Freshmen Survival Guide



June 24, 2020

Time Management

“Whether classes are online or in-person, try to make a class schedule. Include all your classes and club meetings on a calendar or daily planner. Add in the dates that homework, tests and papers are due, and decide when you’re going to complete each assignment or study for exams. Make sure you’re using time allotted to school work effectively by turning your phone off, having a to-do list and working in a quiet space. It’s okay to ask roommates or family members to quiet down when you’re trying to work.” — Melissa Denish ‘22, Elon University

Digitize Your Workflow

“With certain classes being online and colleges having adopted digital forms of teaching and creating assignments, technology has become an integral part of the learning experience. I’ve found that the more I adapt to this with the way I work, the more productive I become. I take all my notes on a computer or tablet and have moved all my textbooks to virtual ones. Doing so has consolidated all of my work into one spot and allowed me to better source and utilize the content I need for my assignments, whether I do them online or by hand.” — Ben Boxer ‘21, Carnegie Mellon University

Joining Clubs

“Most students can only fit one or two extracurriculars into their schedule because of classes and other commitments. Try to find clubs that correspond with your major. You’ll immediately realize you have a lot in common with the members and strengthen your sense of community in the department.” — Zoharia Drizin ‘23, DePaul University

Choosing a Major

“It’s important to make sure your major is something that interests you enough that you can study it for four years. Choose an area of study that coincides with your post-graduate goals. It’s a good idea to do some research about a future career you’d want and its requirements before deciding your major, but keep in mind that a lot of graduate programs and jobs accept a wide range of majors.” — Matthew Farzam ‘20, University of California, Los Angeles

Making Friends

“In the first few weeks, everyone is feeling intimidated about talking to new people. Once you realize everyone is feeling nervous like you, it’ll be easier to open up to people. Just be authentic everywhere you go because that’s how you’ll attract people who are similar to you. If you’re still unsure, just try to say ‘hi’ to a new person and see where the conversation goes.” — Eliot Thorne ‘22, Florida International University

Make Hillel Your Own

“Initially, I was nervous about attending Hillel events, but then I went to my first Shabbat dinner and met so many friendly and welcoming Jewish students. I soon realized I wanted a bigger role in planning Hillel programs, so I became involved with the student board my second semester of freshman year. Now, two years later, I’ve made even more friends and I’m better able to connect with my Jewish identity.” — Shiva Yagobian ‘22, University of Pittsburgh