Faculty, staff offer advice about campus life to incoming students
Hallways were crowded with furniture and belongings as freshmen moved into their residence hall rooms across campus Saturday.
With Leadership Safari commencing later that day, participants spent their days settling into their rooms before activities began.
Accompanied by his family, Mitchell Banks of Grand Rapids moved into his room in Merrill Hall. When it came to Safari, Banks said he was thrilled.
As far as adapting to the new environment, he is worried about finding his classes and his way around campus.
Worried about what happens when you lose your I.D., when you need academic advising or a tutor? Here are numbers for resources on campus:
- Campus ID Office: (989) 774-3484
- Academic Advising: (989) 774-7506
- Counseling Center: (989) 774-3381
- Student Organizations: (989) 774-3017
- Scholarships and Financial Aid: (989) 774-3674
- Academic Assistance: (989) 774-3465
- IT Help Desk: (989) 774-3662
- Volunteer Center: (989) 774-7685
- Tutors: (989) 774-6607
- Student Activity Center: (989) 774-3686
“I feel once I get situated and start meeting people it will be better,” he said. “I think it’s going to be fun, especially meeting a bunch of new people, like people from out of state. I’m just really excited to hear their stories.”
Being his first time living way from home, Banks is looking forward to the experience of living in the residence halls and having roommates.
“I’m really excited about the freedom of it, that you can just hang out with your friends and do whatever you want,” Banks said.
With that freedom however comes also the responsibility of attending classes and managing coursework. Leslie Wallace, a faculty member in the College of Health Professions, said freshmen come to her every year with concerns. She said the answer she always gives to new students is to attend class and reach out to professors with questions.
For students worried about finding their way around campus, she advised them to reach out to others and their RAs in the residence halls.
“Once you get into the dorms, go together with your roommates to get books and go figure out your class schedule, walk around and get acquainted with the campus,” she said.
Wallace also emphasized the importance of attending MainStage on Saturday, Aug. 26, where students can become familiar with different organizations and opportunities on campus.
David Patton, interim associate vice president of Enrollment Management, said getting connected with the campus is essential for students when they arrive.
“I think the most important things for (students) to do is try to get involved,” he said. “If they’re not sure what their major is because they’re still freshmen, then get involved in something that just might be an interest.”
Getting involved is what freshman Taylor Winzer of Marysville plans to do to get acquainted with campus. She said she participated in Safari not only to move in a week early, but to surround herself with familiar faces in case she gets homesick.
“I want to get involved with as many things as I can,” Winzer said. “I think that will help me get to know people.”
Winzer was not the only one who used Safari as a way to become acquainted with campus, freshman Carlee Long of Marshall also participated. She heard it was a good experience and a way to make friends.
“I’m nervous about probably not knowing where to go or remembering where my dorm or something is,” Long said.
Interested in participating in Greek Life, Long said she wants to discover all the programs and organizations that correlate with what she enjoys.
Skyler Boeding, Merrill Hall residence hall director, said when it comes to incoming freshmen, Merrill Hall staff wants to accommodate them in any way they can. He said the halls focus on social events to get people to interact.
“Our main focus is (having) a welcoming atmosphere,” Boeding said. “(We want to) bridge the gap between home and into the new atmosphere of college.”