“Get involved on campus!”
While I am sure you have heard it many times, looking back it was one of the best pieces of advice I received as a freshman. Getting involved in student organizations has given me so many invaluable experiences and has given an amazing home here at UNI. Joining SigEp has been one of the best decisions I ever made in my time here. Being involved in student organizations has given me purpose & experience in leadership positions, and a family here on campus with my SigEp brothers and fellow students. If you can, joining student organizations will immensely benefit and add to your experience here at UNI. For a list of all student organizations at UNI, click here.
Be the Full Authentic You
Many times in high school we lose a sense of who we are. We conform to what society/ social groups tell us we need to be. I know I was a victim to this mentality. College is a time to start over, though! Wear the clothes YOU want to wear, hang out with the people YOU want to hang out with, pick up the hobbies that interest YOU, join a club YOU want to join,… Be the full authentic YOU. I heard that person is pretty great.
Prioritize Your Mental Health
Now more than ever it is critical that you take your own mental health seriously. Take comfort that in this sea of unknowns, you have several lifelines available on campus including: the counseling center, your RA (if you’re living on campus), other faculty, and most importantly, your peers. There is no shame in talking to your friends and family about the things that stress you out or make your life difficult. No matter what social stereotypes say, it is beneficial to talk about your feelings, and it’s okay to not have a perfect plan laid out.
If you know you need help, call the Counseling Center for a counseling consultation. In my experience the staff are very down to earth and unconditionally kind and understanding of your situation. You are worthy of help, don’t take on this immense burden alone!
Get to Know Your Teachers
Through my undergraduate program, my teachers have aided in my success. With UNI class size being small, it makes it much easier to work with teachers one-on-one. Getting to know your teachers can help you succeed in their class and develop a connection for future endeavors like job opportunities.
When I first moved to on campus, I was quickly overwhelmed by all of the new changes that come with the transition like living with a roommate, taking challenging classes, taking care of myself, and all the other things that come with gaining independence. I let the changes overcome me, which detracted me from branching out and fully enjoying and embracing my new college lifestyle. My advice to new students is to do what they can to be present in their first year. You only have one first year and the transition and growth you will see in yourself is exciting and if you are present and do your best to remember that you are capable and not alone, you will have a more enjoyable first year.
Looking to get more involved at UNI or a community you can call home? SigEp provides brothers with leadership opportunities, personal development programs, and a community of brothers who help each other succeed in college and life. If you’re interested in learning more about SigEp, click here.