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Freshmen Initiatives


Congratulations!  You are in your first year (or first 30 credit hours) of your college career!  Whether you started at the U of M or transferred from another institution, here are the top 10 things you should do as a Freshman:

1.  Attend New Student Convocation

The University of Memphis marks the beginning of the journey of college life with New Student Convocation on the first day of classes of each academic year. Participants learn about University traditions and receive advice on how to become successful students. Alumni and friends share stories of their lives and experiences at the University of Memphis. Other speakers include university officials such as President Shirley Raines, Provost Ralph Faudree, Vice President for Student Affairs Rosie Bingham, and Coaches Pastner and McFerrin. 

2.  Get involved

Starting with Welcome Week activities, including the Registered Student Orientation Fair held immediately following New Student Convocation each fall, the Office of Student Leadership and Involvement provides programs and opportunities through which students may become meaningfully involved in campus life.

Students have formed over 200 Registered Student Organizations, and if you can't find something of interest there you can create a new one!  They also provide opportunities to serve in the Student Government Association, participate in community service, and develop leadership skills through a variety of programs.

The True Blue Life Channel in your MyMemphis Portal allows you to see what's going on with everything from Adult Students to Undergraduate Research.  You can even customize your page to see only those activities in which you are interested.

3.  Utilize Tutoring Services by ESP (Educational Support Program)

ESP provides academic assistance for classes that students are currently taking at the U of M. Tutoring and other ESP services are free and available both on-line and in person in Learning Centers located throughout the University, including in Residence Halls and at Carrier and Millington Centers. Click on the link for a full list of services.

4.  Know the Rules

Review the Student Handbook to familiarize yourself with Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities.  You can pick up a hard copy of the Handbook, which includes a useful planner, at the University Center.  An electronic form of the Handbook can be found at the Office of Judicial and Ethical Programs website.

5.  Get to Know your Faculty

Don't let your end-of-semester grade be the first time you know how you are doing in a class!  If you need feedback from a faculty member about how you are doing, visit them during their office hours or make an appointment to talk with them.  You may also wish to talk with a faculty member about something you don't understand or want to know more about.  You can even request to meet with faculty who aren't currently teaching a course you are enrolled in, perhaps to learn about their research or to find out more about a specific class. 

If you are interested in participating in research check out the Undergraduate Research Database at or inquire in your academic department.

6.  Participate in Career and Major Selection and Counseling

Whether you are deciding on a major or want to find out about your chosen major (perhaps through job shadowing), there is help for you!  The Career and Psychological Counseling Center provides individualized career planning, while Career Services offers tools such as Focus2 for career exploration, along with tools to improve your resume and interviewing skills.  You'll also want to attend "Discover Your Major Day", held each fall, to get to know more about potential majors and minors.

7.  Know Your Deadlines

Watch for emails and other notices to meet with your advisor to register for the upcoming semester.  Also, if you plan to utilize scholarships, grants or loans be sure to file your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) on time – the priority deadline is in mid-February, which means you'll need to file by then to be eligible for the most funding.

8.  Stay Healthy

Learning is difficult, if not impossible, when you don't feel well, or are dealing with anxiety, depression or other challenges that take up your mental energy.  Learn about wellness resources on campus and in the community at the Student Health Fair, held the first week of October next to the fountain.  The Career & Psychological Counseling Center, located on the second floor of Wilder Tower, offers free mental health counseling for students. 

Student Health Services treats students' short-term, acute illnesses and injuries, provides x-rays and limited lab work when required, hosts a family planning clinic, and offers a limited pharmacy service. 

Also, check out Campus Recreation Intramural Services for information on facilities (weight/circuit and cardio equipment, indoor and outdoor pools, recreation space and more), events and classes you can take.  You can also compete on one of 14 Club Teams or on an Intramural sports team.  You can even make an appointment to meet with a personal trainer or to get a massage!

For more health tips look for Tiger Scoop Newsletters in restroom stalls on campus and Student Health 101 emails in your inbox.

9.  Work on Campus

Most U of M students work, and working a reasonable number of hours (10-20/week) doesn't have to detract from school.  What better way to combine learning and working than to work on campus?!  Eliminate your commute, and learn the behind-the-scenes operations of the university at the same time.  Be sure to pay attention to when to apply for competitive jobs like Orientation Guide (Recruiting) and Resident Assistant (Residence Life).  Other big student employers are the Center for Recreation and Intramural Services and the University Center.  You can also check with your academic department for student employment opportunities.

10.  Then there's the obvious...

No doubt you've heard this all before, but it bears repeating because it's the number one best tip for succeeding in college:  Go to class. 

Other basics:  Buy your books (you need them!); pay your bills (don't get purged from your classes for lack of tuition payment or have your registration held up due to a parking citation!); study, think, and engage in class (no one can learn for you – you have to do the work!).  Education is a bit like a bank account – you take away what you put into it, plus interest.



Important Retention Initiatives

ACAD 1100
Academic Advising
Academic Status & Retention
Adult and Commuter Student Services
ALEKS Math Placement
Career Services
Early Intervention Reporting
Leadership Programs
Fresh Connections
Helen Hardin Honors Program
Living Learning Communities
Psychological Counseling
Student Success Programs (TRIO, First Scholars)
Tutoring @ ESP

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Last Updated: 3/12/12