Dear First-Year College Student

Welcome! You’re about to embark on your exciting first chapter of independence and adulthood. Most colleges and universities have several days of new student orientation. These days are designed for a few big takeaways; to get you familiar with your new home for at least the next four years, connect you with classmates and peers, present you with support and resources to help make your transition successful, and introduce you to the campus community standards.

So, while you are debating what XL sheets to get from Target, or wondering if your roommate will like the same Netflix series you do…here’s what you really need to know about college.

Transition can be hard. I mean really hard for most people. And while your new classmates may look like they have it all together and living their best life at college, many of them are experiencing the same feelings as you. It could present as homesickness, a first difficult break up, or that research paper using the dreaded APA. In college there will be times of hardship and adversity but KNOW that in those very moments of frustration are opportunities for true character to be revealed. Allow the growth to happen and transformation to take place, knowing that all your hard work leading up to this moment has prepared you for what is to come!

Trust that grit, resilience, and perseverance are some of the best life skills we as an institution can provide YOU. Angela Duckworth has a great quote saying, “perhaps what we love most about grit is that you don’t have to be born with it. It is something we earn through life experience.”

Now, don’t get me wrong“”during your college experience there are going to be so many moments of joy, success, Ramen noodles, wonderful new relationships and experiences“”you can count on that!

Tips for college:

  • Pick a passion and do it well (notice I said “a passion” meaning singular“”let’s not overdo it the first year).
  • Explore the world around you and try new things.
  • Ask questions.
  • You can wash whites and colored clothes together on cold.
  • Be informed.
  • Get to know the Resident Assistant (RA) on your residence hall floor. For real“”these are some of the greatest ambassadors for the college, equipped with tools, resources and connections to help you be successful.
  • Wear shower shoes.
  • Ask for help“”ask for it early! Every college has built-in support services to help students navigate the student experience; personal case management, health and counseling services, academic assistance centers and more. These services support students’ overall well-being, therefore leading you to become a successful and thriving member of the college community.