We asked current students to think back to their freshmen year and what they wish they had known. Their advice is below.
Go to the Student Involvement Fair at the beginning of the year and sign up for everything that looks interesting. Then try each one out and pick a couple that stand out. Remember you can’t do everything, but the things you choose will be wonderful.
Definitely get involved. There is a Student Involvement Fair at the beginning of the year filled with all sorts of clubs and organizations. Don’t let it intimidate you, embrace it! I think I signed up for 20+ organizations…I was ambitious. And even though not all of them were a good fit, I found some great clubs that made my freshman year experience wonderful.
At the Student Involvement Fair, be careful not to just write your e-mail down for every student organization that somewhat sparks your interest – your inbox will be thankful later on!!! I suggest taking a first round to all of the student activity tables to get an overview, and THEN go around a second time to the ones that really truly interest you, and write your e-mail down for 5 groups tops. You don’t want to overcommit and you don’t want to sign up for things you really aren’t passionate about.
Dive into everything, then select things you plan to stick and drop those you don’t have time for or are not interested in.
Sign up for everything you might possibly interested as soon as you get on campus. You can always unsubscribe from the email lists later.
DEFINITELY go to the Student Involvement Fair and sign up for anything you might be interested in, go to the first meetings, and then start making cuts. You will have to pick you and choose what you really invest your time in, but it’s always nice to start with a large field.
The “Pros v. Joes” Orientation week is an outstanding method of both getting to know your hall-mates as well as getting a taste of sports offerings at Wake.
Try a number of different activities, even if you think you might not like them. It’s tempting during your first few weeks to stick with your freshman hall, but there are so many student groups that are a great way to branch out and meet people you may not run into in your dorm. These groups will also give you a chance to meet older students who can provide great advice and become great friends. If you don’t like a group, you don’t have to stay in it, but try it!
One of the biggest things about getting involved in activities is probably joining at least one club or group at the beginning of your time at Wake. I observed that people who waited a few months to get involved ended up quitting their activities and were not being very active on campus because they already adapted to their schedules. The Student Involvement Fair is one of the very first weeks of school, and I strongly recommend going with the goal of joining at least one club or service group. You can even start browsing some of the activities Wake Forest has over the summer so that you are not overwhelmed at the activities fair.
One of the best places to get involved socially is your hall and your dorm. Go to any mingling activities offered at the begging of the year like ice cream socials and get to know your peers and future friends that you’ll be living with. My closest friends have all come from my Freshman year dorm.
Try to get some dorm hall camaraderie going as soon as possible, go to all the on campus orientation events even if students try to convince you to go to other outside parties.
Go out on the weekends, even if it is just to see the movie in Benson. You’ll need a break.
Athletic games are free for students, so go to them and cheer on your Demon Deacons.
Editorial note: The comments have been minimally edited and grouped together for coherence. In come cases, comments were combined with others. When we had students responding with the same advice, we repeated it for emphasis. In the event a student offered advice that ran counter to what Wake Forest advises, it was not included. These comments represent the views of the student commentators, not the views of the Parent Programs office or Wake Forest.