Advice for incoming freshmen

Many of us here at The Poly remember how overwhelming it felt to be a freshman, and after reflecting on our experiences, we have gathered a few bits of advice we wish we knew before we came to Rensselaer.

First of all, it’s okay to be overwhelmed. There’s a lot going on here, and it may be difficult to juggle all of the things you want to do; learn what’s important to you and how to prioritize accordingly. While doing that, remember to enjoy your independence and take more risks. If someone asks you to go do something, even if it’s out of your comfort zone, do it. It might just be worth the perceived risk. You might find a new activity that you enjoy or make new friends, and those are the kind of things you’ll remember when you look back at your time in college.

While the first few weeks of your freshman year are widely considered the best time to make friends, the first group of people you meet do not have to be the people you still consider your close friends 10 years from now. It might take some effort to make those friends, and it might be a little awkward at first, but it’s definitely worth it.

Make sure you try new things that seem interesting, even if they’re out of character for you. Go to the Troy Farmers Market and try a bunch of restaurants in Downtown Troy (and keep an eye out for recommendations in future issues of The Poly). There are also clubs for almost everything here, so go to the Activities Fair to scope them out, and attend a couple of their meetings. At the very least you’ll learn something new, and those people could even end up becoming some of your closest friends.

Take advantage of what RPI has to offer. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Call home once in awhile. And most of all, enjoy your time here while it lasts.