The start of the fall quarter is the most wonderful time of the year. It’s exciting to get back in the swing of classes and to see all the new faces walking around campus. As a proud Drexel student, I look out for my community and care about helping everyone do their best and make the most out of their time here. I understand it’s incredibly overwhelming to be new at this school, but I hope I can help ease the transition for freshmen.
Take advantage of add/drop period for classes. Drexel gives its students until the end of week 1 to add other classes to their schedule or to drop them. If you’re thinking about adding a class, make sure you are not taking too many credits. Most freshmen are probably already taking 16-18 credits, and the maximum is 20, so I wouldn’t recommend adding another class unless you drop one first. I don’t mean to discourage anyone from trying their best in classes, but if you really think that one of your classes sounds too difficult and that you won’t be able to pass it in 10 weeks, drop it. I wish I had done that before I had to withdraw from Math 101 in week 7 of my freshman year. It is much better to foresee that now than to have to take a “W” on your transcript. A “W” is better than an “F,” but it’d be better for there to be no indication at all on your transcript.
If you’re thinking about getting a job, take the time to see how your schedule works for you. You may not think you have a heavy course load now, but just wait until week 2. You are going to want to put all of your focus into school, because that’s what you’re paying for. Drexel is an expensive school — the pressure to make some money on the side to soften the blow can be immense. I receive student loans, but I don’t have family that give me spending money every week. Therefore, during freshman year, I got a part-time job at the campus bookstore. Luckily, they work around my busy schedule, so my shifts don’t conflict with classes. If you do decide to get a job, make sure they will also work around your schedule and be flexible and understanding with you.
Get a bike. You’ll thank me when you have a class at the Academic Building that ends at 1:50 p.m., and another at Lincoln Plaza that starts at 2 p.m. It’s almost humanly impossible to make it on time by walking — believe me, I have tried many times. Unless you want to sprint across campus and show up dripping sweat, getting a bike is your best option. It’s fast, convenient and you get to zoom past the crowds on the sidewalk.
Take the time to be social and make friends. Some people will have no problem doing this, but it bears reminding. Sometimes, it will feel like you have absolutely no time for anything. You will have to prioritize your time because you’ll have so much to do. It’s easy to throw social time at the bottom of the list, but it is important for your sanity. It is refreshing to meet people around you with similar interests. Making friends with other Drexel students can forge a pretty strong bond, especially since we all share the same environment and will all feel the same Drexel shaft at some point. Step out of your comfort zone and say hi to the person in your class who seems cool, or to the people down the hallway from you in your dorm who are always blasting your favorite band’s music.
There’s really no certain way that you should be spending your time at Drexel. You have the power to yield whatever you would like from this experience, so don’t waste it. Just make the most of your time here in any way you’d like. All that matters is that you are successful.