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Thriving in Freshman Year: Advice from a rising senior on how to make the transition to college a little easier

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Posted on May 8, 2019 by Michelle Glitzer '20, marketing and communications intern.

Courtesy: Delaware Valley University Students of all years and majors gather in front of the Student Center.

Freshman year is a time for new beginnings. With all of the new possibilities awaiting you the day you step foot on campus, starting college can feel like an overwhelming experience. Between adjusting to the college lifestyle and managing classes, many students struggle to make the most out of their first year of college. Here are some tips based on my college experience that will help you thrive in your first year at DelVal.

Get involved.

It’s the piece of advice you hear from family, friends, graduates, and advisors. Everyone says that the key to getting the most out of your college experience is to become involved on campus. Looking back on my freshman year, I wish I dove into opportunities sooner. During my first semester, I was not very involved, making it difficult for me to associate school with anything other than assignments. Once I started getting involved through clubs and jobs on campus, I was able to go through the rest of my college career with confidence and purpose by interacting with more students and faculty. 

Meet with your professors.

Take advantage of your professors' accessibility – it is one of the unique benefits of going to a small university. Whether you stay a few minutes after class or visit your professor during his/her office hours, make a point to introduce yourself. It’s important to show your professors that you care and take your academics seriously. They are full of knowledge and are willing to help if you reach out to them.

Plan for the future but make sure you live in the present.

Planning for the future is always a wise thing to do.  However, there is a difference between being prepared and being overly eager to reach your future. It is easy to get caught up living a life of constant expectation, impatiently waiting for the next stage of life to arrive. Living in the moment can become swept under the rug if all of your energy is spent focusing on the future. You only have four years in college, and they will go by quicker than you could imagine. Enjoy them and stay present.

Go at your own pace.

Everyone moves at their own pace through college. Adjusting to change comes naturally to some people, while for others it is a slow process. There is no right or wrong way to go through your program. Take some summer classes if you need to lessen the load during the semester. Don’t worry if it looks like other students are moving at a faster or slower pace than you. The only thing that matters is that you get the most out of your college experience at whatever rate works for you.

Ask questions.

If you’re still not sure what you want to do with your major, start talking to people in your profession about their jobs. Many professionals enjoy talking to students about their careers and are very willing to give advice. Asking questions and starting up conversations with professors and professionals will help you gain confidence in networking, an important skill to have in any field.

Just say hi.

One of my favorite things about DelVal is that everyone here is truly nice.  Don’t be afraid to start up conversations with people in your classes or around campus! You may be surprised by how a simple conversation can impact your life and those around you.

About the Author
Michelle Glitzer '20 is a Delaware Valley University business administration major who is specializing in marketing.