Here are some things I wish I would have done and known my first year at the University of North Dakota.
Enjoy the dorm life, use the wellness, go support the athletic teams, be a part of a student organization, get to know your professors and the toughest part of freshman year is deciding on your major.
Don’t go back to your hometown every weekend. See what UND has to offer other than classes during the week. You will meet some of the best people in your hall. When living in the dorm, try and leave your door open so people can come talk to you. Trust your resident advisor, they are there for you and are looking out for you while living in the dorm. If things aren’t working with your roommate talk to them and see if you can figure out a solution for the problems going on with each other. If talking about the problem doesn’t go well or change things talk to your RA and try to get a room switch. Trying to just get through a bad roommate situation on your own could ruin your experience of the dorms and isn’t good for your mental health.
I wish I would have used the wellness center more during my freshman year at UND. The wellness offers so much more than just a place to work out. Get a team together and play intramurals once a week. Try out that group exercise class that you have never done before. Climb that rock wall. You could learn how to cook healthy meals at the culinary corner. They have so much to offer for UND students, go check it all out!
Go support the athletic teams and sign up for Nodak Nation! Once you are signed up, don’t forget to take advantage of their promotions and giveaways. They often have free food for students at games too. Who doesn’t love free things, especially food? You may have classes with the players or they might live on your floor or in your hall. Attending games is another way to socialize with your peers. They put in a lot of work to be where they are and love to see their peers in the stands.
One thing I did not do until my last year of college was join a student organization. I wish I would have joined earlier because I found what I liked and what I didn’t like about what I wanted to do after college. Also, it looks good on a resume. The socializing and networking part will help you and it’s something to do. Joining a student organization doesn’t have to involve what you want to have a career in, you can join a club that is about something you believe in.
Another thing I did not do until later in my college career was getting to know my professors. Yes, right now you are in classes of over 100 plus students. Professors do understand things happen and will help you out if you talk to them and give them a heads up. They will also help you with what classes would work best for what you want to major in. But get in the habit of doing it now because when you need that letter of recommendation, your professors will know who you are.
Lastly, during my freshman year, I switched my major five times. When you switch your major, you may feel that people or your family are looking down on you but it’s okay. It’s okay to realize that you don’t like what you thought you should major in. Even if changing your major sets you back a semester or two, you are moving forward with your career choice and it is exactly where you need to be. What you decide to major in is a big part of your life. Major in what makes you happy.
Overall freshman get involved on campus and pick a major that makes you happy!