Upperclassmen share tips for first-year students

Written by Sophie Hobbs

Many Bluffton students have fond memories of their freshman year. Moving in, meeting your roommate and figuring out where each of your classes are located are just a few of the standard back-to-school rituals for college students.

These same students, who are now upperclassman, have learned a lot from their time at Bluffton. Though each person’s road to success follows a different path, some upperclassmen gave their freshman selves different tips – tips new students might find useful.

Courtney Davis, a sophomore pre-med major, wishes her freshman self would have taken a step back and slowed down.

“I wish I had known that taking my time would help me more than rushing,” Davis said. “I would have taken my time in planning stuff out if I had known.”

Lauren Dickerson, a senior social work major, wishes that, as a freshman, she cared less about other people’s opinions.

“Internally, wanted to be closer with my professors because that would’ve helped me study and to do better in classes,” said Dickerson. “But, externally, I didn’t want to be a ‘teacher’s pet’.”  

Freshman learn and experience new things. Many students who live on campus go through freshman orientation and the get-to-know-you activities, and often, this is where the first college friendships are formed.

“We had the freshman Olympics and our welcome week groups, but I was shy and quiet, so I didn’t really talk to that many people in our group,” said Ty Avila, a junior broadcasting and journalism major. “After I became comfortable with campus and with living on my own, I started reaching out to some of those and other groups of people.”

Bob’s Place doubles as an area for students to gather in community while snacking on what many students describe as delicious food. Lucas Keller, a junior socioeconomics major, wishes he would have known about Bob’s sooner.

“Being able to take your food in there and sit on the couches with your friends is a lot more fun than trying to scream over the other people in The Commons,” said Keller.

Although Bluffton aims to create an open community of trust, some students may feel like underdogs in a strange world. Second-year student Karissa Allen, a second-year sports medicine major didn’t realize the resources right around the corner.

“I wish I would’ve gotten closer to the upperclassman girls on my floor,” Allen said. “I’m sure they would’ve been great with advice and helped me pick classes and professors.”

Nicholas Hoffman

Nicholas Hoffman, a sophomore accounting major, wishes he would have known about having access to his Bluffton email on his iPhone.

“No one ever showed me how to do that. I still to this day can’t figure it out,” said Hoffman.

In addition, Hoffman regrets not discovering places on campus sooner, but he is thankful for his resident advisor who became a resource for all his questions.

For more information on campus resources and support, students can talk to their RA or Becoming a Scholar mentor.

About the author

Sophie Hobbs

Hometown: Lewisburg, Ohio
Major: Communication
I'm working for the Wit because I love writing and I want people to know what's happening on campus!
An interesting fact: My sister and I share a birthday, but she's eight years older than me.
Career Goals: To enjoy working and to be able to follow my morals and ethics in the career I choose.

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