See what Kendrick from Women in Mechanical Engineering (WME) has to say about advice for incoming freshmen.
Q: What advice do you have for incoming freshmen?
A: Freshman year can look daunting even though many common sources of fear such as living away from home aren’t applicable to the Fall 2020 semester. It’s still a big change and I’ll do my best to give you all the tips that helped me and the ones I wish I’d had. I was a freshman last year, so my advice should be fresh.
Be active in making friends and know that everyone’s looking to make new friends freshman year.
On a similar note, initiate hangouts.
Please, for the love of God, have a few fun questions on hand that aren’t “so what’s your major” for when you’re getting to know someone.
Join a mix of “just for fun” and major-specific orgs. Use HornsLink to sort through the masses.
This one isn’t applicable to Fall 2020 or for anyone who’s comfortable with public transportation, but it’ll be important eventually. The first few times you use the bus system, plan extra time into your trip. The public transit feature on Google Maps is your best option for planning trips, but its times aren’t always 100% accurate. Check the number of the bus before you get on.
Try new things to learn about yourself.
Housing rushes happen earlier than you’d think. You don’t have to give into the pressure, but don’t wait so long that your friends all have roommates.
Prioritize your mental health.
Don’t take your classes too seriously to the point where you’re missing out on professional opportunities or not involving yourself with campus.
Do your homework early so you can use a tutoring program or ask your professor/ TA for help on tough problems.
Use time between classes to squeeze in a few minutes of homework.
On the other hand, give yourself mental breaks when you feel yourself getting tired.
Attending UT gives you access to the Microsoft suite!! I did not know this for 1.5 semesters!! Go get it!! (click on Office 365 portal)
Don’t worry about looking dumb by asking a question or getting tutoring, no one’s thinking that.
Don’t try to conserve paper while taking notes.
Even if a class isn’t specific to your major, take it seriously as it’s teaching you soft skills.
Read your essays aloud to yourself or get text-to-speech to do it for you.
Fill your schedule with enough things to keep you busy throughout the day. Knowing how much you have to do will motivate you to work faster.
In general: let yourself be uncomfortable. Life is going to be different but as you acclimate things will fall into place and it will begin to feel normal. Oodles of people have done it before you and so can you!
You can find WME on social media here!
Facebook group: Women in Mechanical Engineering at UT
Women in Mechanical Engineering (WME) is a tight-knit community dedicated to helping female mechanical engineers at UT Austin expand their networks, develop improved professional and academic skills, and ultimately become the next-generation of female leaders in STEM.
This blog post was written by Kendrick Lemmond from WME. Kendrick is a sophomore mechanical engineering student and is WME's communications officer.