Manchester University
Oak Leaves

September 21, 2018

Advice, Answers for First-Years

Allyson Fogerty

For many first-years, this step into college comes with questions, fear and excitement.

Without the gilded wings of an upperclassman constantly over the shoulder or a professor’s encouraging word always at the ear, it can be hard to know the secrets of a successful college year, but many campus personnel are more than willing to give out words of wisdom to any first-year when asked.

A running consensus with individuals on campus and off is to get to know your professors. Do not be afraid to ask them for help, especially when it comes to homework. It is okay not to know what you are doing, but utilize the help offered on campus and by your professors. 

Desiree Blum, junior, says to study ahead of time, but offers a caveat. “Do not compare your accomplishments to other students’ because you are all at different stages in your academic and working career,” she said. 

Beate Gilliar, a beloved and respected professor on campus, says to embrace what is new. “Learn from others,” she said. “Remain open. Everyone has a story. Yours is also in the making.” 

She advises students to treasure their time here and says that one must allow themselves to learn even if it seems impossible. You must meet your timelines, a planner is a must, and go to class even if you are unprepared. 

Gilliar’s final thoughts on the subject were to “meet, meet, meet” Manchester’s international students. “Visit the new center,” she said. “You will miss out if you do not; and their programs are awesome!” 

Not only are there upperclassmen and professors willing to share their advice, but there are many former Manchester University students in town who are willing to share what they find important as well. 

Heidi Lovett, who took classes at Manchester and who lives in town with her husband and child, had some words of wisdom when it came to having a successful college experience. She says to wash your dishes as soon as you use them. If you live in a suite, make a cleaning schedule so you and your suitemates can take turns keeping the common areas clean. She advises students to buy their books on Amazon or eBay to help cut the cost, and to go to class even if it you do not like it. 

Lovett also advises students to stay on the weekends. “Don’t take a single second for granted,” she said. “It will be over so quickly, and you’ll look back on it as one of the most magical times of your life.”

With all the support on campus, and all the help that is offered, there is no reason that this year at Manchester University should not be a well-fulfilled, exciting year for the campus’s first-year students.