PantherNOW Staff Advice for Freshman

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Elena Key // Staff Writer

Each year thousands of new students roam the halls of FIU filled with questions and curiosities. The upper-class students at PantherNOW worked together to give some advice to incoming freshmen.

When’s the best time to enroll in classes?

Making sure you pick the right classes is essential for your academic success. You have to make sure you get into that class you need before they fill up. All of PantherNOW agreed that time is of the essence, and it’s important to pick classes early.

Jesse Fraga, PantherNOW News Director and junior majoring in journalism and women’s and gender studies shared his perspective: “Procrastinate on anything but this! Don’t wait until the last minute. Try to enroll the morning your class options are released.”

Ethan Toth, PantherNOW Entertainment Director and Junior said, “As early as possible! That way you can get your finances in order if necessary and you can schedule your life as easily as possible.” 

How do you know when the semester is going to be good?

Many factors can influence your semester, whether it be professors, friends, or classes. It depends on what you personally let impact you throughout the time. There are also moments when you simply do not know until it finishes.

Carolina Villagra, PantherNOW Entertainment Contributing Writer has been at FIU for a year and said, “When your teacher is passionate about their subject.”

Julia Gomez, PantherNOW Opinion Assistant Director is in her third year at FIU and said “I genuinely don’t [know]. I usually just feel like I’m a chaotic sleep walker going through the motions of school and don’t realize what I’m doing or how it’s going till the semester ends.”

What is the best way to get involved in clubs or on-campus activities?

School is not just about grades but also experiences, it’s important to try new things and break out of your comfort zone.

Gomez shares, “Have an idea of what you want to do beforehand and start looking for those interests in clubs around school. Sometimes though, I’ve had the most fun doing things that I just stumble across. There’s always something happening at GC. If you’re ever bored just take a stroll through there and see if anything interests you.”

If you’re living on campus, what are the three most important things you need? 

For most, your dorm will become your home away from home, so it’s easy to over pack or forget some things while you plan. 

Elise Gregg, PantherNOW News Staff Writer, has been at FIU for two years and recommends, “Noise cancelling headphones, organizer bins, [and] more than one pillowcase.” 

What is something you wish you would have known as a freshman?

Everyday there is something else to learn, whether it is a new student resource, club, or activity. Coming into a new school there are many things that you can only learn through experience.

“Take advantage of all the things you pay for as a student! The gym, the shuttle and the library!” said Toth.

“It’s okay to not know what you want, it’s okay to change your mind, and it’s okay to take your time. I thought I wanted to major in theater. Seven years and five major changes later, I’m here studying what I love,” said Gomez.

What school supplies do you actually need in your bookbag? 

School supplies have been needed since your first day of kindergarten, and although most basics are still the same, there are some things you have to add when going to university. 

Mia Petrucceli, PantherNOW Opinion Staff Writer, who has attended FIU for over a year said, “Laptop, pens, journal, planner, chargers, headphones and emergency deodorant, toothbrush and paste.”

What’s the best parking?

From personal experience, parking can make or break the start of your day. FIU has multiple parking garages and lots but even then, not finding a parking spot can be stressful and even make you late to class. Although it is most convenient to park near your class, sometimes a longer walk is necessary.

Micheal Grichenco, PantherNOW’s Entertainment writer, has been here at FIU for four years and said, “Gold garage is the most convenient, but always full, but PG-6 or PG-5 is the best overall.”

Julia Gomez, PantherNOW’s Opinion Assistant Director, has been at FIU for three years and she has a different perspective, “Not sure, parking at FIU makes me regret ever buying a car.”

What are some tips to make friends?

My first year at FIU was completely online, coming back to campus worried me because I had not had the opportunity to socialize with people for over a year. Regardless, once being on campus and starting small conversations with classmates or people around me I realized that one simply needs to put themselves out there.

Francine Canelo, PantherNOW’s Entertainment Staff Writer, is a junior and advises, “Don’t be scared to embarrass yourself. Put your interests out there on clothes, bookbags, etc. Someone out there likes the same things, and it’s easier to start a conversation when you have a common interest.”

“Just be outgoing and ready to talk, no matter how introverted or extroverted, there’s a crowd for everyone on campus” said Toth.

What’s the best way to balance an academic life and social life?

One of the pressures of university is how to balance your life. It’s important to focus on academics as well as maintaining one’s mental health.

“Don’t be hard on yourself. It’s not an all-or-nothing situation. If you really want to make plans the day an assignment is due, then take the initiative to turn in that work before you go out or even the day before. That way you can go out and not be stressed about rushing back to get work done. It’s important to have fun and not be too harsh on yourself for it,” said Canelo.

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