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How to Survive Your First Year at Pitt

Fall semester is upon us and while most of us know our way around good ole Pitt, many do not. Yes, every school has them and they are the freshmen! But we can’t mess with them too badly; we were all in their shoes at one point. Whether you’re a super senior or a sophomore, there’s always lessons learned from your life at Pitt.

That said, some of the Her Campus Pitt staff put together a list of advice and lessons we wanted our freshman to know. Take note, these things you won’t learn in lecture.

Mandy Velez (Editor-in-Chief)
-You WILL get lost in the Cathedral. Look out for the room numbers on the signs around the halls.
-Explore Oakland! There’s lots of restaurants & sites to see.
-If you want to sit up front or close at the football games don’t arrive last minute, esp. if you come with a big group
-Utilize the free print sheets you get for the semester. And by utilize, don’t print out coloring sheets until you KNOW you have enough to spare. There’s nothing worse than having 10 coloring sheets but no more paper the day a research report is due.

Monica Khan (Public Relations Manager)
“Make sure you spend your freshman year finding good girl friends. if your entire freshman year is spent boy hunting or with your high school friends, your college career will be off to a very rough start. the girls you meet in college are the ones that will help you pick up the pieces for the rest of your adult life”

Claire Peltier (Associate Editor)
“You’re going to have to learn to be comfortable around people 24/7. You’ll have alone time, but the majority of the time you’ll be with friends. If you let them, they’ll be your family. So don’t be afraid to hang out without makeup and in a tshirt. Just be yourself because it’ll be way too exhausting to act otherwise!”

Mavis Salomon-Lowden (Features Writer)
“When it comes to carrying your id to parties, chose the most responsible girl in your group or stick it in the side of your bra…you’ll save $20 each time you don’t lose it! Do something you’d never think you’d do, one random thing. mine was joining her campus and i met amazing people and had fun!”

Adela Smehlik (Contributing Writer)
-You will skip a class or two, regardless of how hard you’ll try ( at least for me- and I’ve skipped like 800 so far :))
-Every freshman is in the same boat as you, so don’t worry. Everyone is looking for a friendly face- don’t be afraid to say hello

Chelsea Vecchiarelli (Managing Editor)
“Your experience at Pitt will be exactly what you make it – as much as you put in you will get out. And by all means embrace mistakes as lessons learned. Don’t be afraid to fight for true friendships and know when to let the unhealthy friendships go. It’s not the destination so much as the journey so sometimes you need to fasten your seatbelt and other times through precaution aside, roll down the window, lean out and truly feel the wind roll through your hair. En fin, ten confianza en ti mismo y disfruta el viaje!”

Cydney Miller (Blogger)
-Before you go “premed” think about high school biology.. you better have absolutely loved it.. Otherwise bio and chem in the same semester will kill your GPA.
-If you can, schedule your classes so you get Fridays off
-Read ratemyprofessor and if there’s more than a few bad comments.. take it to heart.
-Cell phone cases make great “wallets.” cash and your ID fit perfectly
-Don’t lend out anything you’re not okay with not getting back
-Don’t drink in towers.. you WILL get caught.
-Don’t walk at night alone.. even if its only a block.
-Have fun.. but be conscious of a possible reputation. Word spreads fast and there’s no escape.

Stephanie Scarci (Features Writer)
-You should actually go to some of the orientation activities with your floormates because it’s a really great opportunity to bond.
-Don’t drink anything given to you by anybody, especially guys.
-Don’t settle on the first guy you meet or is interested in you.
-Pepper Spray. Pepper Spray. Pepper Spray.
-Don’t leave your laptop ever without someone watching it that you trust, even if you go to the printer for five seconds.
-Get a key card holder from the Pitt Store for $5 and put it on a lanyard. It makes it bigger and easier to grab.
-Don’t go anywhere at night alone, especially if you’re going to South Oakland.
-Get up early to watch the walk of shame into Towers lobby on a Saturday morning. It’s worth it.
-Go to the Activites Fair. It’s not only free stuff, but you may find something that you’re actually interested in.
-If you put something on your calendar that you wanted to do, be motivated to do it. There are so many times that I wanted to do something, but I was too tired or just wanted to sleep in.
-Change your meal plan to more dining dollars and less meal swipes. Market gets really old really quickly, and you have more flexibility with dining dollars.
-Make sure to go to the gym a couple times a week, especially after studying for an extended period of time. I immediately feel better after walking on the treadmill for a few minutes and am more energized.

What advice do YOU have for the freshmen?

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