Welcome to Behrend

Brittany Thomas:



It’s that time of year again...COLLEGE MOVE-IN DAY!



With the arrival of new students settling into their new college lives comes a sense of excitement, pride, anxiety, stress and panic. All normal reactions to starting a new chapter of your life.


With a little help from some upperclassmen, friends, and family; college life will become a breeze in no time.


To get you started, here are some tips to survive your first year in college.


Do NOT join every single club. While getting involved is super beneficial to having an extraordinary and fulfilling college career, piling ten new clubs on top of a new learning curriculum, being away from home and finding new friends is waaaaaay too overwhelming.


DO venture out of your comfort zone. Sit in the lobby of your dorm. Make plans with your roommate and friends in the hall. Go to events either with friends or by yourself (because that is okay too). Try new things and new clubs. The further you step out of your comfort zone, the more experiences and memories you gain.



Do NOT wait to study for exams. This is not high school anymore. The learning and pace of college classes is very different than what high school was. Waiting to do a paper or homework until the hour before most likely won’t work in college. Plan ahead and do your work with enough time that if you have to change something, you aren’t rushing.


Ask for help. It is okay to feel flustered, overwhelmed, stressed or confused. Do not be afraid to ask professors, counselors, upperclassmen, or anyone for help. We have all been in your shoes once and we know how scary it can be. I promise we are all more than willing to help.


I could write on and on and on about tips to help survive your first year of college, but none of us have time for that… we are in college now.


Just remember to take a deep breath, bring a positive attitude and ask for help if needed. You’ll get the hang of college in no time.


Welcome to Behrend!






Nicole Norfolk:



Going into college, I was just like you - excited and scared, but also hopeful and determined. I was your typical college freshman. However, if I had the option to redo my freshman year knowing what I know now, I would do it in a heartbeat. I’m not saying this in a “woe is me” type of fashion, but more of a “hey, you’re only a freshman once so do it big” kind of way. Between two schools, three majors, and five years of school, I have found plenty of “regrets” and although it’s too late for me to get another go at them, I can tell you what I have learned so that you don’t make the same mistakes as me (this might also save you a few grand.)



I started school at Clarion University and I did not want to be there. It was just a temporary school at the time so I wasn’t concerned with getting involved and making new friends. The one thing I knew I wanted to do and I knew they didn’t have at the next school that I had planned on going to was to join Greek Life. None of my roommates were interested in joining and I was scared of going through the recruitment process and knowing no one. Fast forward two years and I find myself here at Behrend… being from Erie, I knew people that were also students here; however, we were all supposed to be at least halfway through college now and it wasn’t really the prime time to join a sorority. So, at 20, I found myself doing what I was too scared to do when I was 18 - go through recruitment alone. It was nerve wracking for me, but once you get into the rooms and you start talking to the girls, you aren’t alone at all. I’m not telling you to join Greek life now that you’re here, but I am encouraging you to take that leap of faith and go out for something that scares you or that friends and roommates aren’t doing. For me, the payout was so incredibly worth it. I got amazing sisters and have created bonds with girls across all of the sororities that I plan to be friends with for life. Trust me, taking the leap is entirely worth the fall - you never know who is going to catch you.



We are all in school for a reason and it definitely isn’t to receive our M.R.S. - it’s to get an education so that we can become the person we dreamed of being when we were little girls. With that being said, take some time to figure out your major and try out the things that interest you. I changed my major three times and now I’m in a major I love and I have my dream career path planned out until the day I retire. Pick a major that inspires you and makes you excited to go to (most) of your classes. Life is hard enough as it is, you don’t need to have a major that you hate dragging you even further down.


Finally, don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself and make some cuts. No, college isn’t a basketball tryout, but if you have someone in your life that only makes you miserable and doesn’t encourage you to be your best self - wave them goodbye. I’m not saying don’t be civil towards them, by all means, please say hello because there is no reason to be rude. I’m just saying, as you get older it becomes exhausting to keep your enemies closer when you could just hang out and get wine drunk with your friends because the people that rub you the wrong way don’t deserve any space in that beautiful mind of yours.


With all that being said, Collegiettes, do what makes you happy, do what makes you scared, and don’t waste time on people that don’t encourage you to be the badass girl boss that you are. Good luck, Class of 2021!



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