Aug 232010
Authors: Jordan Liebing – SLiCE

Set down your luggage and look around. For most of you starting your first year at CSU, moving to college is the biggest life transition you’ve made yet. You may have questions about finding friends, finding success, finding home.
But don’t count on finding any of these things in your dorm room. Here are just a few common worries of first-year students and some ways you can calm your nerves by getting involved:

1. Making friends
You have more options than the people in your hall. Try joining one of CSU’s 350 student organizations, where you can meet people with similar interests and goals. If you don’t see something that strikes your fancy, you can always start your own club and get funding for resources.
For another way to meet people, check out the intramural sports program, where you can sign up for a sport either individually or with friends.

2. Passing classes
Study time and good notes do not always equate with learning. In fact, a mountain of research shows that service learning is the most effective form of experiential education. The SLiCE Office organizes dozens of volunteer opportunities, both short- and long-term, such as CSUnity, Alternative Breaks and Special Needs Swim. You can also find a fraternity or sorority that focuses on service.

3. Managing time
It’s a good idea to keep time open for studying, but remember that the more involved you are, the more successful you are. By having other things on your schedule, you will naturally manage your time better, scheduling in separate time for things like eating well, studying, exercise and socializing. A lot of free time can easily become a daily video game marathon or a lot of naps. If you want an activity with lots of flexibility, start earning your REAL Leadership Certificate. You just have to start attending workshops at your own pace, and you can get a schedule in the SLiCE Office.

4. Getting to know Fort Collins
Rent a bike from the bike library downtown and see where it takes you. There’s no shortage of things to do in this town, and part of being a Ram is having pride in our thriving community. We have tons of unique, independent businesses and quirky cultural events. If you’re looking for the music scene, keep your eyes on venues like Hodi’s Half Note or The Aggie Theatre.

5. Feeling at home
Going home every weekend will not make you feel at home in college. The best way to make Fort Collins home is to start taking an interest in what goes on here. Vote in student elections and go to events your RA organizes. Pick up the Collegian and browse the schedule of events, or walk into any office on campus and ask how they serve students. Volunteer for RamRide. Use the new Recreation Center. Attend a guest speaker brought in by ASAP. Sit on your college’s student advisory board.
Don’t waste your time in college. Start trying things on, and what ever doesn’t fit you can toss. But for the time being, jump in with both feet –– you’ll thank yourself later when homesickness comes knocking.

Jordan Liebing works for SLiCE. Letters and feedback can be sent to

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