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
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 www.memphis.edu/honors/researchdatabase.php 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
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
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
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.