Connecting with professors and getting involved improves first year

Katrina Schiedemeyer

Freshman year can be filled with nerves, excitement, and anticipation of the semesters ahead, and adjusting to college life can be very different from the flow of high school. However, it doesn’t need to be as daunting as many first year students fear. A few simple tips can help any freshman, transfer student, or be helpful for returning students. It is important to make connections with the professor at the beginning of the semester. This has two primary benefits for the student– academic and personal success. The professor has written the course content so that they understand it better than anyone else. Individual meetings with the professor can help someone grasp the concept in a different way, or emphasize skills needed to succeed in the course. In addition to the academic success, a professor has been through many challenging life obstacles. The life advice they offer is priceless. Whether it is a funny story about going to Walmart at 3 a.m., or networking skills, nearly every moment will teach a lesson in a positive way. “I always knew UWO faculty and staff were involved with students, but it was amazing to see how incredibly passionate they are for the futures of the students,” recent UW Oshkosh alumna, Angelia Vang said. Students should also know that the choices made at the beginning of the semester will have impacts throughout the entire 14 weeks. For example, if a student were to skip class not only will they develop a bad habit, but they will also miss out on important information needed for the entire semester. According to, skipping classes is a huge waste of money that does not really seem tangible until you do the math. If a student were to take 15 credits at UWO a semester, it would cost about $54.00 to attend each lecture. This price does not include textbook, room and board, meal plans, or parking permits. Therefore a missed lecture is a missed $54.00. Another tip for students to remember is to take some time to enjoy college. While the first few days may feel overwhelming with all of the new information, it is important for every student to have some fun. The Student Recreation and Wellness Center is an excellent place to let off some stress or make new friends. Joining a club or organization is a great way to put some talents to use, while increasing the strength of a résumé. Whatever the interest of the student, it is important to make college an incredible experience. After all, these may be the best four years of your life.