Advice from UA 2023 for UA 2024 

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CW / Rebecca Griesbach and Garrett Kennedy

Mikayla Wyatt | @minimalistmikk, Opinions Editor

I sat down with three sophomores, Shanaya Daughtrey, Elissa Nation and Russell Jiles, to see what advice they had for incoming freshmen. Here’s what they had to say.

Elissa

Q: In what ways did you become actively involved on campus? 

A: My first step into the unknown of UA began by participating in Get On Board Day (an event that occurs at the start of every semester where all registered student organizations showcase their organizations). I signed up to participate in three to four organizations at GOBD, and began to attend their regularly scheduled meetings.   

Shanaya 

Q: What are some habits you set in place in order to avoid academic failures? 

A: Some key habits that I developed to ensure my academic success were making sure that I wrote everything down on my wall calendar, as well as in my phone calendar. I set reminders for everything which forced me to become more organized than I initially was. I checked my email regularly. When I knew a test was approaching I would always set blocks of time to study at least a week in advance. 

Russell

Q: How did you mentally cope with the change of environment and maintaining multiple responsibilities? 

A: I learned to balance multiple responsibilities at once, whether it was attending student organization meetings, completing homework assignments or even hanging out with friends. College and independence revolve around being able to juggle a plethora of responsibilities at once. 

Elissa 

Q: What support systems or campus resources assisted you most with the start of your collegiate career? 

A: My particular college, the College of Arts and Sciences, offered peer coaches to help students manage their schedules and maintain good mental health. My peer coach and I became very close. It was clear that she valued my success and stability just as much as myself. She helped me bring everything into perspective all while introducing me to more opportunities. After just one meeting, I felt a weight lifted off of my shoulders.

Russell 

Q: How did you deal with the transition to strictly online classes due to COVID-19? What ways helped you to still succeed in classes? 

A: I treated it as if we were still on campus. I got up daily and completed coursework during my scheduled class times to still give every class the desired time it needed. I still prioritized to make sure I was still ahead of my classes, which helped me a great deal. 

Shanaya 

Q: How did you find avenues to decompress during high stress times, especially if you resided on campus? 

A: While I was on campus during high-stress times I would always find myself in the Black Student Union office, Fresh Foods or Lakeside. It was a way to unwind, laugh and just take a break from what I was dealing with. If I had a chance to take a nap, that assisted me in decompressing as well. 

Russell 

Q: What are three of the most important pieces of advice you would like to share with the UA class of 2024?

A: Learn to prioritize. Make networking a necessity. Do not give up no matter how hard it gets. 

Elissa

Q: What are three of the most important pieces of advice you would like to share with the UA class of 2024?

A: First and foremost, stay focused. You never want to lose sight of why you are at UA. Next, get involved. It is important to remember life is not only about what you know, but who you know as well. It might be scary at first but putting yourself out there provides opportunities and lifelong friendships. Lastly, be the BEST version of yourself. When you are in a pool of different people it provides room for growth, and the ability to learn from others. Do not lose sight of YOU. 

Shanaya 

Q: What are three of the most important pieces of advice you would like to share with the UA class of 2024?

A: The three pieces of advice that I would like to leave the UA class of 2024 would be to first not put off what you can do today, until tomorrow. Secondly, networking and building relationships with people is essential to your success on campus and beyond. Lastly, parties and social events  are not going anywhere, but the four times here academically will fly by; handle your business first.

Shanaya Daughtrey is a sophomore majoring in political science and minoring in journalism from Lakewood, California. 

Elissa Nation is a sophomore majoring in political science and minoring in English and African American studies from Birmingham, Alabama. 

Russell Jiles is a sophomore from Lakeland, Florida majoring in kinesiology and minoring in exercise science.