The Elm Declassified: College Survival Guide

By Kaitlyn Fowler
Elm Staff Writer

Every year, several hundred freshmen arrive for orientation loaded down with college supplies, and a jumble of nerves and fears. To help with the chaos, we have reached out to some of our new sophomore class to get the advice that helped them make the most of their first year here at Washington College.

Most freshmen are already anxious about getting that 4.0 and succeeding academically. The college world of academics is very different to that of high school.

Sophomore, Kyle Rugletic, said “Get help if you are academically slumping. Tutoring, TAs, and study sessions in the library. WC has the resources, use them.” The best resources WC has to help you succeed are your professors. According to Rugletic’s experience, he thinks, “Building valuable relationships with your professors is vital. They are important resources, [and] can provide a wealth of information regarding your college career and your career path.” Not only that, but your professors are experts in the fields that interest you.

For many, the friends you graduated high school with are the ones you met in elementary school. Now that you and your friends are all at different colleges, you may be feeling a little alone. Sophomore, Katie Walker said to reach out and “get a good group of people around you. You’re going to need that support later in the semester/year and you want people close to you that can help.”

We all go through tough times, and whether it’s a personal blow or just trying to stay in one piece during finals week, we all need friends we can rely on. During your first few weeks here, you will meet hundreds of new people and make many new friends.

Though it is understandable that you would want to cling to every new friend you make, sophomore, Audrey Utchen said “be afraid of losing friends. You will eventually find people you really connect with, and those might not be the same people as they are at the start of the year.“

Sophomore, Lily Starr said, “College is really a place that you can be choosy about who you surround yourself with, and people will come and go. Don’t feel bad about letting negative people go and always be open to meeting people.” As you become comfortable at college and start to change and grow, your friend group will as well. Not every person you meet is going to be your best friend, but if you close yourself off to the possibility of making new friends once you have found a few, you may miss out on some amazing friendships.

Sophomore, Taylor Frey offers this piece of advice.

“The three keys to a successful first year are time management, involvement, and effort. If you can manage your time well, get involved with the community, and put effort into the academic work you do, you will have a great year.”

Though WC is a small school, there is no limit to what you can do here. Make lasting friendships, excel academically, and be in every club and theatre production and sports team your heart desires, you can do it all. Hopefully, with the advice of our new sophomore class, your first year here at WC will be one of the best of your life.

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