Entering freshman came to the University of Tennessee Saturday, August 17. Since freshman are required to live in the dorms if they are not within driving distance of the campus to commute, this was a rather large change. For most of them, this is the first time living away from home, and it can be scary to say the least. Campus is loud and convoluted during this time. Here are some valuable tips for surviving campus life:
- Try to make friends with anyone and everyone you meet
I say this because campus is full of interesting people. You have no idea what you may have in common with someone unless you get to know them. Say hi to strangers that you pass in the dorm halls, or give a warm smile to people as you pass them on your way to class. Strike up conversations. Always remember that friends that you make in college, are typically friends you keep for life.
- Flexibility = Responsibility
What I mean when I say this, is that you have to understand this is not high school. True, the class material only advanced a year ahead of where you were the year before. However, no one in college is going to hold your hand as you try to work through it. Professors typically won’t send constant reminders about assignments due. Not all classes require attendance. You have a new flexible environment where you may have several hour breaks between classes, and possibly even a light load when it comes to homework. Just remember though, there is a responsibility you have to yourself and your education.
- Make friends with the staff
Secretaries and office assistants, in my opinion, are the entire backbone for what goes on around campus. They know the ins and outs of what their bosses do. Be pleasant with them and they’ll be nice to you. If you have any questions about anything, ask them. They will most likely know, and if they don’t, they’ll know a way to get the information. I also strongly suggest being friendly with the maintenance and custodial staff around campus buildings you frequent. They work very hard and you wouldn’t have the campus environment you do without them. Don’t make their loads any heavier.
- Join as many clubs and organizations early on
Look at all the posters and flyers around campus, talk to people about your interests, and join as many organizations as possible. If you feel Greek life is for you, go for it. If you want to go and watch movies, find people and go to the movie showings at the University Center. There are clubs and organizations for everyone. Just remember that joining these early in college make it very easy to make friends and it looks great on a resume!
- Take an aptitude test
I cannot stress enough the importance of using the Career Center’s online FREE aptitude test. I was in your shoes 4 short years ago. I had no earthly idea what I wanted to major in, so I decided to take an aptitude test. Some of you may know exactly what you want to major in, now that the university requires students to choose a major upon entering (even if it is exploratory path). However, an aptitude test can give you results you never imagined. It will not only tell you what major you may be fit for, but what career opportunities there are later in life. I for one have a creative mind, and the Advertising Major was at the top of my results. I took a few classes and fell in love with the program. You may change your mind half way through your college career, and that is perfectly normal! The aptitude test is just an easy tool to help you along the way.
Tyler High- Intern