A Senior's Advice to Incoming Freshmen

I remember feeling so nervous coming to UTSA four years ago because I didn’t know anyone, I was worried I wouldn’t make friends. Everyone says you’ll make friends that you’ll have for the rest of your life and for me as a bit of an antisocialist, that was a lot of pressure. I was nervous because the school was so big, I was sure I’d get lost and never find my classes on time. What if my professors didn’t like me or the work was too hard, and I failed out of college my first year?! I had all the worst-case scenarios planned out in my head and I could tell you right now that not one of those things happened to me in four years... well I might’ve gotten lost once or twice.

To make your first year easier I’ve come up with some advice:

1. Get involved in as many student organizations as you can!!

Especially if you live off campus, this is a great way to meet people and fulfill that “college experience.” You get involved in your school and stay updated on what’s going on. You are filled with school spirit and it looks good on your resume (;

2. Go to the Football Games!!

Get your birds up! Football games are a great outlet from all the stress of that week. Join the comradery with your fellow students and have fun! Standing in the middle of the  Alamodome in a sea of orange will make you feel like a real roadrunner. It is inspiring to see everyone coming together and supporting the school and gives you something to talk about in class on Monday.

3. RateMyProfessor.com saves grades!!

If you’re like I was, I knew nothing about the professors teaching the classes I needed and even less about the students who took them. So when it came time to register for classes, I didn’t know which class I should sign up for. RateMyProfessor is a website where students can go to read and leave reviews about college professors. It’s very easy to navigate and is very honest about the professor. Before signing up for your classes, take a look at what you’re getting yourself into.

4. Parking is a nightmare!!

If you can afford it, I recommend buying a garage pass so that you’re always guaranteed a parking spot! If you can’t, like me, Commuter Parking is perfectly fine too! The parking lots in front of the REC Center and the engineering building are always FULL unless you get there at 6am. You’ll want to go around the back towards the baseball fields and park in the Brackenridge Lots. From there you can catch the shuttle, The ‘Runner, that takes you right up to campus by the Business Building. THE RUNNER SAVES LIVES! Especially when you’re running late and need to find parking ASAP-check the Brackenridge Lots, there’s 5 of them! The route to catch is number 43!!

5. Take college at your pace!!

If you’re done waking up to go to school at 8am like I was, then schedule your classes to start at 10am -- that’s perfectly okay! The best thing about college is that you set the pace, you choose your class schedule, you manage your own time, and you can do it! If you want to only go to school three days out of the week, schedule all your classes on M/W/F. If you like the consistency of going everyday, go everyday- the choice is yours!

6. Time Management is KEY!

You know when you’re in class and you say you’re going to do all your work when you get home/dorm-room and then you get there and you take a 5-hour nap? Then you don’t actually do your work until the night before it’s due? Yeah, don’t do that! After your classes are over, go to the JPL and DO YOUR WORK! Do it while the information is still fresh in your mind and you’re still motivated to do it because trust me, it’s really hard to come back to it once you’ve put it away, especially if it’s a difficult assignment. Don’t procrastinate, it’ll come back to haunt you. Once you’ve completed your work and that stress is lifted from your shoulders, it’s much easier to make plans for fun! Reward yourself with going out to eat with your friends or watching a movie. Time management works when you’ve completed all your school work. Then you’re not constantly thinking about it and it doesn’t weigh you down until you do it, just do it. Nike!

7. Finally, Have Fun!!

Don’t take yourself too seriously! The first year isn’t always the easiest year so don’t worry if you struggle a bit. That’s the time for you to figure out what best works for you, and how to handle college. I’ll be honest, I failed math my freshman year...sometimes you just have to take the L and learn how to do better. And look at me now, graduating after 4 years of hard work. Trust me, if I can do it, you definitely could do it. Take a class that has nothing to do with your major just because it sounds interesting or fun. I took a drawing class! Take poetry or anatomy because you think it’ll be romantic, who cares just have fun!

  • Remember to breathe and take care of yourself first!
  • Mental health is more important than anything.
  • Know your limits.
  • Work harder than you did in high school but also party harder than you did in high school.
  • Enjoy the little things.
  • Take a stroll across campus without your headphones in.
  • Attend your study sessions and go to office hours.
  • Go to the career center and the REC center.
  • Take a spin class or rock climb.

It may or may not be the best four years of your life, but you’ll definitely remember them.