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Advice from a Not-so Newbie

Kalaia Jackson, Opinions Editor

Pathways on UM-Dearborn's campus for students to walk from class to class. Photo//Kylie Martin.

Welcome, new and returning students to the UM-Dearborn! I’m sure we can all agree that summer break flew by, but now a new semester is among us, and with that are new memories waiting to be made!

The university currently has over 150 student-led organizations that host events to recruit members. At first, I only joined three organizations to focus on my academics and not overwhelm myself with extracurriculars. As I return this fall as a sophomore, I am now part of nine different organizations! Each one varies in their level of involvement, but I enjoy them all. Of course, I am not suggesting you join as many organizations as possible, but find a couple that interest you. Be an active member by attending events, then decide if you can handle more while also focusing on your studies.

As an incoming freshman, I had classes in two buildings on opposite sides of campus. For the first month, I struggled to find the best way to get to these classes in under 15 minutes. I only had a photo of the campus map to help with directions, and it was hard. I made many mistakes: wearing the wrong shoes, not having a warm enough coat when it was cold, and just not walking fast enough. It was a semester-long lesson and I eventually developed a fast enough pace to get to class with over five minutes to spare – while also not heaving out of breath. The one thing I wish I did before classes started, or in my free time, was walking around campus. It might sound silly, but familiarizing yourself with where you will be for the next four years will pay off in the long run, trust me.

One of the biggest hurdles many students struggle with is asking for help. A lot of them wait until it’s too late to make improvements or simply allow themselves to fail that class or exam. The university offers a plethora of FREE resources that students should take advantage of. When I was taking Calculus I, I went to the Math Learning Center (CASL 2076) every day I had that class, before and after. The tutors are amazing and patient with you as you figure out problems. The Science Learning Center (NSBS 1143) was my savior when I had to learn titrations for Chemistry 136. I learned to love science again, so hopefully this center is just as useful for you as it was for me.

Despite the university being a commuter campus, if you follow the suggestions stated, you can still get the true college experience. Initially, I had the mindset that I would only go to class and then straight home. After doing this routine for almost the entire Fall 2022 semester, I realized I was limiting myself from making memories that can only happen in college. Soon after, I began hanging around campus after my classes just to see what events were happening. The more I did this, I learned firsthand that our University does not limit itself from building a community with its staff and students; meaning we are much more than just a commuter campus.

Starting college can be thrilling and nerve-wracking at the same time. Just remember to try new things at your own pace, don’t compare your journey to others, and remember that you are there for a reason. You will get through this first semester and many more. Believe in yourself, you got this!

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Vincent Intrieri
Vincent Intrieri
Aug 23, 2023

Awesome Job!!!!!

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