You can even explore new clubs or activities that sound cool and you may not have sought out before. The message: Put yourself out there and find your community!

Remember everyone is in the same boat.

As an incoming Freshmen I was extremely nervous. It’s common for freshmen to worry about any of the following things: Will I meet people I like? Will I feel comfortable in school? Will I be stressed? Will the classes be really hard?

It is important to remember that every incoming freshman has the same thoughts.

You’re all in the same boat and all the upperclassmen have experienced the same thing. It isn’t nearly as scary as it seems but if you find yourself worrying, keep in mind that the person next to you has probably thought those same thoughts. Everyone is entering this new environment together.

Explore Miami

You’re about to move to one of the coolest cities in the world. The sun is warm, the beaches are stunning and the culture in Miami is amazing. When you have free-time, get out there with your friends and see the world around you. Try a new restaurant in Coconut Grove, check out Wynwood walls, be a tourist for the

day and go explore South Beach, or spend an afternoon at the beaches in Key Biscayne. There is so much cool stuff to see, that you will never find yourself bored. With that said, keep in mind that schoolwork is your priority.

Don’t crash and burn

The biggest mistake that I see time and time again is freshman getting excited with all the new things and experiences, and they put too much on their plate. Whether it’s joining too many activities, taking very challenging classes or going out too much. Keep in mind that your mental health is still very important, and balance is key!

Try and build some downtime into your days. If you go too hard with everything that Miami has to offer in the beginning, you won’t be able to enjoy it and you will, for lack of a better phrase, “crash and burn.”

It’s an adjustment

You have most likely spent the last few years living in the same place, with the same people, going to the same school. You’re starting something new, and with anything new, there’s always going to be some struggle.

It’s OK to feel overwhelmed but know that there are resources available to you. Everybody is adjusting and you’re not alone.

Time management

Manage your time well. In the same way that you don’t want to overload your schedule, you also want to plan your day effectively. Create pockets of time to study and in the same way, and be sure to add time into your planner to see friends.

Keep in mind that your schoolwork is going to take up more time than you expect it to, so account for that in your schedule. Everything is manageable, if you plan accordingly.

Get the numbers of people in your classes.

The worst feeling in the world is working on an assignment late at night and not knowing the answer to a specific question. If your professor isn’t able to get back to you at that moment, it comes in handy to have the number of someone in your class.

Shoot them a text to ask the question and you will feel a lot better. It’s also great to meet up and study with people in your class.

Look into UMiami’s resources

University of Miami is a world-renowned private research institution. We have insane facilities with extremely knowledgeable staff. Take advantage of everything that UM is.

Explore areas of interest outside of your major. Take a class that is outside of your major, simply because you want to, and it sounds cool. If you’re struggling, seek help from the counseling center. If a class is challenging, seek help from the Camner tutoring services, which offers FREE tutoring for every class, by appointment. If you need anything on campus, we have it, just ask.

Take care of yourself

For most of you, this is your first time living on your own. At first you can have some fun but remember to take care of yourself. Make sleep a priority so you can get the most out of your days. Nourish your body and if it feels tired, rest. Don’t forget to drink water as the heat is very intense in Miami. If you’re overwhelmed, reach out and ask for support.

Don’t work too hard; leave time to play. Don’t play too hard; leave time to work. It’s all a balance and you will get there with a little trial and error.

 Enjoy your time. It goes by quickly.

Freshman year is a lot of fun and there are very few experiences in your life that are similar to it. Once you just remember to enjoy it is definitely something you will remember, and it will be over in a blink of an eye.

You may hear many of these things over and over again from different people. At times they may seem like the obvious, but take a step back and ask yourself if you’re doing them. If I was back, sitting in that car in august, on the way to move into my dorm freshman year, I would want to be reminded of these things weekly. They are so so key.

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