Freshman tips and tricks

Upperclassmen and others share advice and tips for incoming freshman

By Kendall Westgate, Pulse Editor

With classes starting, incoming freshmen may feel all the stress and excitement, but there’s some tips and tricks to calm back-to-school nerves.

“Taking advice from my upperclassmen friends really helped because they know exactly what you’re going through and they can offer really sound advice that freshmen might not be aware of,” University of Findlay sophomore Emma Parrish said. “If you don’t have many upperclassmen to talk to, go talk to professors because they all want us to succeed, so take advantage of the advice they have for you.”

Besides taking advice from upperclassmen and professors, establishing a schedule can help with time management and alleviate stress. If the stress and anxiety piles up from trying to manage time, there’s no harm in asking for help by reaching out to friends, family, professors or the UF counselors.

“Make a good schedule and stick to it. Even just plan time to just sit on your phone,” UF junior Zoe Wallace said. “I was pretty overwhelmed my freshman year and making a schedule helped me see that I didn’t have as much to do as I thought and helped organize my mind.”

Creating a schedule also includes planning study time. UF offers many different locations to work on homework, including the CBSL, AMU and even your dorm room. Establishing good study habits helps ease the burden of the course load.

“Studying in the AMU at night is probably one of my favorite study spots on campus. It’s normally pretty quiet and there aren’t a ton of distractions,” Parrish said. “For group studying the business building is my normal go to since it is a bit louder in there, so conversation won’t bother others who are trying to study.”

On top of time management, there’s many tips to help save money around campus. Take advantage of the campus resources, like your dining plan, since it was already paid for, according to NitroCollege. UF also offers free activities, like movie tickets, clothing and food at different events around campus.

“The best way to save money on campus is to make full use of your derrick dollars,” Wallace said. “There’s no reason to spend a bunch of money on coffee, snacks and food when you can buy things from Jazzman’s, Henderson, etc. Derrick dollars are also great to help you save money on fast food, like Jimmy Johns.”

Findlay offers Derrick Dollars as part of the meal plan. They can be used at Culver’s, Domino’s, East of Chicago Pizza, Jimmy John’s, Penn Station and Sweet Frog. For more information on Derrick Dollars, check out Off-Campus Dining (

By taking advantage of the meal plan to save money, many freshmen can make friends at Henderson Dining Hall. UF also offers orientation events and clubs, so freshmen can meet new people. Making new friends and creating a social network can suppress feelings of homesickness during the first year of college, according to NitroCollege.

“I would say the biggest thing is to go to the events put on during orientation or clubs you may be interested in. You’ll be able to meet people who have similar interests to you,” Parrish said. “Another thing would be to allow yourself to be open minded about where you’ll be making friends. Even just sitting next to someone random in one of your classes can lead to close friendships.”

Even though many incoming freshmen feel stressed coming into school, there’s plenty of resources to help reduce that stress. Making friends, managing time and finding ways to save money are just a few tips to start the college year off on the right foot.

“Don’t stress the small stuff,” Parrish said. “You have so much of your college experience left to go; that come the end of your first year, you’re not even going to remember half of the problems that you had in the first half of the year.”