Welcome to the Lumberjack Experience!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Advice for an Incoming College Freshman

As the 2016-2017 school year has officially come to a close, Stephen F. Austin State University is saying "Congratulations" to the 1,166 Undergraduates, 320 Graduates, and 10 Doctoral students who officially became Lumberjack Alumni as of May 13th, 2017.

Although we know Lumberjacks Make Great Graduates...

...We still would like to make great incoming Lumberjack freshman! So, recent or current SFA Alumni, I would like to ask you for advice on the following questions.

Questions from an Incoming College Freshman:
  1. What if I am not sure what I want to major in before coming to college? 
  2. What are some good ways to make friends in college?
  3. What if I decide to change my major? 
  4. Should I get involved the first semester of my freshman year?
  5. What if I decide not to be Greek? 
  6. What are some ways I can improve my time management skills?
  7. Does going to the AARC really help? 
  8. What makes SFA unique?
  9. Does going to your professors office hours really make a difference?
  10. Do you have any other advice as I make my transition from high school senior to college freshman? 

As SFA is getting ready to open it's door to incoming college freshman, I'd like to ask any SFA alumni to offer their tips, tricks, or advice to these students. We have all been in their footsteps before...unsure what to do, lost, and scared to ask questions. So let's help them out! Feel free to answer any of the questions posted, or give your own personal advice in the comments! 



  1. What are some good ways to make friends in college? GET INVOLVED!!! Getting involved in ANY organization is the best way to meet people. Whether it’s Greek life, intramural sports, service orgs, or gaming clubs, find a group of people who have similar interests! Plus, being involved keeps you focused and motivated while you’re in college.
    Should I get involved the first semester of my freshman year? YES! College may seem overwhelming (it feels that way to everyone…even second semester seniors!), but getting involved can give you a purpose and keep you motivated and focused. Plus, it gives you people to be your support system, and encourage you through this crazy journey!
    What if I decide not to be Greek? Being Greek is certainly not for everybody! I have tons of Greek friends, but I decided that wasn’t the path for me. Instead, I got involved in TONS of organizations, had on campus jobs, and I had an incredible college experience! Don’t feel pressured into just because everyone else is doing—make sure it’s something YOU want. And if not, that’s okay! There’s plenty of people who choose other paths, even if it doesn’t feel like that your freshman year.
    What makes SFA unique? THE PEOPLE. 100%. SFA has an INCREDIBLE faculty and staff, and they care about the students here in a way that I’ve never seen at other universities. The school spirit here is off the charts, and it’s like one big family (as cheesy as that sounds).
    -Olivia Miller, Miss SFA 2016

  2. What are some good ways to make friends in college? Get involved! Welcome week is a fantastic time to talk to all of the organizations on campus. There's something to do every night. And I met some really cool people just hanging out in the lobby in my Res Hall.
    Should I get involved the first semester of my freshman year? Yes!! Some of my best friends I met first semester freshman year.
    What if I decide not to be Greek? There's plenty of things to do and people to meet that don't involve going Greek. I never went Greek (never even went to a party) and I never felt like I missed a thing. If that's not your scene it's ok.
    What are some ways I can improve my time management skills? Planners. All the planners. Figure out your schedule (classes, work, I had practices for an off campus organization 3 times weekly, plus training my horse) and plan your study time. Make it a routine. Routines are your friend!
    Does going to the AARC really help? I rarely went (my major didn't lend itself to AARC SI groups and tutors all that well) but the few classes I took that had anSI? Huge improvement.
    What makes SFA unique? The people and the town! The staff and everyone on campus are super friendly and happy to help! The community also really rallies around the college.
    Do you have any other advice as I make my transition from high school senior to college freshman? Be open to new opportunities and friends. I went in planning to be a basketball manager and when that fell through, I found a volunteering opportunity at a barn/ranch in town which was honestly the best thing that could have possibly happened to me. But it was totally unexpected and not how I thought my freshman year would go. Also, I went from having a very athleticly inclined friend group in high school to very musically inclined friends in college. It was a very interesting change but they're still some of my best friends. Don't be afraid to take a leap into something completely different from what you've done before!
    Alex Brackin (Animal Science, Class of 2015)
    Axe 'Em Jacks!

  3. I know its scary, coming to another country, not been fully aware of the traditions, culture or even language. I know you might be alone, with your family thousands of miles away...you might feel like you need to go back to your family where you are not an outcast but believe me, you can do it. It would take allot of effort but you are able to succeed in anything that you are willing to do. There are people that are willing to help you in collage. That's their job, don't forget about it, you are going to be challenge with many things but, as longest you have a set mind and your heart on it, you would be able to do it. Best of luck future graduated.

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