Welcome to Drexel University, home of the Dragons and the birthplace of your newfound fear of the quarter system.
I write this with a full heart and only good intentions, as I wish someone had written something like this for me before I dove headfirst into my freshman year.
Tip No. 1: Do not expect everything to stay the same after welcome week.
Everyone is excited to be starting a new chapter of their life. However, sheer artificial excitement and adrenaline are neither enough to sustain lasting friendships, nor enough to maintain a lifestyle that works on the daily, especially once classes have started. Don’t be discouraged if your friend-group changes throughout the year; people are learning more about themselves, and you are too. Invite change and embrace the fact that you are coming into your own.
Time management leads me to my next tip.
Tip No. 2: Do not underestimate the power of the quarter system.
I cannot stress enough the amount of respect and caution you must exercise when you are dealing with the quarter system. Pretend that the quarter system is Thanos and you are Hawkeye: You need to do a lot of planning and preparation to defeat him with what you’ve got.
Purchasing an academic planner and carving out time at the end of each week to organize my schedule are arguably two of the best decisions I have made throughout my time here. It is hard to keep track of assignments and exams, and the last thing you want is for them to creep up on you.
If there’s one time in your life that you should be organized, it’s now. Grab those highlighters and pens and get to work.
Tip No. 3: Always make time for friends and family back home.
I might be in the minority when I say I get homesick quite often. I live two hours away from Philadelphia, and I have a dog that I love more than anything in the world. Being that far from my family is difficult, but it’s something I learned to deal with.
Hence, I take a few minutes every day to talk with my family, and I make time every few weeks or so to call my friends from home. I don’t think there are words to describe the feeling of seeing a familiar face that you have known to bring you happiness for so long. It’s a real morale booster, and it will honestly give you the motivation to keep going with your journey here at Drexel.
I know these are only three tips, and that in order to survive Drexel you probably need a whole handbook, but I think these are pretty much the biggest takeaways that I had from my freshman year that cover a whole general umbrella of things: be organized and smart about your time, find your support system and keep home close to you.
I hope these tips pull you through freshman year, and I’m wishing you all the best.
Here’s to a great year!