“It goes by fast,” they always tell you. I know it’s cliche to say that time has flown at Fairfield, but it really has gone by so fast. As a rising senior, I love reflecting on my time here at Fairfield. I remember being a first-year student like it was yesterday. There are so many parts of that time that transform you for the rest of college. The uncertainty, the fear, the excitement; nothing truly prepares you for a life change like college. Here are a few things that I wish someone told me during my first year at Fairfield.
First, put yourself out there and make meaningful connections! Embrace the new people around you and find activities to do together. Friends are going to be your lifeline in your first year as you’re adjusting to life away from home. The friends you make now could lead you to some of the best friendships and experiences of your life. Don’t let the time go by without fostering at least a few meaningful friendships. It will be so worth it.
Take advantage of every resource that Fairfield provides you. Every department at Fairfield has a different group of advisors that can help you with all of your needs, from choosing a major or applying for an internship. It’s never too early to start making connections with professors and letting them know your interests. Time flies by, so make sure to take the initiative and find the professionals in your field. They are in your corner and want to help!
Make the most of the town of Fairfield! There are so many beautiful beaches, coffee shops and restaurants that make college more fun. It may seem daunting without a car on campus, but take the Stag Bus and go into town! The fall and spring weather at Fairfield is beautiful to be outside in. One of my favorite spots to go to in nice weather is Sasco Hill Beach. Find a place that feels like home to you, and it’ll make the adjustment to campus life so much easier.
It’s cheesy to say, but try to get involved in a few new activities on campus. Take it from someone who wasn’t as inclined to join my first year, but is now involved in some great opportunities on campus. Join an intramural sports team or club, take a class at the gym or even find a job on campus! Fairfield has a diverse selection of activities that fit so many different groups of students. The Fairfield Mirror is a great example of a club I joined at the end of sophomore year and now have written a number of articles. I found that I really enjoyed sportswriting and have made it a hobby of mine. Finding your niche on campus is one of the coolest parts of college, and it can help you navigate your real passions for your post-graduate career. As a first-year, your number one priority is trying things and seeing what works! Sign up for a bunch of new clubs and find a few that you feel passionate about and can see yourself growing with.
Plan out your classes a significant amount of time before your registration date. Registration can be stressful and hectic, but if you work with your advisor on a solid plan, it will ease your worries by registration date. Even if you do not get all of the classes you want right away, there will be so much time to catch up. Do not stress if you feel overwhelmed with how many courses you need to complete the core. We all get it done! Take the classes that work best for you and your schedule; everything will work out the way it is supposed to.
The most important piece of advice that I have is to have fun. Cherish every moment you have in college. You only go through college once, and your undergraduate years are transformative. Work hard, but enjoy the next four years. Whatever it is that makes you happy, do it. One day you’ll be in my position, wishing you could hit pause. Don’t rush it and enjoy each stage of the journey as it comes.