Tips for incoming college freshmen: Get involved

File photo by Emerald McIntyre/Louisiana Tech University

By Emma Stone

As the new academic year for Louisiana Tech and Grambling State begins, it can be hard for college freshman to slip into a new routine. 

With scheduling classes, paying tuition and picking a major, the best advice given by upperclassmen and faculty is to “be yourself.”

Stacy Gilbert, dean of student services and academic support at Tech, begins her 28th year at Tech.

Her best tip: be brave.

“It’s a whole new experience and you aren’t supposed to have all the answers, so ask questions,” said Gilbert. “There are people who want to help you transition to college life, but unlike high school, you may have to seek those people out on your own. So many resources are available, you just have to look for them.”

Resources would include finding an organization or club to join.

Molly Brown, a Tech sophomore, agreed and said she believes that finding a group freshmen enjoy spending time with can help tremendously.

“Get involved. It’s the best way to make friends; shared experiences bond people,” said Brown. “It’s college, so there’s so many new people to meet and so many experiences to share along the way, whether it’s Waffle House at 1 a.m., studying late in Tolliver during finals, or even just going for a coffee run.” 

While classes like freshman year experience are offered, fellow incoming freshman may feel they have a hard time choosing what to major in or dedicate their life to. 

Rhonda Boyd, a Tech kinesiology professor, expressed that finding out one’s motive can help get on one’s feet.

“Know your ‘why.’ Why are you here (in college)? Be passionate about what you’re going to do. You are a young professional now,” said Boyd. “Be present where your feet are in class or in conversations. Communicate with your teachers, because we are here to help.”

For those worried about making low grades or having to drop a class, Gilbert shared her words of wisdom.

“You can be successful in college,” said Gilbert. “It may mean a major change, a tutoring session, better time management or study groups, but I know you can do this. If you are willing to put in the work, you can be successful.”

One piece of advice: it is okay to make changes to your curriculum. There is no “perfect” way to college.

“Do not procrastinate assignments and always check your syllabus for upcoming due dates. Deadlines sneak up on you,” said sophomore Apryl Gallo.

Many colleges, especially Louisiana Tech, have events that go on throughout the school year that are completely free for students to attend. 

“There are so many people you will meet and become friends with. Also tons of freebies,” said junior Jonathon Stiles Jr.

Louisiana Tech University starts the beginning of fall quarter this week. Grambling State classes began last month.