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Feb 25 2018
by Isabella Forst

5 Resources I'm Glad I Took Advantage of My Freshman Year

By Isabella Forst - Feb 25 2018

If you're like me, heading off to college was (and still sometimes is) overwhelming. You have papers to write, grades to maintain and the freshman 15 to avoid! However, for every paper you'll write or test you'll take, there is a resource on campus designed to support you. If you are feeling isolated, overwhelmed or tired on campus, read on to find how to get in the zone and finish out your freshman year feeling fresh!

1. Your Resident Advisor (RA)

Residence Advisors (RAs), students hired by the university to keep the peace in residence halls, are your first line of communication and defense. They are mostly upperclassmen and are great for sharing advice, offering support or just being a shoulder to cry on. If you're feeling down, stressed or just wish your roommate would keep the blinds closed, they are the first person for you to go to. Imagine it like this: your RA is a person hired by the university to keep you (mostly) sane! For bigger things, or if you come to them repeatedly with the same issue, they will usually direct you one of two places: your Residence Director or to a professional in the counseling or student life centers on campus, both of which can help you out!

2. The Residence Director and Hall Council

The director of your residence hall (called the Residence Director, go figure) and the hall council, which is usually made up of students just like you, are a great way to get involved in a small scale on campus! The Residence Director can help with any room changes, disciplinary actions issued by your RA or any large roommate conflict you might have. The hall council helps plan events, makes changes around the hall and offers snacks and a good time! Getting involved with the hall council is a great thing to have on your resume, especially if you plan on being an RA or working in housing in the future.

3. Student Health Center

If you are in a residence hall with tons of other students, sicknesses tend to spread like wildfire. Having someone you trust at the Student Health Center, or the equivalent unique to your campus, is a great way to stay healthy during flu season. Many campuses also offer specialty services, like dietitians, psychiatrists and therapists to help you stay healthy, manage the stress of college life and manage any pre-existing illnesses that you may be struggling with. 

4. Disability Services Office

If you have a severe food allergy, an impairment that limits your mobility, a mental illness or any sort of impairment that might otherwise hamper your academic success, check out the disability services office on your campus! Even if it's registering a day or two early for classes so you can make sure you pick class sections you can get to on time, getting a dorm on the ground floor so you don't have to take the elevator or having menus sent to you ahead of time so you can make sure you can eat, colleges tend to be understanding and reasonable when it comes to accommodations for students with disabilities. The people who work in the office aren't judgmental, but are instead understanding and extremely kind, and can be real lifesavers when it comes to navigating the college experience.

5. Office Hours

Your professors (or the teacher's assistants that help to teach your class) have office hours or time where they just sit in their offices waiting for any questions students might have. Be sure to use office hours to talk with your professors, ask any questions you may have or get to know them. Stopping into office hours is a great way to get to know your professors, and not just for recommendation's sake!

All of these resources are there for you! In many cases, your student fees go towards maintaining them so don't be afraid to check any of these resources out! If you are struggling with any sort of problem, there is a staff member who can help walk you through it, and most of these resources are totally free so you don't have to worry about prioritizing your health or your grades over your food and Netflix budget. 

Lead Image Credit: Pixabay

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Isabella Forst - North Carolina State University

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