I am an incoming freshman and I’m nervous about what to expect my first few days. Do you have any tips about how to prepare for the workload, good study spots, and how to meet friends?
Welcome to campus! It is completely normal to be nervous, especially as you start your college journey in such a unique situation.
The academics will be rigorous – which you will hear many times during orientation week. This is simply to serve as a reminder that there is no breezing through and getting easy As. You will have to put in a lot of work. Even if your first few classes are easy, make sure you master the material because the whole course will build on it and you will need to know it for the final. Speaking from experience, falling behind in the beginning – even skipping one reading or blowing off one essay – will come back to bite you later. Most importantly, build a relationship with your professors – speak up in class, go to office hours, email them if you have questions – they want to get to know you.
Campus is full of great study spots. If you want coffee (and trust me, college will make you a caffeine addict) you can easily get to the campus coffee shops or try out the ones in town. Most of them are within walking distance, and I recommend checking them all out early on so you know which atmosphere you like best.
Finally, you’ll meet friends in all sorts of settings – the cafeteria, your dorm, your classes, and campus events. Don’t stress if the first week or two is a whirlwind of faces, names, and small talk that you don’t remember – things settle down after orientation. There are always signs in classrooms, news on social media, and emails from the Student Activities Board to keep you informed of fun campus happenings, so just keep an eye out. At Hillsdale, we are a community and we are here for you. Trust me, you’re in for a great year!