Fill in the blank: My advice for freshmen and transfer students is…


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NIU’s Fall 2022 semester shows a downward trend in overall student enrollment | Getty Images

My advice for Freshmen and/or incoming transfer students is to be yourself. I know it is very intimidating coming to a big college campus, especially if you are not from here.

You should never have to change yourself for others, and so many people forget that. I come from a small town in Southern Illinois and I was scared to come here because I know absolutely no one.

 I promise if you feel alone, and you are struggling you are not the only one. The best thing you can do for yourself is to go out and have fun. Staying cooped up in your dorm room is not going to make it easier. I would recommend joining some type of organization. For me, I found my place when I joined the Northern Star. I have so much fun writing and being a part of something wonderful. 

NIU has so many different options when it comes to clubs and organizations. Try to jump out of your comfort zone and start conversations with random classmates; don’t be scared to talk to anyone because whether or not they are a freshman, everyone has been in the same position you are in. I know COVID-19 took some of our socializing away, but this is the perfect time to find yourself, your friends and freedom. 

I also recommend showing up to class because participating is very important. I do believe college is meant for fun and learning, but always remember to respect your professors and attend as much as you can. This is your education and your future, so keep that in mind as you go through this journey of so many experiences.

 I hope all of the Freshmen and transfer students have an amazing year. Always know if you need help with anything there are many resources, and advisors are more than happy to help you with anything that you may need.