Overcoming the first challenges of studying at the University


Daily Illini File Photo

These sisters form a triangle with their arms and hands, showing sorority pride during Bid Day on Monday, Sept. 15, 2014.

By Thomas Polcyn, Assistant sports editor

New students will all face some difficult challenges during their first few weeks on campus, but some are much more common than others. Last year during my freshman year, I observed many issues from figuring out directions to finding out where to get food. Here are some of the more common issues I saw, and how to best deal with them.

Finding your classroom

During the first couple weeks of class, this is always one of the biggest struggles, even for upperclassmen.

With a new schedule and different time slots, it can often be hard for students to adjust to having class in so many different buildings.

One huge thing that helped me to get through this was to walk through my schedule with the navigation system on my phone two or three times before classes actually started.

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    This way, you may still need some help from the navigation system, but you should at least have a general idea of where to go when the first class rolls around. Don’t be that guy that walks in 20 minutes late on the first day because you can’t find your class.

    Getting involved

    Getting involved on campus is one of, if not the most, important things you can do as a freshman. By getting involved you get to meet tons of really cool people that have similar interests to you. And it looks great on a resume when you are applying for jobs.

    There are tons of ways to get involved, especially during the first couple of weeks. One of the easiest and most fun is definitely Quad Day.

    Every year, most of the RSOs are there and you are almost guaranteed to find at least one group you would be interested in joining. Even if you don’t end up signing up for any groups it’s still good to see what’s out there and know that you can still get involved later down the road.

    Having fun on campus

    Although class is the most important thing at school, everyone still wants to have fun at school. As a new student, there are countless opportunities to have a good time while still doing great in the classroom. What you do for fun obviously varies from person to person, but here are a few of my suggestions after my experience last year.

    Join organizations you are interested in. Personally, one example was The Daily Illini the independent student newspaper.

    I love to write, and ever since I got involved, some of the coolest stuff I have gotten to do on campus has been through my involvement at “DI.”

    Also, consider joining a fraternity or sorority. Illinois can be a Greek-Life oriented school, so it is easy to find a fraternity or sorority that fits your interests.

    They provide some fun social opportunities, while also giving a lot back to the community through philanthropy and other events.

    Attend sporting events. Even though the Illini don’t always win , the games are still very fun to attend.

    Football and basketball games are some of the most popular, and anyone can have a good time attending them.

    Thomas is a sophomore in Media.
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