Pulling up to your dorm for your freshman year can be one of the most exhilarating (and most nerve-wracking) times of your entire life. For many students, this is their first time away from home for an extended period of time and the first time they are surrounded by completely new faces.
It’s important to set the stage (no pun intended!) for your next four years by establishing a rhythm for success in the first few weeks of your freshman year.
Go to class
This sounds like a no brainer, right? However, when your 8AM ballet class rolls around each morning you may be tempted to catch some extra ZZZs. As a performer/musician/educator/etc., the work ethic you set in college will follow you for the rest of your career. Talent isn’t enough in the real world - you need to be disciplined and reliable as well.
Meet with your Advisor
Thinking about possibly adding a minor to your already packed BFA schedule? Meeting with your advisor right from the start will ensure you plan the next couple of years appropriately. There’s nothing worse than getting to your senior year and finding out you don’t have enough credits to graduate – eek!
Make time for fun
Seriously! Most students who are in the performing arts field are extremely focused and know exactly why they came to their chosen school and exactly what they need to do to succeed. However, let us remind you: interesting humans make interesting performers! To be relatable, vulnerable, empathic, etc. – all the things you need to create powerful work – you must have life experience. Make friends and push yourself to go outside of your comfort zone. Every new emotion and experience will not only make you a happier human, but a stronger performer/musician/dancer. Not to mention, your course load is stressful! Find time to relax and have fun so you don’t burn out.
Enjoy things outside your major
You’ll be spending most of your time with the same group of people for the majority of your four years if you are in a BFA/BA/BM program and often you’ll only be in a handful of buildings on campus. Students can start to feel a bit antsy if there aren’t reasons to explore a new part of campus or hang out with a new set of people. We encourage you to make the most of your off time and enjoy things that don’t have to do with your major. Heading to the University of Michigan and have always dreamed of joining a sorority? Go for it! Want to continue to hone your chess skills? Join the chess club at Ithaca College!
Here’s to the best four years yet!