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«BROUGHT TO YOU BY FORMER FRESHMEN Edited by the CAS Academic Advising Center Congratulations on beginning the next leg of your educational journey!! ...»

-- [ Page 1 ] --

Freshmen to Freshmen:

A Guide to Mastering

Your Freshman Year


Edited by the CAS Academic Advising Center

Congratulations on beginning the next leg of

your educational journey!!

You have begun a new school year at a new place with new

surroundings and new people. Wow! That’s a lot of newness!

If you are feeling any of the following:

Nervous Confused Excited Independent Stressed Confident Happy Overwhelmed Homesick Uncertain Then read on! This book is for you!

1 What is this all about?


I have enough to read!

Why should I read this book too?

You should read on because this booklet contains something your other reading materials do not: REAL LIFE ADVICE from REAL LIFE PEOPLE who were in your very shoes just a short time ago. It is a wealth of advice from freshmen specifically for freshmen.

The academic advisors in the CAS Advising Center assembled this book in an effort to provide you with useful information that will help you make the most out of your freshman experience. The pages of this book are filled with facts, figures, advice and personal experiences brought to you by former freshmen. Additional materials cited from various resources developed through the CAS Advising Center have been included for your benefit. So grab a snack, find a place to get comfy, sit back and read on. This book is for you!

2 Table of Contents

1. Welcome to the University of Scranton……………………5

2. The Initial Transition………………………………………..6

3. The Secrets of Academic Success...…………………………10

4. Dorm Living……………………………………………….....23

5. Commuters’ Corner…………………………………………25

6. Living in Scranton…………………………

7. Making the Most of Campus Life…………………………..28

8. MySpace & Facebook……………………………………… 30

9. The Most Important Ingredient for Personal Success….…31

10. Advice for the Undecided……………………………..……34

11.Getting the Most from Your Advising Center…………….36

12. Resources and Services…………………………………….37

13. Parting Words of Wisdom…………………………………38

14. Conclusion………………………………………………......40 3 Welcome to the University of Scranton!

Welcome to the University of Scranton! Congratulations on graduating high school and deciding to make The University your home base for the next four years. You probably have a lot going through your mind as a student new to The University; rest assured that you are in a great place to learn, thrive and grow as a person. You will soon find that you are among friends and family here at The University. I cannot believe how much I have learned about myself as a person after only being here for one semester.

You are about to embark on an educational journey of a lifetime in the place of a lifetime. Again, congratulations and welcome!

–  –  –


Believe me, everyone is feeling the same way as you. Don’t let anyone fool you; these years are going to be the best years of your life. You will learn so much and you will also grow as a person. Remember, everyone is missing their family and friends too, befriend everyone you can, and help one another out.


Two key parts in surviving the transition from high school to college are remaining levelheaded and not worrying about what other people think. It is true that everyone changes – even if it is not drastically – when they step into college life. Finding yourself, discovering exactly who you are and what you want to become, is one of the greatest challenges and one of the greatest fulfillments that will happen during these four years.

It is crucial, though, not to rush this process. There are many people who come to college not knowing exactly where they’re going. The answers will come eventually, so don’t be too distressed if your neighbor has the course of her life carefully plotted out while you need to flounder for awhile.

The college transition is hard; there is no reason to lie about that. But, even though at times things can seem overwhelming, there are ways in which to make it easier. It helps to remember that you are not the only one who is new to this experience. Each time I would call my mom in a homesick state she would say to me, “Almost everyone is feeling the EXACT same way you are right now.” Those words started to make so much sense for me. I found others who were feeling the same way I was by simply starting a conversation in my freshman seminar class or joining a club or asking if anyone wanted to grab a bite to eat. It is inevitable that there is going to be someone who feels like you do about this new experience, you just need to find them.

–  –  –



Along with an increase in freedom comes an increase in responsibility.

College gives you the first chance to be independent. For me personally this was a shocking change that took a little bit of time to get adjusted to. For the first time in my life I had to take care of everything for myself.

Your first year here will be fun but you will also have an increase in responsibility. You will need to go to class and pay attention as well as do your work on time. You will meet new and interesting people. If you act responsibly during your freshman year, college is a great opportunity to grow both as a student and an individual.

The transition to college from high school brings many new challenges and responsibilities. These include studying when you are supposed to, time management, going to class and living on your own. These are just a few of the many new responsibilities you will encounter during your freshman year.

One of the greatest things about coming to college is the freedom you experience. One of the scariest things about coming to college is the freedom you experience. One of the most valuable lessons you will take away from you first semester as a freshman is the appreciation you develop for the word responsibility. Starting off as a new student is not always going to be easy, but it will be a lot easier if you act responsibly.

…Do not take the freedom for granted. Always remember that you are an adult now and you need to act like it. Go out and have fun but don’t go crazy: it will come back to haunt you.

