As your senior year of high school is flying by, I know you have a lot of anticipation about moving away to college, but also a lot of worry! There is so much to learn in your first year at college: your way around campus, your new group of friends, your schedule and not to mention figuring out how to combat that freshman stigma. Selecting a college comes with a lot of unknown territory, but THAT’S OKAY! Remember, everyone is in the same position. Since Halloween is about coming face-to-face with your fears, here are some of the first year fears that we would like to help you conquer BEFORE you arrive at HPU as a freshman:
1). Finding your way to a building:
From locating your classrooms to just finding the gym in the student center; I know that all of the names can be confusing. It’s totally okay to ask for directions, carry a map or even ask your peer mentor to walk you around. Everyone is super-friendly and willing to help, so not to worry! And a promise to you – by senior year, you will still be confused when someone says to meet in “comm,” and you’ll have to double check to see if it is Wilson Commerce or School of Communications.
Key Message: ASK FOR DIRECTIONS
2). Feeling small: (feeling like a freshman)
It’s true, you will be the youngest kids on campus, but you can also be the most powerful. You still have the innovation and power to change things. So, don’t be afraid to smile at EVERY single person you see. Take charge – ask upperclassmen to meet for lunch or hangout. You don’t need to worry that you are “that freshman;” instead, be “THAT freshman” that everyone needs to know!
Key Message: SMILE BIG AND TAKE CHARGE
3). Food/Food Allergies:
“What if I am gluten free? Lactose intolerant? Vegan? Is there anything for me at the steakhouse?” HPU offers an amazing variation of dining options. It doesn’t matter where you are dining, there are tons of special diet-friendly options. In the cafeteria, there is a station specifically for vegetarians. At the steakhouse? They make sure there is a vegetarian option each month. What about the bakery? Tons of options to switch out the bread, and there are even pastries that are made gluten free!
Key Message: EVERY DINING LOCATION HAS OPTIONS – JUST ASK
4). Finding Friends:
It’s hard to find the right niche of friends right off the bat. College is awesome in that everyone is friend material. Whether it is your roommate or the girl down the hall, there is always something you can find in common. Want to keep expanding that friend group? Join different clubs! It’s okay that it is halfway through the semester, reach out to the person in charge and ask when the next meeting is. Clubs are always looking to add new members. If you don’t want to join, just start attending events and talking to the people sitting around you. There is always something to talk about. Start the conversation by asking, “Have you been to something like this before?” It’s a great icebreaker for any age!
Key Message: JOIN CLUBS AND INTEREST GROUPS THAT YOU LIKE
5). Feeling Sick:
Being in perfect health all the time is hard. As seasons change, colds go around, and allergies pick up, it’s hard NOT to catch a little campus cold. Not to worry though, you don’t need to fly home or find a place off campus! We have an awesome Health Services office on campus underneath of the Wilson Hall Dorm. Just call and make an appointment and they will take you right away. They make you feel like you are at your home doctors office.
Key Message: GO TO HEALTH SERVICES
6). First Year Classes:
Classes WILL be a little different than high school – that is a fact. There are tons of services to help you transition. First, you can always talk to your professor; don’t be afraid to go to them during their office hours early and often during the semester! There are also tutoring services on the 4th floor of Smith Library, or your professor can set you up with someone. Also, never be afraid to buddy-up with someone else in class. It is always nice to have a study buddy!
Key Message: ASK FOR HELP/TALK TO YOUR PROFESSORS
7). Figuring out a schedule and routine:
Getting adjusted to a new routine can be intimidating. It’s okay to be a little afraid of trying new things. Once you do them, though, you will know if you want to continue with them or not. So, don’t hesitate to adjust your schedule a few times during the semester. Whether it’s to get the right study habits down, or the proper fitness routine, this is the time to make lifestyle changes or to cultivate new habits. Oh, and don’t worry – once your classes change next semester you get to do it all over again! Embrace the change, because this is one of the only times in your life that you will get to select your own schedule!
Key Message: EMBRACE ROUTINE CHANGE
8). Finding a major:
Okay, this one is tough. Everyone is declaring majors and minors right, left and center, and you still feel clueless! Every upperclassman is committed to their specialty and you just can’t seem to find one. That’s okay! You really don’t have to worry about declaring a major until spring semester sophomore year. With that being said, don’t hesitate to try different classes and talk to your advisor to figure out what you might like. Explore around to find what you are truly passionate about
Key Message: DON’T RUSH TO DECLARE A MAJOR
9). Feeney’s, Barberitos, Blue Zucchini
What are these places that people are talking about and how can I get there? There are plenty of great places to go around the City of High Point. From local restaurants, to $1 Monday night bowling to hiking in the mountains, don’t be shy to get off of campus! HPU offers weekend shuttles to get off campus and there are various events through the campus activities team (C.A.T.), so make sure to take advantage of those. Also, you can sign up for the Zipcar. This is similar to a rental system where you can take out one of the cars on campus for a certain amount of time, so you don’t need to worry about having your own car here. A lot of people do have their car here on campus, so you can always buddy-up with them and catch a ride with a group. There are many ways to get around, so be sure to explore off campus too!
Key Message: DON’T BE AFRAID TO GET OFF CAMPUS
Do you feel a little better? It’s okay to be a little confused, even during the middle of the semester your freshman year! Honestly, this is the toughest time of transition! However, really establishing yourself and getting over fears early will help you in the long run! Just remember everyone is in the same boat! Just ask, get help and embrace every moment because your current fears will turn into silly flashbacks when you are a senior!
Lisa Carlson, ’16
Admissions Marketing Intern