My first year at RIT brought many new opportunities into my life. With these new opportunities came obstacles. I was able to learn and grow from many experiences throughout my first year at college, and I’m excited to share my struggles, as well as how I overcame them, in this blog.
1. Choosing a Major
An important part of a first-year’s journey is finding where you fit in; Whether it be the right club for you or even an area of study. I personally had difficulty deciding my major. I entered RIT as an Industrial Design student, which I had thought was the right match for me. At RIT, this program is a stellar academic path, with an awe-inspiring group of faculty and driven students. However, It just didn’t quite feel right for me. I was a bit overwhelmed by the thought of changing my major and was extremely indecisive about what major I would switch to. Eventually, I was able to speak with my advisor about this, and she directed me to the career advising office. I met with a career counselor, and he set up appointments with me to meet with advisors from several academic departments. This experience enhanced my view of all of the fantastic academic programs RIT has to offer. I ended up choosing New Media Design as my major. I am really thankful for my major-choosing journey, as it taught me so much about myself and my school.
2. Staying Organized
There are so many changes that a first-year in college gets to experience. A change that I struggled with at the beginning of my time at RIT was adjusting to the college schedule. As classes started to pick up, I felt myself starting to fall behind slowly. I knew I needed to make a change, and I started with my organization processes. I began using google calendar to place all of my assignment deadlines and important events. It was beneficial to receive a notification on my phone from Google Calendar, reminding me that I had an assignment due soon. I also quickly learned not to save things for the last minute. Unfortunately, this was a lesson I learned the hard way. College life is so much easier if you start things early. Whether it’s a test to study for or an essay to write, it’s never too early to prepare.
3. Finding My Way Around Campus
RIT has a pretty large campus, and luckily, finding my way to certain buildings on campus wasn’t too difficult. I used the map on the RIT mobile app to assist in finding my way around. I did however struggle to find my way around the inside of certain academic buildings. Some of RIT’s buildings are so large that it can get a bit confusing. Luckily, the building floor plans are located on RIT’s website. You’ll have to log in with your RIT computer account in order to view these maps. There is a floorplan of every building, from residential to academic.
4. Keeping Up with Classes
The final major struggle that I tackled my first-year was becoming acclimated to college-level courses. For me, college classes feel much different than my high school classes. There were certain things that I needed to change. One of the changes that I made was enhancing my study strategies. First and foremost, I found myself having to study for longer periods of time. I have learned that setting a timer and staying focused until it goes off has helped me. I also learned the importance of establishing connections with your faculty. Professors have several office hours throughout each week, specifically for helping students. Meeting with my professors has helped me achieve the grades I want and create connections and open doors to new opportunities.
I learned so much my first year of college, and I continue to learn how to be successful during my second year. I am thankful that I entered RIT with a willingness to grow and adapt, as this has allowed me to expand my knowledge and learn at my full potential.