If I Knew Then, What I Know Now…
As a senior who is about to graduate from Grove City College, I have been reminiscing on my last four years here. During my reflections, I decided to come up with a list of helpful tips for incoming freshmen. I hope you enjoy!
1. Attend Orientation Board activities
When you arrive on campus in the fall, be prepared for the first two weeks to be filled with events and activities held by Orientation Board (OB). As a freshman, I did not end up attending very many of these events because I was not sure if it was the “cool” thing to do, and it is definitely something I regret. OB works really hard to put on these events and make everyone feel welcome. These activities are a great way to get to meet other freshmen and also a chance to eat free food!
2. Get to know your Freshmen Hall
My freshman year, my roommates and I did not venture much outside our room when we were in the residence halls. However, later down the road we ended up becoming friends with others who were on our freshman hall and we did not even know it! If you are looking for a way to meet others on your hall, prop your door open while you are just hanging out in your room, you never know who could stop by!
3. Get involved on campus
At the beginning of each fall semester, Grove City College holds an Organization Fair for students to walk around and see all the various clubs and organizations offered on campus. Do not be afraid to sign up for something you have always wanted to do but have never done before. My junior year, I ended up joining the Women’s Club Lacrosse team with no prior experience, and it ended up being one of the best decisions I made in four years.
4. Prioritize your studies
There is a reason that Grove City College is known for its rigorous academics. It is important to explore and be involved in college, but do not forget to study! Figure out your most efficient and effective study techniques, and if you ever feel like you need extra help, do not be afraid to reach out to your adviser, upperclassmen in your major, or other academic resources.
5. Meal dates are a thing
Something I have learned in my years here is that Grove City students love to ask others to get meal dates in the dining halls in order to get to know one another better. Sometimes groups of friends or clubs will get weekly meal dates to catch up on each others lives. This is definitely something that is unique to the the College’s friendly culture, and it is a great way to get to know acquaintances better!
6. Always back up your computer files
One of the best perks of attending Grove City College is that everyone is given a computer. It is really important to backup the significant files on your computer such as papers or projects that are in progress. Whether it be on a flash drive or your Office 365 account provided by the College, I highly recommend backing up your files regularly in case anything were to happen with your laptop.
7. Its never too early to network
Networking is very significant to your future when it comes time to apply and interview for jobs. It is never too early to begin doing so (even your freshman year), whether you are getting contacts from your professor, alumni, or other professionals in your field of study. Creating a LinkedIn account is a great way to build your professional profile and network with others.
8. Get familiar with OneNote
If you like to take notes on your laptop rather than handwriting, learn how to use OneNote. It is a Microsoft Office program that comes available on your Grove City College laptop. It is great for organization among the different tabs and pages. If you are searching for a certain topic while studying for an exam, using Ctrl-F allows you to search for words on the current page, and Ctrl-E allows you to search for words in all of your notebooks.
9. Find an upperclassman to help you with class registration when the time comes
Scheduling for classes can tend to be a stressful time on campus, but finding help from upperclassmen is definitely the way to go. They have done it before and can teach you how it is done. Also reaching out to an upperclassmen in your major or your adviser is helpful to figure out what classes you should try to take each semester.
10. Use school resources
Using school resources is something I wish I would have done earlier in college. Grove City offers a variety of academic, campus life, and administrative resources such as the Writing Center, the Technical Learning Center Help Desk, the Mail Room, the Career Services Office, and more. The resources on campus are provided for ease of access, and some of them put on seminars such as resume writing or studying tips to help prepare you for things you will need to know.