Beginning your first year at RIT is an exciting but at times daunting experience, but have no fear. I’ve got your back. I asked a few fellow RIT students and alumni for advice for incoming students. I also asked them what they wish they knew when they were freshmen. So here’s some advice from people who have been in your same shoes and came out of it with a great experience.

Hunter, a current Physician Assistant student, says, “Start creating a good routine early, when work is simple. Having a good routine to keep you productive will prevent you from having to climb your way of a hole come finals/project due dates.” As a freshman, that’s about the most simple but also some of the most important advice you can receive. A good routine is crucial.

Sarah, a Graphic Design 2015 graduate, suggests, “Get out of your comfort zone! Go to events and join clubs just to meet other people with different pasts and experiences. This broadens your horizons and connections in so many ways. It’s easy to be friends with people that are just like you, so GO! Get out of your comfort zone and go meet interesting people!!”

Liah, also a 2015 Graphic Design graduate, adds, “Try to always look at the positives of anything that happens during the first moments as a freshman. Always look for the next challenge. Don’t stay in that dorm room! Get out and explore! People don’t bite, at least not the ones worth meeting. Above all, keep doing things that take you out of the ordinary, the routine. You will grow SO much and your future self will thank you.”

I definitely agree with both Sarah and Liah. The best thing you can do as a freshman is get out and meet people. Otherwise, the rest of your college career won’t be as fun as it could be.

As far as meeting people, Tom, a 2015 New Media Marketing graduate, has the following advice: “Get mentors early on. I became friends with some older students early on and it changed my life. They pushed me to get involved, gave me advice when I needed it and told me what I needed to know. I got really lucky by having these mentors accidentally without realizing it. This also goes for professors, too. They have a wealth of knowledge and connections about your major and career.”

Maddie, a third year Advertising Photography major, suggests, “Do not hang on to things from high school. College is a time for learning new things, meeting new people and growing into yourself. The worst thing you can do is keep yourself in a box, not willing to let new things in.”

Drew, a 2013 MIS graduate, says to “build relationships with your professors and try to get an internship every summer!”

On a less serious note, there are two really important points you need to know as a freshman. First, as Veronyka, a Class of 2018 Marketing and Advertising & Public Relations double major says, “Do not stress eat. The freshman 15 is not a joke.” Second, Jen, a 2016 Nutrition graduate says, “There are many places for student discounts and your ID card doubles as a memberships to BJ’s on Jefferson.” Take advantage of that free BJ’s membership as long as possible.

Welcome to your first year at RIT! Make the most of every second.

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