On a quiet Saturday morning, packed cars breathe life into the dormant streets of Greencastle, Indiana. Students flood the residential halls of South Quad with dorm necessities and anxious parents alike. After a quick move-in, first-year students find themselves immersed in an orientation alongside their new peers. Amidst the excitement of mentors and bustle of campus, a layer of nervousness and unfamiliarity linger in the minds of first-years. 

As a sophomore, here are the things I wish I knew on my first day at DePauw. 

Your mentor is here to support you

After unpacking your dorm, first-year students are brought together to meet their mentor groups. Leading these mentee groups are trained mentors who have gone through a week of training to ensure your transition to DePauw is smooth and successful. 

Despite the training they received, mentors were once in the same shoes as you were. They understand the mixed feelings, confusion, and excitement that you are feeling now. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your mentor to sit down and talk about anything related to your first-year experience. These mentors voluntarily went through ample training just for you. 

Leave your mind, and dorm room, open

For many, college is a fresh start. Whether you come from the suburbs of Indianapolis or abroad, DePauw is a completely new experience. Keeping an open mind can help students better immerse themselves in the campus community. There are several opportunities for first-year students to find their community on campus. 

The campus Activity Fair, to be held on August 25 from 6-8 p.m., will host representatives from all sorts of student clubs and organizations. This is an excellent opportunity for new students to get involved in campus activities, civic engagement, and other DePauw groups. 

Simply keeping your dorm room open during the first few weeks at DePauw can help ease the transition. By engaging with the DePauw community, first-year students are more likely to find like-minded people and build friendships. Don’t be afraid to spark conversations with new students or get involved. 

Know your resources

DePauw can be an overwhelming place when you first arrive. Knowing your resources can alleviate the stress and anxiety surrounding your first year. Talking to your mentor is an excellent way to learn more about the available resources on campus. 

DePauw offers peer tutoring in a variety of subjects. Writing, speaking, and quantitative reasoning tutoring can be found in the Learning Commons of DePauw’s Roy O. West Library. Trained Science and Mathematics tutors are also available throughout the week in the Julian Auditorium. 

In addition to academic resources, DePauw offers a variety of mentoring opportunities and postgraduate planning assistance. This mentorship can be found in the Hubbard Center of the Union Building, with specific advisors for tracks, such as Pre-Health. Coquillette Peer Consultants (CPCs) are also available to help students refine their cover letters and resumes. The Hubbard Center is also your go-to spot on campus for help finding any internship or study abroad opportunities!

For your mental and physical health, the Lilly Physical Education and Recreation provides facilities for DePauw students. The Welch Fitness Center, which is open from 7 a.m.- 9 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. on the weekends, is designed to give students free lifting and cardio equipment. DePauw Counseling can also be found upstairs in the Lilly Center. Appointments can be made with licensed staff via counselingserves@depauw.com or at 765-658-4268. A 24/7/365 mental health crisis hotline can also be accessed through this main phone number outside of office hours. Walk-ins are also welcomed. 

Image Courtesy of DePauw University.