It is exciting to be a Miner, but we know that starting college can be overwhelming at times. So we turned to the experts for tips.
We asked a dozen S&T students — ranging from sophomores to seniors — for their best advice on thriving during the first month of college, relieving stress and living on campus.
Here’s what they had to say:
“You have started a new journey and the best way to thrive and survive is to be fully invested and engaged in all areas,” says Jenna Gardner, a senior in ceramic engineering from Metamora, Illinois. “Don’t dwell on what was left at home, but focus on the adventure the next few years will take you on.”
Andrew Rausch, a senior in mechanical engineering from Monett, Missouri, sees the start of college as the opportunity for a fresh start.
“You are who you want to be,” Rausch says. “Nobody at college knows who you are, so this is your opportunity to be who you want, regardless of who you were.”
All 12 students weighing in stressed the importance of making friends and building relationships.
“I am a really big family person, which made it a little hard to leave everyone close to me at home in Germany,” says Tim Schreffl, a sophomore in business and management systems from Rosenheim, Germany. “The first month can be challenging if you do not have any friends here from the get-go, so it is important to not be shy and just walk up to people in your classes or on campus and start talking to them.”
“I know that without the friends I found my first month at Missouri S&T, my first month would have been much less enjoyable,” says Sean Welter, a sophomore in chemistry from Arlington Heights, Illinois. “If you’re like I was and aren’t from St. Louis, Kansas City or outlying areas, meeting new people is a great way to take your mind off missing your friends and family back home.”
“The seniors and upper classmen may seem intimidating, but in reality, we’re just as stressed and tired as you,” says Katlyn Maas, a senior in engineering management from Morrisville, Missouri. “In fact, if you have questions, ask for help. Everybody on campus is super friendly and willing to help, especially if you’re lost in one of the campus buildings. We were in your shoes, once.”
Yes, the friends you make now may become your colleagues or help you climb a corporate ladder years down the road. But putting that aside, enjoy your time now and be there for one another.
“When a friend calls at 3 a.m. needing to talk to someone, be there for them and listen,” says Jake Nowack, a sophomore in engineering management from Jefferson City, Missouri. “Don’t be afraid to be the one making the call, either, because sometimes school gets really tough and trying to push through alone makes it worse.”
Overwhelmingly, our student panel recommended getting involved.
“Don’t just sit in your room all day,” says Cole Deming, a senior civil engineering from Hillsborro, Illinois. “Go to the events that are put on by the college. You’ll get free stuff and you’ll meet new people!”
“Classes are easy to get to and it’s convenient to get to activities hosted on campus, so take advantage of that,” says Abigail Nitchman, a sophomore in information science and technology from New Florence, Missouri. “Walk around and enjoy the scenery and try to get involved as much as possible. Most events are free, fun and a great way to meet new people.”
“Never hesitate to ask for help,” says Nicole Aldridge, a senior in computer engineering from Bloomington, Illinois. “Missouri S&T will throw so many resources your way during your first few weeks, but many of them will go unused. The most successful students aren’t necessarily those who thrived in high school.”
“Don’t make excuses to not try something new,” Gardner says. “There will never be a time in your life when you have the opportunity to be involved in so many activities and organizations while you are focusing on your education. Once you finish your degree, a lot of that goes away. So while you are building your future through your education at Missouri S&T, don’t forget to enjoy your time by being involved in activities and organizations.”
Career Opportunities and Employer Relations (COER)
First Year Experience
Learning Enhancement Across Disciplines (LEAD)
Speech Communication Center
Student Design and Experiential Learning Center
Student Health Services
Student Success Center
Looking for something not on the list? Just ask!