The First Year at Whitman in Hindsight

As the final day of classes approaches, I find myself looking back on a truly amazing first year at college. I could go back one year ago today to tell myself that I had made the right choice, and it would be absolutely true. For those of you joining us in the fall, I have some good news, and for those of you who have chosen other schools, well, you can always transfer in the spring, and there still might be some useful information for you in this blog. 

In the past year, I have learned more about myself, others, and the world, more so than any other year in my life. I have made new friendships that I am certain will last beyond my four years here. And I have learned what I would do again, and what I would recommend against, could I talk to pre-orientation me. Here is the advice that I can pass along after one year at Whitman College.

1 | The Administration is your friend. 

The administration at Whitman was very helpful and kind during my application process. After a year of working with and for them I can say honestly that they are still very helpful, and very kind, people. The people in Memorial Building go out of their way to make sure that each student who comes to them gets the help and guidance they need. When you come to Whitman in the fall be sure to stop by and introduce yourself to the various offices, they are great people to get to know, and chances are you will have to talk to all of them at some point during your time at Whitman anyway.

2 | Volunteer during orientation.

College orientation can be an exciting, and somewhat scary, time. It is important to put yourself out there during orientation because as soon as classes start your free time will dwindle rapidly. Volunteer when presenters ask for help from the audience, it got me and another First-Year each a $50 gift card to the bookstore, and let me meet a lot of incredible people. Remember that everyone in your class is new here and looking to make friends.

3 | Check out late-night dinners at Cleveland

They are at 7:30pm, and if you’ve been studying late, or are crunched for time for lunch the next day, they can be a lifesaver. $10 for as much as you can get on a plate. I recommend getting a plate, filling it up, and then asking for an eco-take out container and eating the leftovers for lunch the next day.

4 | Get to know the baristas

They are really cool people, work really hard, and can sometimes give you extra coffee card punches. Also, if you become friends with a particular barista, in a particular Jewett Cafe you can get extra whip cream and caramel syrup.

5 | 8am classes are nothing to be afraid of. 

You did it once, and you can do it again. Chances are you will sleep up until your first class of the day most days anyway. 

6 | Go to WEB events

They are super fun, often there is free food, and they make great study breaks. Just be sure to make some friends come along with you. 

7 | Limit your clubs

There are over 40 clubs on Whitman campus, and all of them would be fun to be in. Unfortunately, it is impossible to be in all of them. For your first semester take things slow and don’t join more than 2 clubs. You will enjoy your time in them far more if you can devote yourself to them, and once you hit 3 clubs it becomes a lot harder to juggle schedules between them, your friends, maybe your work, and your classes. 

Seven is a lucky number so I am going to stop there. I wish you luck in your first year, and I hope you have an even better one than I did. Until then, have a great summer. 


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