First-Year Advice

Nervous about the first day of school? Want to make the most of your four years? Here's some savvy advice from SMC students and alumni.

First-Day Advice

“Take a chill pill and take it slow. After all, it is college. College is the time for you to just focus on yourself and trying to find who you are. There's no need to impress others. The only person you should really try to impress is yourself!” —Kimberly Nguyen '19

“Look nice and know where your class is so you are not late.” —Joey Carroll '19

“Drink lots of water and be thankful.” —Kayla Duffey '19

“My advice to incoming first-years would be to try everything. Even if you only have the slightest bit of interest in trying something new or joining a club, do it because if you don't you will only regret it later!” —Tianna Hansen '19

“It's okay to be scared/nervous, but believe that you are capable of doing whatever scares you!” —Olivia Brophy '19

General Advice from Alumni

"Read for Seminar! It's worth it!"—Valerie Rangel

"Don't go home on the weekends."—Christian Bartels

"Learn the words to the Bells!"—Milton Fletcher 

"Study, run the cross, and rest."—Brandon Moore 

"It's all about those Seminar classes. It makes sense later in life."—Sonny Wilkalis

"Call your mom. (So I'm not an alum but with two kids enrolled there, I thought I would add words of wisdom anyhow."—Martina Ramos 

"Pick something completely out of your comfort for Jan term ! Take a leap and learn something new!"—Staci Hughes

"Enjoy the time and experience that you have and everything SMC has to offer. Take chances and have fun!"—Hilary Shontz

"Make friends with the 7-11 employees and campus safety. Don't take 8AM classes. Take five years if you need to. Travel or take something totally out of your comfort zone during Jan term. If Jamaica me crazy is still a thing, dance your heart out."—Gina Hart 

"It goes fast, be present for it."—Erin Kittle Le Francois

"Take advantage of how much the Librarians will help you! and Travel abroad."—Gabrielle Benito

"Don't take 8ams; be involved on campus; time management is key; don't go home too often; have a car or make friends with cars; the bus ain't reliable especially on the weekends."—Uchechi Nnachi 

"Stay connected with home and start connections with new gaels! Teamwork will make your experience better." —Silvia Orellana

"Take 8am classes! I did almost every year. I loved being done with my day at noon. 8am classes are great." —Abbi Kitzmiller 

"Enjoy every moment, it goes by so fast!! Go Gaels!!"—Anne Elizabeth Black

"Get enough sleep. Do not play pinochle (hearts, bridge, etc.) past 2 am. BE INVOLVED. " —Jack Murray 

"Find the catacombs."—Juan la O 

"Plan ahead for the travel courses in Jan term. I still regret that I didn't do it...even though I graduated 13 years ago. And your first roommate is critical. Get along and be nice to each other (my freshman roommate saved me from being a hermit at the beginning :))."—Michelle Lean

"Network and learn holistically."—Steven J. Balassi‏

"Go outside your comfort zone and try something new every year!"—Maddi Larsen