Auburn Family

If We Knew Then What We Know Now: An Incoming Freshmen's Guide to First Semester

The first semester of college can be extremely overwhelming as well as the summer leading up to fall classes for incoming freshmen.

College years are some of the most exciting times of life and are crucial for shaping and modeling today's students into tomorrow's working citizens. The friends made, classes taken, organizations joined and connections made all play a role in the grand scheme of life. 

Former Camp War Eagle counselor Caroline Oswalt and Student Recruiter Tristan Watson couldn't agree more. (Photo provided by Caroline Oswalt)

Caroline reigns from Destin, Florida and is a junior here at Auburn. Aside from being a part of the CWE program the summer of her sophomore year, she also serves as President for her sorority and is a member of various other organizations on campus.

When she encountered campers that were unsure what direction they wanted to head in regards to their studies, she suggested they try the Exploratory Major program that Auburn now offers.

"This major allows the students to see their options and guides them into a major that works best for them."

Within the Exploratory Major program, students work with both a career and academic advisor throughout their semesters while in the major. Students are allowed to remain in this program for two semesters.

"It will all work out."

One of the biggest stressors for campers is their class registration at the end of camp.

"Every single camper would freak out about scheduling classes and the best tip of advice I had for them was that it will all work out. Sometimes you don't realize while you're an incoming freshman just how different class schedules can be from one another and that there is no such thing as a 'bad schedule'."

Caroline told the campers her experience with what seemed to be a 'bad schedule' her freshmen year. "I had all my classes Tuesdays and Thursdays and I thought my semester was going to be a nightmare because of it when it actually turned out to be the best schedule I've had so far."

"They aren't just a number."

After touring several different schools and almost choosing to attend the University of Alabama, Tristan decided to attend Auburn after his second formal tour of the campus. (Photo provided by Tristan Watson)

"After the second tour, I knew Auburn was for me. I stepped back and viewed the school from my perspective instead of from the perspective of my family and friends."

As a student recruiter, he urges the future students to do the same while on their official tour of Auburn.

"I want them to see that even though we are a huge university, they aren't just a number. They will be important to every teacher they have and every organization they're a part of. That was the difference I saw between Auburn and the other schools I toured."

He does this by showing the tour groups the school for what it truly is and what everyday life as a student looks like.

" I try to focus on being real and telling them what  I love and dislike about Auburn. It's all about their experience and if I'm transparent with them, they'll see the university for what it is."

"Keep up with every organization."

His tour experience is initially what sparked his interest in becoming an Auburn student recruiter, but he has enjoyed numerous other campus organizations while at Auburn. Involvement is something he always stresses to his groups since that is an easy way to get plugged in as a freshmen.

"I tell them my past experiences with University Programs Council (UPC) and Dance Marathon. I also mention stuff I'm not involved in but also things I'm intrigued by."He tells the incoming students, "Whatever you end up doing, you need to keep up with every organization."

Tristan believes that being involved as much as you can to the best of your ability is vital for a great college experience. One organization that he is not a part of that he thinks students should take advantage of as freshmen is the Student Government Association.

"If anything I wish I would've gotten more involved in SGA. They make a huge impact than people know about our college experience."

The important thing for every incoming freshmen to remember is to seize the most of every opportunity. Whether it be joining a campus organization for the first time or learning to adjust to a difficult class schedule, Caroline says, "you'll [still] be an official auburn student at the end of it all and that's the best part."

Join the Auburn Family! Enroll at Auburn.

Please visit the Future Students page. Also, consider visiting Auburn for a Tour. We want you to join the Auburn Family … so Apply Now.

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