Those who know share their thoughts on how to best capitalize on the college experience
By Maria Pericozzi
Entering college can be scary for some students. It is a whole new world filled with endless possibilities.
Read what current students and alumni wish they knew, and what faculty want you to know.
Don’t be afraid to try new things, said Kassadee Paulo, a junior double major in French and journalism. Find a group of friends that accepts you for who you are. Making friends in college is not easy, but most freshmen that enter college do not know many people in the area.
Professor Arvind Diddi urges freshmen to do a reality check on their major and ask for help in a timely fashion to be more professional. “The sooner the incoming freshmen do the reality check of their major, the better it is,” Diddi said. “This reality check can be done by having constant conversations with their faculty advisers, peers, professors, by doing internships, and shadowing professionals in related fields.”
“Don’t be afraid to approach people and make friends,” said Ian Koscuik. He graduated last year with a major in zoology and a minor in psychology. Other students are definitely just as nervous, but meeting new people is an exciting part of life that freshmen need to do.
Santiago Soto, a sophomore biology major, suggests freshmen choose something that interests them. Soto recommends that science students do not underestimate their lab. If they do well in the class but perform poorly in lab, it will impact their grade.
Alumna Heather Clark advises freshmen to get out and join the clubs that interest them. After joining The Oswegonian, SUNY Oswego’s student newspaper, Clark formed more relationships and gained more experiences. “Don’t be afraid if maybe that club or organization isn’t what you thought,” Clark said. “There is plenty to choose from that may interest you more.”
Maria Murray, an associate professor in the curriculum and instruction department, tells her students to not approach each class the same way.
“Be aware of each professor’s expectations and work to meet them,” Murray said. “Just like your friends and family, all professors are different, so be flexible and adapt to each one’s requirements.”
Murray also said to work hard to stay organized, so you do not become overwhelmed. “Get out and socialize,” Murray said. “Loneliness and boredom don’t stand a chance with interesting friends around.”
Don’t be ‘that person’
“Don’t sit in your dorm alone eating potato chips. Join one of the three nationally recognized media organizations,” said Cole Parzych, a junior broadcasting major.
Parzych is the editor-in-chief for The Oswegonian, the sports director for WNYO and hockey insider for Laker Connection on WTOP-10.
Professors recommend staying ahead in your classes. Always check your syllabus to make sure that you are not forgetting an assignment, as well as giving yourself enough time to complete each assignment.
Business administration alumna Heather Robinson thinks freshmen should network as much as possible. “Grab every opportunity you can,” Robinson said. “You never know what the connections might do for you in the future.”
Make use of your time in college before you need to start paying bills and paying back student loans. Don’t waste any time in college.
Joshua Belfiore, a political science alumnus, said to take the freshman and sophomore years to really figure out what you want to do and spend the next two years working on ways to get experience, through co-ops and internships.
“The job interviews I’ve had so far have touched a lot on things that I’ve done, such as my internship last semester,” Belfiore said. “Get as much exposure as you can. People aren’t looking for students to be all-knowing, but to just have a grasp of what’s going on.”
Junior Eugene Segrue said freshmen should engage in extracurricular activities. Clubs and organizations on campus give students real-world experience and opportunities to meet new people.
There are more than 200 organizations for students to be a part of at SUNY Oswego. There is a place for everyone.
During one’s freshman year, there will be many distractions. Avoid them and focus on why you came to college. You’re here to get a degree.
“Work hard and play hard, in that order,” said JoAnn DeLauter, an alumna who studied marketing. Although it is easier said than done, finding the right balance can be difficult and will ultimately allow anyone to fully take advantage of everything college has to offer. “Stay self-motivated and don’t hesitate to utilize the resources made available to you,” DeLauter said.
Learning to manage time properly is an important way to succeed, said Alana Erkus, an adolescent education major. “When you get stressed, it’s best to take a break and go destress,” Erkus said. “When you are ready to get back to what you were doing, you will be able get more work done.”