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FRESHMAN YEAR
What am I doing here?

WIth a feeling of freedom and possibility, freshmen often begin their studies with optimism and excitement. With all of the options ahead of them, there's also lots of room for feeling overwhelmed and maybe some anxiety.

The most important thing to understand is that you're not alone! Click below for a list of common struggles and some helpful resources.

"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone."
- Neale Donald Walsch

Academic Persistence

Perhaps you're still exploring, looking for the degree that will best fit your goals. Maybe you've known what you would study for years. Either way, you're likely to discover a few stumbling blocks as you get started, and a few strengths that you never realized you had.

Academic Benchmarks

Freshmen (with a declared major):

  1. Enroll in and successfully complete USU 1010: University Connections (SLSC 1050 at USU Eastern).
  2. Create a tentative plan for graduation in Degree Works and share it with your advisor during your fall appointment (before November 1st).
  3. During your first 30 credits, complete your CL (ENGL 1010 and 2010) and QL (Math or Stats required for your degree).

Freshmen (exploratory):

  1. Enroll in and successfully complete USU 1010: University Connections (SLSC 1050 at USU Eastern).
  2. During your first 30 credits, complete your CL (ENGL 1010 and 2010) and QL (Math or Stats required for your degree).
  3. Attend a Major Fair and make an appointment to meet with your Exploratory Advisor during the first six weeks of Fall semester. USU Eastern Students, discuss possible areas of study with your academic advisor.

Common Struggles

  • Study skills
  • Confusion about major
  • Time management
  • Self-discipline

Social Persistence

Many freshmen are living away from home for the first time. Learning to get along with roommates and missing home can be a challenge. There are also fantastic opportunities to make new connections from friendships and teammates to relationships.

Social Benchmarks

  1. Hold a roommate meeting and listen to the communication podcasts with your roommates.
  2. Attend a minimum of three events each month. Start with a Week of Welcome (WOW) event. Consider attending a sport you've never been to.
  3. Secure a summer job and housing for next year. Visit Aggie Handshake.

Common Struggles

  • Making connections
  • Relationships
  • Finances
  • Homesickness
  • Roommates

Personal Persistence

When social life and academics keep students busy, it can be hard to find balance and take care of emotional and physical needs. Healthy eating and exercise might take a back seat to homework and entertainment. Keeping a good balance is essential for physical and mental health.

Physical and Emotional Benchmarks

  1. Emotional awareness - labeling a full range of feelings
  2. Setting boundaries and limits

Common Struggles

  • Being away from home for the first time
  • Learning to live with roommates
  • Making difficult decisions
  • Assuming personal responsibility
  • Coping with stress, loneliness and depression

 


For more information contact the Office of Student Retention and Completion at thrive@usu.edu.

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