First Semester Tips for Success

Life at Tepper Student Experience Blog

Amidst the cold, snowy winter and the numerous welcome back events designed to divert and distract from this harsh January weather, a new semester has started at CMU. Along with it, of course, is the fact that all 1,572 of my fellow freshman and I have now officially got an entire semester of college under our belts. And with that accreditation, I finally feel qualified to dispense some of my best college transition tips. As someone who has just very recently learned them the sometimes hard way, here’s hoping that you won’t have to:

  1. Find your study space
    • As far as studying goes, one should never underestimate the power of a good studying environment. From cubicles in Hunt and Sorrels to dorm lounges, rooms in Tepper, and tables in the UC, the options are endless. Once you find the area in which you work best, make a study plan, haul yourself out of bed every day to follow it, and make sure to stick to it.
  2. Go to office hours
    • Office hours are great. Office hours are your friend. Especially given the many large lectures that first-years must take for their intro-level courses, office hours may be the only time you get individualized attention from your professors and TAs, and this is valuable time, indeed. Make the most of it by asking all of your questions during this time and actually get to know your instructors in person!
  3.  With that being said, remember to make time for real friends and fun
    • Perhaps just as important as being focused and devoting yourself to your schoolwork is decompressing after a hard week’s worth of work. Whether it be a movie night in with friends or a Saturday morning trip into the city, remember to treat yourself to a dose of fun every once in a while. With so many things to do just outside of campus or in downtown Pittsburgh, what better motivation could there be to get your work done before the weekend?

Elaine Chen | Undergraduate Business 2022

Elaine is a Tepper freshman hoping to concentrate in finance and take a minor in either computer science or English. Torn between her love for economics and her love for numbers, she hopes to continue studying both during her time at CMU. In addition to writing, she enjoys cooking, running, and playing table tennis.

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