–  –  –

Remember to believe in yourself! The transition to college is a big adjustment and you might hit some bumpy patches along the way. However, don’t forget that hitting a bumpy patch here or there along the way is part of the learning experience. If you believe in yourself and act responsibly, you will make it through and you will have some of the best experiences with some of the best people that you will ever meet.



YOU CAN DO IT! I know you have a lot going through your head right now; the transition from high school to college is a major life change. A couple of months ago I was in your very shoes. I remember feeling very overwhelmed at the thought of leaving home and going to a new place with all new people. I was so nervous on moving day.

However, once I had a few days under my belt and met some people, I realized that I was not the only person feeling nervous. Sooner rather than later I began to think, “Hey, I can do this.” When I began to have confidence in myself, I began to see the transition to college as an amazing time in my life. I look back on the past couple of months, and I cannot believe how much I have learned in such a short period of time. I have learned that college is very different from high school in that school really is a full time job. I have learned that it is up to me to get my work done, keep my room and laundry clean and to take care of myself. Also, it is up to me to maintain a balance between my friends and my work load. Being on your own and calling the shots for the first time in a new place is a big step in life. Having faith in my ability to call the shots and make good decisions has helped me learn the true meaning behind the word responsibility. If you believe in yourself and your ability to make good, healthy decisions, your transition to life here will go a lot smoother. The University is a wonderful and enriching environment with something to learn along every step of the way; I am really very excited for you. The transition to college is exciting and fun while at the same time filled with uncertainty; if you hold strong to your faith, believe in yourself and act responsibly, I think you will enjoy this time as much as I have.

Amidst all the newness and uncertainty, don’t forget to focus on your strengths and what has gotten you through in the past. Have confidence in yourself and embrace the new experiences and individuals that come your way; it is these new experiences and individuals that you will learn from.

Hold fast to your faith; faith in yourself, faith in those around you and most of all faith in God above. You are surrounded by a community that cares about you. Have faith and reach out to others when you need help.

–  –  –




You are here for a reason; a reason that says you can do any task that is given to you here. You wouldn’t be here if you couldn’t. Don’t ever sell yourself short or back out of something merely because you are too afraid that you cannot do it. Take advantage of the opportunities that you have been given.


I’ve been in your shoes and survived. So can you, even though you may think you can’t. When I began my freshman year I was in a panic. I did not know what to do or where to turn. I was confused and scared. Now that the semester is almost over, I have found that I feel more comfortable being here, and that things are working out OK.

–  –  –




1. Make Academics Your First Priority!

Studying should be your top priority as you enter college. If you obtain a high GPA your first year, it’s much easier to maintain that average throughout your entire college career.

If I new what studying I had to do in college I would have started reading all my books the day I moved in.

Understand that you are not in high school anymore, which means that your professors give you much more reading, less tests and quizzes and require much more responsibility overall. College is a fun and absolutely spectacular experience, just make your academics your number one focus, stay on track and keep yourself happy.

All I can say is that this is college. All your professors, especially your freshman seminar instructor will say that you need to devote 30-35 hours a week to your work and studying. My reaction at first (and your reaction right now) is probably yeah right. Honestly, you will find out that you do need to put in this kind of time to succeed. Academics do take up a lot of your time so make them your priority.

–  –  –

My biggest regret is that up until mid terms, I put my friends before my books. I spent so much time going out and having a good time with my friends that I quickly fell behind in my work. I had no idea how quickly I could fall behind if I did not keep up with my work. Luckily, I learned my lesson in time and realized that my studies would have to come first if I was gong to pass my classes. I have realized that there are often going to be times that I have to say no to things like going to the movies or hanging out in the dorm because I have to study; my friends will still be there tomorrow. I was lucky that I learned the importance of making it a priority to hit the books when I did. Some of my friends never learned this lesson and unfortunately have ended up failing several classes because they put their social life first.

When you are tempted to put the social scene before your studies, just remember that your friends will still be there tomorrow. However, you ability to pass the upcoming exam may not. Don’t blow off your studies to socialize. You are wasting too much money to put your personal life first.

Learn to prioritize. Good friends want you to succeed. They will understand if you need to stay in to finish some work. You may even serve as a positive example to them! If your friends don’t understand then they’re not very good friends at all.

–  –  –

At first all I did was hit the books. I devoted day and night to my studies, I was afraid that I would fall behind if I didn’t. I thought things like going out for dinner and hanging out with people on the commons were things that I did not have time for. After a couple of weeks of this, I realized that I was starting to feel burned out and my ability to focus on my work suffered. Plus I was not meeting people. I talked with my roommate about this and talking about this experience helped me realize that having a social life not only helps prevent burnout, but it is also a part of the educational experience; I learn just as much from my friends as I do from my books.

My advice would be to go to class, plan your work in advance, but also remember to leave time for a social life.

Remember…the secret is to maintain a healthy balance.

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