Surviving your first year



June 19, 2018

Study Spots

“In terms of study spots — get creative! Try to avoid studying in your room and especially your bed because it confuses your brain about whether it’s a place of relaxation or productivity. I like to find little nooks on campus to switch up my study spots whenever they start to make me feel anxious about the tasks ahead of me.”– Carli Fine, University of Maryland, Class of 2020

Making friends

“Making friends is not a big deal. Instead of entering college with the mindset of ‘I need to make friends,’ start with looking for clubs to join, classes to take, and floormates to talk to. There you’ll find your friends and people that have the same interests as you.” — Natan Yakov, University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2020

Make Hillel your own

“Walking into Hillel for that first time can feel a little uncomfortable. But after going a few times, talking to people and starting to get involved, I felt welcome and at home. I went from feeling out to leading services in the span of a year. If you keep an open mind to new people and experiences, you can really start to make Hillel your own, as I did.” — Lily Coltoff, American University, Class of 2020

Find your focus

“Not everything is for everyone and you can’t do everything. Throughout college, I was a Student Government Senator, campus tour guide, writer for the school paper, and a “member” of 10 different clubs. Eventually, I narrowed this list down by figuring out what I truly enjoyed. I ended up finding my place in the Jewish community and put most of my time into Hillel because that’s where my friends were and where I could truly grow as a leader and become my truest self.” — Ross Beroff, Northeastern University, Class of 2018

Showing up

“If you’re going to join a club or organization, constantly show up. I’ve found that with organizations, you get what you put into them. Stick to the organizations you’ve invested in and that have invested in you back.” — Aviv Reif, Temple University, Class of 2020

Packing lists 

“Packing lists are great for telling you how much stuff you need, but what they don’t tell you is what items you need. You might want books to read for fun, which I’ve never seen on any list. Or maybe they tell you to bring rain boots, which you’ve never used in your life. If you think you’ll probably never use something on a list, don’t pack it.” — Emily Kalver, Brandeis University, Class of 2018