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Upperclassmen Speak: Advice for Incoming Freshmen

Ask the Upperclassmen: Advice for Incoming Freshmen from Current Students

Starting college and living in residence halls for the first time can be a huge adjustment, so we asked some of our current students for advice for incoming freshmen on making the transition. Here's what they have to say.

1. Was there anything you brought with you to the residence hall that you didn't end up needing and wished you'd left at home?

"I brought a lot of extra books that I thought I would be able to read in my free time, but the reading for classes took priority." - Jonathan Cunningham, BA '17

"I brought a lot of personal things like knick-knacks from my room at home to make my dorm feel more home-like, but they just took up space and got dusty." - Chiara Daley, BA '16

"The guiding principle is if you don't use an item currently, chances are you won't be needing it in the dorm." - Michael Obegolu, BA '17

2. Was there stuff you hadn't brought but did need?

"I didn't bring a doorstop, but it almost immediately became apparent that my roommate and I would want one. Living in a residence hall with people who quickly become some of your best friends makes simply having your door open an opportunity for casual social time while getting some studying done in your room." - Elizabeth LaFrance, BA '17

3. What do you think was the biggest challenge of the transition?

"My biggest challenge was realizing that the workload in college is more rigorous than that of high school. If you really want to excel as a freshman, you have to be self-disciplined and understand that there are consequences for the actions and choices you make." - Michael Obegolu, BA '17

"After living at home for 18 years, not living with family was definitely the biggest challenge of the transition. It's not long, however, before living with peers and friends becomes a "new normal" that, with the help of cell phones and Skype to keep in touch with family, is a fun and exciting way to live." - Elizabeth LaFrance, BA '17

4. What was your favorite thing about this new chapter of your life?

"My favorite thing about this new chapter of my life was being independent and finding out if those years of living with my parents have actually molded me into a man who can think for himself. In college, your parents and family members are not there to monitor your activities. All you've got to guide you are the values they've instilled in you." - Michael Obegolu, BA '17

"The best thing about coming to college has been living in the UD environment. It's hard to appreciate enough the positivity the campus exudes. The people have a smile for everyone they pass; the bells toll their comforting tune five minutes before every Mass starts. No matter how much work there is to complete or how much stress you're feeling, there's always something in the way life is lived on the UD campus that can make your day a little brighter." - Elizabeth LaFrance, BA '17

5. Do you have any roommate advice?

"Act like the kind of roommate you'd like to have. So be conscious of the other person, especially when it comes to personal space/time and waking up/going to bed. Also, your roommate doesn't have to be your best friend. But it's great if they do end up being your best friend." - Chiara Daley, BA '16

"Be sure to be up front and express your feelings and desires about things you want to happen in your room, especially if something your roommate is doing annoys you. If you push it off, it could get worse." - Jonathan Cunningham, BA '17

6. Do you have any advice on balancing studying/social life?

"UD is a hard school, and you definitely need to keep up with assignments, and be careful not to skip class. But you can become too wrapped up in study. And having fun is very important. So make a schedule every day with time to study, play, pray and hang out with friends. Keeping a balance between study and social life is the key to a successful (and fun!) college career." - Karen Bless, BA '15

7. Any other words of wisdom?

"Seize every moment. You're going to underestimate yourself. You're going to think, 'I don't have time to do that! I have like seven papers to write and four books of the 'Iliad' to read. I don't have time to go out and do this one more thing or join that club!' It is, however, in those things that you perhaps lose two hours of sleep over or have to convince yourself you can squeeze in that you find some of your truest friends and make the memories that will last much longer than the four short years of college." - Elizabeth LaFrance, BA '17

"Do your best and leave the rest for God. Remember to pray, work and rest. Best of luck on your freshman year!" - Michael Obegolu, BA '17

"If you have a problem, be sure to ask your RA. That's what they're there for, and they're upperclassmen who have been through it all already. Never hesitate to ask them for help or advice." - Karen Bless, BA '17

"Take advantage of all of the situations that come before you; don't let any slip by. If there's a talk on campus that interests you, go to it. If there's a club you're interested in, join it. By making a schedule, you're able to make time for all the things you need and want to do." - Jonathan Cunningham, BA '17


Alumni Couple from UD’s First Graduating Class Remembered by Classmates

“You couldn’t walk by David without a sports story of some sort,” said Patrick O’Hagan, BA ’63, of David Dozier Jr., BA ’60. O’Hagan and his wife, Patricia (Hasler), BA ’63, were freshmen at UD when Dozier and his wife, Dianne (Flusche), BA ’60, were seniors, and later fellow parishioners at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Dallas. Patrick O’Hagan was a physics major taking 20 hours and didn’t know Dozier well as a UD student, but Dozier’s penchant for stories struck him even then.

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