Editor’s Column: J.T.’s Declassified School Survival Guide

As the academic school year begins here at Colgate, a new class of first-years arrive to campus, ready to tackle and explore all that Colgate has to offer. Here are some pieces of advice that I would recommend all first-years follow.

Get Involved:

This is arguably the most important thing to do as a first-year, not only at Colgate but at any school. There are a plethora of activities with varying time commitments offered through the Center for Leadership and Student Involvement (CLSI) ranging from available opportunities within the Student Government Association (SGA), club sports, spiritually-focused organizations, news publications, academic groups, cultural groups and dance clubs (to name a few). It may take some trial and error to find what interests you most, but it is certainly worthwhile to join at least a few clubs on campus. If there is a club you’d like to see on campus that has yet to be formed, go to the CLSI office in the COOP. I am sure you can get it started! 

Be as Outgoing as Possible:

Although this is easier said than done, try to meet as many people as you can. In my experience, I have seen first-hand how Colgate students come from a range of diverse backgrounds with unique experiences to share. The more people you interact with and the more people you meet, the easier it will be to find other students to call friends!

Don’t Fall Behind on Classes:

Starting off the first year with a strong focus on academics is the best way to set one up for long-term success down the road. It is crucial to budget significant time on a daily basis for coursework, as Colgate is known for its rigorous academic curriculum. The transition from a high school workload to a college workload can be a difficult adjustment, so allocating enough time for schoolwork is paramount. 

Finding a Balance: 

It can be complicated to find a happy medium between socializing with friends, doing homework and participating in extracurricular activities; it can also be easy to go through cycles where you are focusing on one of those things too much and the others not as much as you should be. Set some realistic goals for yourself and what you hope to achieve, whatever that may be. 

Overall, your first year of college can present challenges, but can be a tremendous learning experience in the classroom and also in the context of personal development. Colgate has many different avenues to pursue that everyone should take advantage of throughout their time at this unique collegiate institution.