Today: Apr 23, 2024

Dear Freshmen: It Gets Better

Kelsey MixCopy Editor 

A new school, new city, new people; it’s pretty terrifying, right? When I was a freshman, I was scared to come to Southern, especially all the horror stories I heard about New Haven. I had a few friends from high school that came here with me, but I wanted to branch out while still doing well in my classes. I was stressed as soon as the first day of classes started.

Now that I’m a senior, I can say wholeheartedly that I wouldn’t have changed a thing about my college experience. There were some points when I wanted to transfer to Central, live at home, and not make an effort to meet new people. But I am so glad I stayed at Southern.

Once you become more familiar with the campus, you will automatically feel more comfortable. I know when I started falling into a routine every week;,I instantly became more excited to actually do everything. Something that helped me do this was getting a planner.

Being organized in college is crucial. Now I actually have two planners, but you don’t need to get that crazy. Keeping track of your homework, extra credit assignments, meetings with your professors, and exams is going to help you in the long run.
freshmenI know the course load and studying is also a big worry for most new students. My high school prepared me pretty well for college, but if 

you aren’t as prepared, it doesn’t mean you can’t excel. Don’t hesitate to make a schedule for when and how much you should study. I’m telling you right now, if you cram at 1 a.m. the night before, you’re not going to do very well; and that’s the sad truth.

For most majors, there are also clubs and honor societies to get involved in. So if you’re having trouble in your French or psychology class, for example, there are clubs on campus and you could always talk to the members for help. In Engleman Hall, there is also a Tutoring Center and Writing Center if you would like further help in a certain area of study.

Being a senior, I’ve heard everything negative about Southern that there is to hear; “The food here sucks,” “My professors don’t know how to teach,” “The Dunkin line is horrendous.” To be honest, I’ve probably said all of those things at some point, but I’m going to tell you to do something right now.

Change your attitude.

Southern has so much to offer students, especially those who are new. If you take a look around, you’ll be able to see all of the clubs and organizations, job opportunities, and activities for residents and commuters. More importantly, there are so many great changes Southern has been making over the past few years and you’d be crazy not to take advantage of those; the new Fitness Center hours and new meal plans, to name a few.

Now don’t get me wrong, the first year is one of the toughest. One of the things that made Southern more fun for me was joining Delta Phi Epsilon Sorority. I have plenty of community service opportunities and social events to go to, as well as a group of girls that I will be friends with for the rest of my life.

As a freshman, I also joined Habitat for Humanity, which was one of the most rewarding experiences at Southern thus far. Being in Habitat, you have opportunities to not only help people in the New Haven community, but every year there is an alternative spring break trip to travel and help  build homes for those who can’t afford it.

My biggest piece of advice I can offer freshmen and transfer students is to get involved. If I didn’t get involved, I would not have the on campus jobs that I have now and I wouldn’t be as comfortable at campus as I am. Not to mention I met inspiring colleagues, friends and mentors whose relationships I will always cherish.

Photo Credit: Sean MacEntee

Daniele Zanni

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