As an incoming college freshman, I'm sure you're feeling one of two ways: 1) Oh no... college... this is scary. I won't know anyone, and I'm going to be on my own for the first time. What if I don't know where to go or what to do? My classes are going to be so hard and I'm going to get lost and I should probably just stay home, or... 2) OH MY GOD COLLEGE I CAN'T WAIT TO MOVE IN I FINALLY GET MY OWN SPACE I'M AN ADULT MY DORM IS GONNA BE SO COOL ROOMMATES AND PARTIES AND ADULTING YAY. Either way, college is a new experience that can be life changing for all of us. However, attending college at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth will provide you an experience like no other.
As an incoming UMASS Dartmouth student, there are a few things you should know upon arrival. Typically, we have more male than female students. We have students representing 43 of the 50 United States, and 48 countries across the globe. We have over 75 undergraduate areas of study, two pre-professional pathways (pre-law and pre-med), and an undeclared track in four different major areas. We have over 150 student run clubs including Greek Life (fraternities and sororities), the Black Student Union, and an a cappella group. There are endless opportunities for student involvement, as well as ample opportunity to create new clubs or groups if we don't already have something that interests you. We are home to a multitude of betterment and awareness organizations including Active Minds, Eovove, and Global Health Collaborative. There are also multiple opportunities for student employment and professional advancement. The university offers many paid positions, work study and other, including library staff, the student activities department (SAIL) and undergraduate teacher's assistants.
You can find all of that information on our school's website. However, what you can't always find on our school's website is the real deal about some of this stuff. This might be the fun stuff, like that you can almost always find a crazy party if you look hard enough, or the not-so-fun stuff, like the fact that you're at least somewhat likely to fail an exam or two during your time on campus. But there's other things that some of us veterans wish we knew when we were walking in your shoes. First, the freshman quad is the least impressive of the living arrangements, but what did you expect as a freshman? You get two parking lots and a volleyball court and us seniors think that makes us even. The dells are.. crazy. To this day, I'm not entirely sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing, but you've been warned. As a freshman, you will more than likely get rejected to at least one party. You'll get over it, and everyone will move on with their lives. No one, and I mean literally not a single person on this campus calls the dining hall "The Marketplace." Short for "residential dining hall," it's res. That's it. Additionally, you don't know anythingggggg until you've had a Rose cookie. One day, you'll meet Rose. You'll eat a Rose cookie. Then you'll know. Networking is crucial. Get yourself out there and meet people, and never burn your bridges. You never gonna know who's help you're going to need one day. We offer hundreds of clubs. Go out of your way to research them and then check them all out at the Corsair Fair. I promise you, you will regret not being more involved as you cross that stage on graduation day (which, even though you like don't even go here yet, is waaaaay closer than you think). Go to those study sessions. These classes are too expensive for you to waste your time retaking them because you dun goofed the first time around. Utilize your resources: books, clubs, the school website, staff, students. If you don't know something, please ask. Any staff or student will gladly direct you. Upperclassmen want you to experience all things that they didn't get the chance to, and they always have the inside scoop. Your RA is your friend, but remember that friendship is a two way street. Most importantly, this isn't high school anymore. This is the real world. This is your world, and it will be whatever you make of it. Now, I know you've all seen the movies, but let me tell you- college is not what you see on television. It is real and it is wonderful. Don't take it for granted. Your time here will fly by. Spend it wisely.