You know the saying “it’s the first day of the rest of your life”? That’s how it feels as you move your belongings into a cramped dorm room, pick out what you are going to wear on your first day of class and plot your inevitable world domination. Countless emotions are running through your head; excitement and nervousness are usually the two most prominent. As college life begins, it is easy to feel isolated at a school so large. Homesickness and anxiety can become common feelings during your first year, but that doesn’t mean you are alone!
MSU has countless resources that can help you combat feeling lost, both physically and mentally. As a freshman, you’re only 18 years old. Your professors, advisers, peers and even family understand that you may not know exactly what you want to do for the rest of your life. If you begin your first year as an engineering major and switch during the second semester to communications, nobody will be mad at you. College is about trying new things and figuring yourself out, so don’t feel bad if you do just that! If you’re feeling stuck or not so passionate about your major, do some research online. If you type any major into the search bar on MSU’s website, you’ll find resources about professors, courses and areas of study. From there, you can make appointments to meet with advisers and figure out your plan of action.
Some of the best advice out there is to get to know your professors. They can be some of your biggest allies during your college career, even after you’ve passed their course. On the first day of class, make a point to introduce yourself to your professor. Stay a few minutes late, shake their hand and tell them that you’re excited to take their class this semester. They’ll remember you for that! Once the class kicks into gear, visit your professor’s office hours for extra help. They have office hours to help students pass and to let you know that they’ll be there for you.
The Beatles said it best: “I get by with a little help from my friends.” During your first two years of college, it is important to surround yourself with friends who bring out the best in you. On a campus as large as ours, it can seem overwhelming to try and make friends, knowing that when you meet someone your paths may never cross again. Don’t let that discourage you. There are plenty of opportunities to make friends on campus. When you live in the dorms, try to keep your door open as often as possible for the first month. The people you live with could end up being your best friends. Another way to meet people is to join a club or Greek life. This allows you to become close with students you may not have ever met. You’ll meet friends in all different classes, each with a different major who will love and support you for the years to come.
While your first year at MSU can be daunting, there are plenty of people who want you to succeed. Your advisers, your friends and your professors are all on campus to help you with whatever you may need. Whether you’re worried that you won’t do too well on your finals or you are having a hard time navigating your major, there are resources for you to use. And remember, your family will always be rooting for you as well, so there’s nothing wrong with calling your mom for help.