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Advice from Upperclassmen: Be 'ESF Enthusiast'

Returning students share tips with freshmen
9/5/2014

Adjusting to college life can be one of the most stressful and daunting transitions that a young adult experiences. Between finding classes, making friends, and even feeding yourself, the first week of college can be challenging, if not overwhelming.

ESF's upperclassmen have some advice for new students.

Perhaps the largest hurdle to overcome as a freshman in college is learning how to step out of your comfort zone. ESF senior Andrew Kim, a transfer student from New City, New York, said that allowing yourself to experience new things is essential to being successful in college.

"Don't be afraid to ask questions or express your feelings, whether that be to faculty and staff or fellow students," he said. He also urged freshmen to pick up a hobby or join a club and to "always make time to relax away from school work and peers" to help relieve stress.

Diana Jagde, a junior in environmental studies, offered that simply "walking around with a smile" will make you much more approachable. It's important to remember that every freshman is in the same boat, so having a positive attitude can go a long way. Jagde also noted that one of the benefits of this small campus is that "people at ESF are nice; so be open and friendly."

It is also important to make sure you stay focused academically. Corinne Schroeder, an environmental biology major from Mount Olive, New Jersey, said, "Don't be afraid or ashamed to get a tutor early in the semester because it will save you from getting too far behind."

Tucker Smith, a wildlife science major from Bethel, Connecticut, added that new students should "take advantage of the services, like the Writing Resource Center, that are offered around campus."

Katarina Bagari, a sophomore environmental resources engineering student from Loudonville, New York, encouraged freshmen to get to know their teaching assistants (TAs) in addition to their professors. "Go to the TA's office hours, especially for classes like chemistry 1 or 2," which a lot of freshman take their first year, she said.

Ultimately the formula for success in college is to put into it what you want to get out. Tessa Janicke, a student in environmental studies, offered maybe the simplest advice for being successful here: "Be a full-blown ESF enthusiast."

- By Tom Howson, ES '15