A frequent mistake freshmen make during their first year of college is missing out on opportunities because they don’t know what is available to them. This could be an internship, class, tutor, or extra credit. To ensure you don’t miss out on any helpful information, try and become a familiar face to a few people on campus.
5 People to Get to Know on Your College Campus
- Your Advisor
One of the most important people to your academic success during college is your academic advisor. They will help you stay on track for graduation and ensure you take all the required courses you need to complete your major.
If you have any questions about what classes to take, if you can drop/add a class, or any general concerns about what to expect for your next four years, meet with your advisor. Typically, all incoming freshmen will be assigned to a specific advisor who oversees a large group of students. It can be easy to get lost in a sea of names and vague faces, so try to find their contact information or office and pay them a visit. This can benefit you in the long run when it comes time to select your classes, as your advisor will know a little more about what is offered and point you to classes that may interest you.
This one feels like a no-brainer, but that’s because your professors will be one of your most significant sources. A lot of your professors have hundreds of students, and you can get lost in the crowd pretty easily, so it doesn’t hurt to introduce yourself within the first week or two. Taking advantage of office hours is another great way to get to know your professors. Even if you have a simple question about a lecture or are interested in something related to your field, your professors will often enjoy you coming in to speak with them.
It can be a little intimidating to reach out to them first, but at the end of the day, they are on your side and want to help you succeed!
- Resident Assistant
Your resident assistant, or RA, is another fairly obvious one, but not one that many people take time to get to know. Your RA is meant to be your go-to person for living on-campus and adjusting to your new life, and they can offer some constructive advice. RAs know what it feels like to move to a new place and be surrounded by thousands of new faces. If you are curious about the culture at your college or fun things to do on campus, see if your RA has any insight.
It can be a little awkward at times to approach them, especially if they just wrote you up for something like a candle in your dorm room or for playing music too loud. But it’s helpful to remember that they’re also students and have been in your shoes before!
It’s almost too obvious that you should get to know your roommate, but it may not cross your mind to get to know your neighbors, too! If your RA hosts an event on your floor, ask your neighbors if they want to go together. It’s nice to know the people who are living around you because you never know if you’ll need a ride to the airport, a buddy to eat in the dining hall with, or you may just make a new best friend!
- Teacher’s Assistant
Maybe you’re intimidated to go into teacher office hours but still need help with your course material. This is a perfect instance to go and talk to your TAs! Typically your TA, if your class has one, will be someone close to your age and someone who has taken the course before. Check to see if your TA has office hours, or you can even try to catch them after class to chat and ask questions. They are a great resource to have in your courses, and there can be a little less pressure speaking to them instead of your professor directly.
You will meet hundreds of new people in your first month of college, and you may never speak to half of them again, which is completely normal. That is also why it is important to remember specific people you interact with in your classes and on-campus because they will be great resources later on down the road. Keep these key people in mind and make a point to get to know some or all of them!
Joining the team for a second year, Morgan is a sophomore at the Walter Cronkite School in Downtown Phoenix for ASU Barrett Honor College. She’s a native Arizonian, and taking after her dad, she loves writing and art of all mediums. Morgan is excited to gain new experiences through her second summer as an intern at GradGuard and form new relationships with the GradGuard team.