Thoughts from Tutors

Senior Reflections: “10 Things I Wish I Knew Freshman Year”

By Rachel Onishi
Master Tutor


  1. Each college has a personal librarian that you can contact through email or in-person. They are incredibly helpful with doing research and finding information for writing papers. Find out who your personal librarian is and establish a life-saving friendship.
  2. Your Raider ID can get you discounts almost anywhere. If you are not sure, it never hurts to ask! I am often pleasantly surprised. Examples: Cinemark Theaters,, FedEx, Rosa’s Café, and some clothing stores.
  3. Market Street is primarily a grocery store, but it has a huge section with tables, free Wi-Fi, and it is open 24/7. It is better to have a late-night study session near coffee and food than in the cold library basement.
  4. Campus buses are your friends; they can actually get you places faster than walking. It is pretty easy to figure out the two main routes and the bus drivers are generally friendly people (they will keep your wallet/keys safe when you accidentally drop it on the bus and forget it for 6 hours).
  5. Professors actually want you to succeed, and oftentimes they want to get to know you. Don’t be intimidated. Go to office hours even if you don’t have pressing questions; just take advantage of their experience and wisdom.
  6. Press save. Often. Then do it again, just in case. Losing pages of hard work is a rough time. Also, purchase space on “The Cloud” or buy an external hard drive to keep your computer backed-up at all times.
  7. Textbooks are expensive. Wait until after “syllabus day” to get your books, because sometimes the professor will admit that they are completely unnecessary. Always rent, don’t buy unless you are terribly interested in the class or topic and you would want to keep the book forever.
  8. Summers must be spent wisely. These summer breaks are critical “gems of time” that can work powerfully to boost your preparedness for life after college. Travel. Get outside your comfort zone and study abroad or just go explore a new culture and language for fun. OR… get an internship. Experience will matter more than your GPA at the end of the day.
  9. Apply. Apply. No matter how unqualified you may feel for a scholarship, an organization, an internship, a job… just do it. Have an updated resume ready-to-go at all times. Write the essay. Go to the interview. It doesn’t hurt to knock on several doors until the perfect one for you opens up.
  10. A healthy mind and body should take priority over everything else. Do what you have to do to stay healthy. Schedule time alone or with people who energize you. Try to eat healthy and workout, but don’t obsess. Invest in one or two friends who truly know you, let them into your life. Find a fun hobby that you can use as a stress-outlet.

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