Hannah (front center) with Her Friends at a Masquerade Ball at Matthaei Botanical Gardens!

Hi everyone! My name is Hannah Baker and I’m currently a first-year MRADS student. Today, I’m going to give a few tips to adjust to college life! To start off, I’m from a very rural part of Michigan, meaning that my high school graduating class was about ninety-two students. I had lived in rural Michigan for most of my life, so my move to Ann Arbor was certainly a bit of an adjustment. Entering college, I was worried about whether I would be able to make friends easily, the difficulty of college classes, and even whether my dorm would end up feeling like home away from home.

So, I’m going to lay out 5 tips that I wish I had known or that I think are very important as a student entering both college and MRADS for my freshman year:

  1. Go to everything! - Especially at the beginning of the year, try to attend as many events as you can! Coming into Michigan, I didn’t know anybody in my program, dorm, or major, so going to a ton of events at the beginning of the year was really helpful in getting to know new people. Even if you’re not sure if you’ll know anyone at a certain event, don’t be afraid to go check it out. At the very least, it’ll be a good experience to have!
  2. Take advantage of Mojo! - Going off the first tip, I highly recommend taking advantage of everything that Mosher-Jordan Hall has to offer. Mojo has plenty of community lounges on every floor that are great for both studying and socializing. This was how I was able to get to know a lot of people in my MRADS class at the beginning of the year. This ended up opening many doors for various social events and outings that led me to meeting some of my best friends.
  3. Manage your course load! - I highly recommend not taking 17-18 credits the first semester. It’s possible to do, yes, but I found that by taking less credits, I was able to enjoy my first semester more and get settled into college life better. In my first semester, I took thirteen credits, which allowed me more opportunities to build friendships and try participating in extracurricular activities, as well as the opportunity to simply adjust to the differences of life in Ann Arbor. 
  4. You’re going to walk A LOT - Some of you might be expecting this or may have heard this before, but personally, I did not realize just how much walking I would be doing. I transitioned from driving everywhere in a car to needing to walk everywhere, meaning I easily walk about 25-30 miles in a week (depending on the weather). Luckily, both Ann Arbor and campus are very easily walkable, which ended up making all the walking so much more enjoyable.
  5. Don’t stress it! - This one is really hard to do. There’s going to be a lot of unexpected things that happen in college. Whether they’re good or bad, something will always work out in the end. Trust me, your first year at college is going to be amazing, so don’t stress it!