Advice to First Years from a DePauw Senior


Moving away to college for the first time can be an exciting, stressful, and unique point in any person’s life. The adjustment period is different for everybody, especially after being thrown into a new environment so quickly. Though this time can be difficult and confusing, the change is always rewarding. Here are nine things I wish I would have known before I started my college career:  

  • It’s easy to get involved on campus

DePauw has a wide variety of campus clubs and organizations for both personal and academic interests. Clubs and organizations are a great way to meet new faces and align alongside those with similar interests. If you are interested in someday holding a leadership position within an organization, try to get involved in your first year. Most organizations on campus are always looking to expand. Check out Campus Labs for a complete list, and don’t be afraid to reach out to the clubs or organizations that interest you.

  • It’s also easy to overcommit your time

Although involving yourself on campus is important, don’t feel bad for needing to take a step back. Overcommitting your time is common, especially within the first year. Put your mental health and your course work first, since you can always go back to organizations when you feel ready.  

  • Don’t be scared to change your major

On average, 80% of college students change their majors at least once. Use this first year as an exploration period to find true passions. Liberal arts education is designed to help open the doors to new interests. Take your general education courses before declaring!

  • Utilize DePauw’s Counseling Services

DePauw’s counseling services have a wide variety of programs including clinical services, emergency and crisis intervention, outreach and prevention services, and online resources. Appointments can be scheduled by calling 765-658-4268, through email (, or by visiting their office in person at the Lilly Center. 

  • Visit the Hubbard Center

The Hubbard Center, located on the second floor of the Union Building, is an amazing resource for career development, internships, off-campus study, work study, and graduate school. They can also look over your resume and help you figure out what career is best for you. Check out the Hubbard Center website for more information about advising hours. 

  • Get to know your professors

DePauw professors are invested in their students' education alongside their well- being. You can always pop by office hours and stay after class to chat. You will sometimes have multiple classes with the same professors so take the opportunity to get to know them. 

  • Check your DePauw email often

Stay in the loop by regularly checking your email for updates from the university and the weekly entertainment schedule. Going to campus-wide events is another way to make new friends. You never want to miss a free food truck or an important update from your professor. 

  • Visit DePauw’s Nature Park

The Nature Park is a beautiful place to hike and destress any time of year. It’s open every day and is a short drive (or long walk) from campus. For directions, check out DePauw’s website.


  • Embrace Personal Identity Transformation 

Your identity will evolve immensely over the next four years through both independence and education. Embrace all of the change that comes with it because you have no idea how fast the next four years will fly. 

Don’t worry if you feel lost. Everyone has been there at one point, and DePauw is filled with wonderful people who will be there for you when times are hard. Try to explore as much of what this campus has to offer.