Advice for Incoming First-Years!

Hi and welcome to all of the incoming Scripps first-years! As my first year at Scripps comes to an end, I’ve been reflecting a lot on my time here and what advice I would give to people coming to Scripps (or any college) for the first time. I have some tips below that I hope you find helpful or comforting to have!

1. Orientation Week

Honestly, this one was one of the most stressful weeks of my college experience, and I wasn’t expecting it to be. It is so many emotions at once, so much information being thrown at you, so much social interaction, and so much uncertainty. It can be an overwhelming time, so my biggest piece of advice is to take time for yourself. Take some time to make your space feel like home (this doesn’t mean it has to be perfectly decorated by the end of your 2 hours on move-in day). Bring out the things that are most important to you and keep them on your bed or desk – for me, keeping my journal and vitamins next to my bed like I had at home was a small thing that brought some normalcy to an otherwise bizarre week. Orientation can also be stressful because you might feel like you have to find your people right away, but this is not true at all! I’d recommend that you put effort into having long, genuine conversations (beyond the superficial “wow it’s so hot” or “where are you from?” that you have with every single person you see) with a few different people each day. Try to find a balance – you don’t want to be having 50 superficial conversations, nor do you want to only talk to the same 1 person the entire time. Finally, I would say that the homesickness or loneliness you might feel at the beginning will go away, no matter how close you are to family/friends at home. College will feel like home soon, even if you don’t always love it. You will learn how to settle into yourself very soon, if you haven’t already!

2. Social Life

Because Scripps is such a small school, it’s common to see friend groups form relatively quickly on campus. You might find yourself spending a lot of time with the same few people and really enjoying their company, which is great! That being said, I would highly recommend making an effort into connecting with people outside of your immediate friends as well. Go out of your way to ask the random person you talk to in your CORE class to get dinner with you. Keep in touch with these people and spend time with them on a regular basis! There are so many wonderful people at Scripps and I’d encourage you to form real connections with them through conversation. Also, if you aren’t part of one friend group, that’s great too! The advice above absolutely applies. If you are looking to make more friends, I’d also recommend joining clubs that sound genuinely interesting to you. It’s always easier to connect with people that care about the same things you care about. If you find that you don’t really like the vibe of a club, you should quit and join a different one. This is not high school! You have the freedom to make your own choices, and you don’t have to love the first club you join. You have so much time to explore and find what you like.

3. Academics

Registering for classes can be a really stressful time but also so exciting! You have so many options to choose from. It’s completely okay to not know what you want to study coming into Scripps. If you do have a fully planned out schedule, be prepared to be flexible because you might not get every class you want, and that’s okay. I would highly recommend trying out classes that sound interesting to you, especially if they fulfill GEs, even if it’s not a class you’d normally take. My favorite class I’ve taken at Scripps has been with a history professor, and I have no intention to study history. Also, utilize add/drop period! If a class seems boring to you, drop it and join another class. Don’t waste your tuition money on a class you hate. It is so normal to switch your schedule around. Finally, I’d recommend consulting your academic advisor if you just feel like talking through different class options. If your advisor isn’t helpful, reach out to a professor or to an upperclassman. People at Scripps are so willing to help you. You just need to make that first step to reach out!

I hope these tips were helpful! Congratulations on getting into college and take time this summer to celebrate, relax, and spend so much time with the people you love. Feel free to reach out if you want more specific advice or to hear about my experiences, at [email protected].