We asked current students to think back to their freshmen year and what they wish they had known. Their advice is below.
Make the most of the Freshman Seminar classes–these cross-disciplinary classes weave together disparate elements of issues, are intimate in size to allow for maximum discussion, and, allow you to get to know a professor very well.
Identify yourself to your teacher from day one.
Wake has one of the greatest groups of professors that genuinely want to help you. Develop a relationship with them, you will get way more out of what you learn in the class and they just might be a great mentor/resource.
My biggest tip will always be to get to know your professors. They can turn a B+ into an A-, they are mostly amazingly fascinating people, their job is literally to help you become a more educated person, and 95% of them are there to get to know you. Also, the best letters of recommendation are written by professors that actually know you.
I would also advocate going to talk to your professors, not only because they can be very helpful on assignments, but also because it demonstrates that you care about the class. It also is great getting to know your professors, especially if they’re in a field in which you’re interested in.
Go to your professors’ office hours at least once during the first two weeks of classes, even if you don’t have any questions yet (you can just introduce yourself to your professors and tell them where you’re from, why you’re in their class, etc. – they’ll be happy to meet you!). Then, when you do encounter questions/problems later in the semester, you will already have broken the ice with your professors and you will already know where their offices are located and so there won’t be a very big barrier to seeking help when you need it most.
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.