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Tips and tricks to staying on track

Upperclassmen give some suggestions on how to navigate the social and academic challenges faced in the first year of college.
Christina Fuleihan, Staff Writer

In order to challenge ourselves, grow into global citizens, and be successful adults, we must learn to embrace the things that scare us and not back down from a challenge.  For most of us, the anticipation leading up to first semester of our freshman year has been honed for a long time.  The transition from high school to college can be intimidating and terrifying – but it is also a time of growth, self-realization, and excitement, so embrace the transition and remember that these might just be the best years of our lives.

Here are a few tips to get you ready for Fall 2016:

Freedom comes with responsibility.

It’s true that you will have a lot more freedom and free time in college, but make sure to set time aside to work on those time-management skills.  Planners, for instance, are a definite must.  College is a time to have fun, but it’s also a time to work.  We’re here to learn, after all.

Expand your circle and embrace the diversity you will find on campus.

You will be meeting a lot of new people this year, people with strong passions that you might or might not feel the same way about.  The environment, human rights, and global citizenship are just a few of the big issues you’ll be hearing about again and again on campus.  Listen, debate, share each other’s ideas; there is a lot we can learn from one another.

Try new things.

Sure it’s a cliché, but it’s a cliché for a reason.  If there was ever a time to experiment, it’s now.  There are tons of clubs on campus that would love to recruit you; just visit the Rollins Get Involved website.  Trust us when we say new members are always welcome.

Save yourself the roommate drama.

You guys don’t have to be best friends from day one, but make sure there are some ground rules you both can agree on.  Personal space and communication are the two most important conditions to maintaining a healthy roommate relationship. Speak up if something is bothering you. You have to live with this person for a whole  school year.

Scheduling is undoubtedly the most strenuous part of the college experience.

If you thought class schedules were troublesome in high school, think again.  Liberal Art schools encourage you to explore your options, to take that art class that has nothing to do with  your major. Here at Rollins there is a plethora of interesting and unusual classes that definitely seem enticing.  If a class catches your eye, take it!  Whether or not it fits into your schedule is an entirely different question. . .

Coffee will be your new best friend.

If you don’t already have a go-to Starbucks beverage, well, this is the time to get one. You still have time before the stress of exams and final papers, so try something new.  Not all caffeinated beverages are created equal, so figure out what works for you.  You’ll need something especially strong if you have an 8am class.

 Don’t be afraid to say hi!

We’re a small school, and that’s what makes Rollins so special.  Don’t worry, you will constantly see familiar faces around campus after the first week of school.  And if you see someone you don’t know – don’t be afraid to introduce yourselves.  We’d love to get to know you too.


Jojo Peloquin, Writer

All too quickly the summer of 2016 has come to an end, so students should be planning ahead for their semesters and making it back to campus to reunite with friends (or make some new ones).

For first year students, this might be a difficult time because some of you will be leaving your families for the first time. Some of you will be crossing states or moving overseas into a completely new culture., language and climate.

For those of you making a large move, it is important to remember that Rollins is not only a community but a family and that everyone on campus is dedicated to helping you find your place here. You may feel alone, but you are certainly not. Joining clubs or different organizations is a fantastic way to meet new people. You already have more in common with the students here than  you think; it’s just a matter of finding your group.

First year students may also be stressing about getting acclimated to the new academic expectations. The workload is vastly different from high school, but Rollins professors want you to engage with them to conquer it. They want to know when you have questions or issues with their assignments.

If that’s not enough, take advantage of TJ’s, the writing and tutoring center. The students there are trained to help their peers with any subject and any style of writing. It is important to remember that there is always someone willing to help and there are few questions they can’t answer.

For the rest of the returning students, this is a perfect time to start getting a game plan together for the semester. Staying on top of our work and setting goals will help prevent a hectic end of the semester. There’s only so much caffeine and cramming can do; actual preparation has to be accomplished as some point.

When work starts to become too much to handle and stress starts to take over, remember that self-care is number one. If you need to take a nap, take that nap. If you need to talk to someone, schedule an appointment with CAPS (Counseling and Psychological Services) or reach out to a friend or faculty member that is willing to listen. It’s okay to take a break once in a while.

Professors understand the crazy end-of-the-year rush, so some are willing to give extensions when deemed necessary. Do try to be respectful and responsible when asking though; they’re under no obligation to grant you one. They should also not be the result of you neglecting to do your work the whole semester.

Aside from all the craziness, it is time to get excited for another beautiful year at Rollins! Whether it is your first year or last year, first arriving or coming back to campus is always exciting because of the fresh faces of new students and the return of some of your closest friends.

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