Take it from me

Upperclassmen offer advice to the Class of 2019 (and the rest of you, too).

By Kiran Misra

Don’t be afraid to take hard classes, they’re usually the most rewarding. (Mythili Vinnakota) Stay in touch with your roots, whether that be calling your family often, being proud of your culture and traditions, or participating in cultural activities in college. (Marielena Segovia) Don’t be afraid to drop classes if they’re boring. Don’t take Econ 198 because your parents make you. (Kathryn Vandervalk) Talk to as many people as you can and stay in touch with them if you enjoy their company. College isn’t about just making one or two really good friends, you can have so many amazing experiences with different people. (Kirin Upadhyay) You don’t have nearly as much to prove to yourself as you think you do. (Robin Ye) First year is a time for growth. Growth can be uncomfortable, so be prepared for the tough times, but ultimately know that it is making you into a better person. (Brian Weisbecker) Step 1: Acquire doorstop. Step 2: ???? Step 3: Profit (Brian Choo) Listen to everyone. Sometimes you can hear the most amazing things from the most unlikely people. (Daniel Muratore) Roommate conflicts are real – it’s ok! Don’t be afraid to talk it out – people here are incredibly kind and understanding. Your RAs and RHs are always there to help if you need it! (Ajith John) When you’re feeling incredibly lost in a class or hopelessly behind on a paper, go to office hours. You may think it is a waste of time—for both you and your professor—but office hours can be used to simply talk through ideas. (Annika Olson) There’s no such thing as popularity in college. Just be yourself and you’ll find the right group of friends. (Tiffany Ruan) Try to meet someone new each week. (Sharan Subramanian) The Kosher station has better hummus. (Graham Northrup) You don’t have to go the Reg if you don’t want to. Joel Beacher succeeded in school without ever going to the Reg. (Kevin Johnston) Get out of the bubble you live in, figuratively and metaphorically—leave Hyde Park to explore the different neighborhoods, talk to new people, consider new classes and strange majors, and stay open-minded to new beliefs as you grow. (Preethi Raju) Don’t worry about what exact friend group or “clique” you’re in right now. You will find the right group of friends when the time comes. (Andrea Popova) Get involved in an extracurricular! It’s a welcome distraction from daily life and keeps things interesting. (Zach Weston) Don’t underestimate the importance of sleep. (Joel Beacher) Coffee-date everyone interesting. (Stephanie Bi) Don’t become too jaded. [Everything] always regresses to the mean (Shafayet Patwari) Don’t be That Kid. (Kelly Mao) Don’t be afraid to seek help when you need it. If you feel depressed, anxious, or feel like you have troubles with life in general, you are not alone. Mental illness needs just as much medical attention as an infection or broken arm. (Tiffanie Duong) Be sure to take some time for yourself. Join an RSO that’s outside of your career trajectory. (Victoria Huang) Ask big questions, demand big answers. (Kiran Misra) Dance. (Amaro Luna) This is a time for you, not anyone else, to really work out what it means for you to be doing things the “right” way. Think for yourself, and believe in your ability to do so. Don’t copy the answers to life’s most important questions. (Aaron Demsetz) Don’t take classes in the morning if you aren’t a morning person. Chem was at 8:30 a.m. for me. I ended up going to a total of three chem classes third quarter as a result. (Kelly Mao) Make memories. You won’t regret the times you chose to be with your friends instead of studying. People stick with you longer than the vocabulary words from a textbook. (Elizabeth Gaule) If you mess something up, don’t be afraid to admit it. (Sanaa Madhukar) It’s okay to feel like you have no idea what’s going on. Everyone feels that way at some point—that someone else has their life together better than they do. (Charissa Newkirk) To stay organized and help keep perspective, write lists of everything—what you need to do in a given week, classes that seem interesting, things you want to see in the city, any potential post-grad or summer opportunity you want to apply to, things you want to do at home over break, daily/weekly/quarterly/yearly goals, etc. (Colin McNamara) A clean room is surprisingly relaxing to walk into, so just take the time to clean every now and then. (Zach Weston) Befriend the Housing staff. Actually, befriend all the staff. (Jeffrey Dresnick and Aiden Million) Don’t major in econ. (Brian Ng) If you want to get a dollar shake, go when other people have class. (Erica Maricich) Plan early and plan often. Plan your summer in February. Plan for your future in your first year. There are a lot of opportunities, but they start rapidly disappearing after your first year. (Chris Summers) Never let your academics get in the way of your education. (Dexter O’Connell and Mark Twain) Don’t ask someone if a class is going to be hard. They’re going to tell you that they never slept, that it was awful or they’re going to say that it was the easiest thing they’ve ever done. Neither of these is true. (Kelsie Harriman) Push your limits then accept them. (Katherine Vega) Just because someone really sucks at one thing doesn’t mean they suck at everything. (Ryan Tang) You can learn a lot about life in college by watching television. The only thing you can’t learn is what the inside of your dorm room will look like. (Meredith Esquivel) Drop a class if you’re not getting what you want out of it. Make time to explore Chicago beyond the loop. (Varsha Sundar) Education doesn’t make you better than anyone else. (John Levi Martin) Do the readings if you plan on speaking in class. Just because you can survive and even succeed in a discussion class by participating without doing the readings doesn’t mean you should. (Kiran Misra) Be kind to yourself. (Louisa Richardson-Deppe) UChicago mantra, repeat after me: You have a lot to learn, but you have a lot to bring to the table. (Kathryn Vandervalk) It’s okay to do nothing sometimes. Time spent with yourself isn’t time wasted. (Aaron Deng) Show up— to meetings for clubs you don’t know anybody in, to office hours, to interesting events on campus, and even to lectures for classes you think you don’t understand. Let your failures be because you tried and weren’t successful, not because you were too scared to let yourself have a chance in the first place. (Anji Misra) It could always be worse(Hafsa Razi) Go to Harper tutors. (Katie Mott) Figure out what makes you happy and do it. (Erika Zheng) It’s OK to be sad sometimes. (Evan Zimmerman) Don’t be afraid of being That Kid. Actually contribute in your Core classes. (Zach Yost) Stay calm. Everything will work out; when you get overwhelmed, Google pictures of baby animals. (Aashna Mukerji) Believe in yourself. (Sisi Liu) Get a bike. Then get a U-Lock. (Xander Beberman) Just because you can take four classes every quarter doesn’t mean you should. (Aiden Million) It’s going to be hard, but you’re going to be fine, you were admitted to this school for a reason. (Kelsie Harriman) Don’t be afraid of your procrastination, just channel it into something productive. (James Kiselik) You always have more time than you think. (Kyle Bardman) Talk to as many random people as possible, and try to remember their names. Failing that, master the use of terms like ‘dude’ and ‘man,’ or just don’t use direct address at all. (Owen Greene) Speak up. (Noah McMillion) Make friends with baristas and don’t pay for coffee. (Jordan Porto)

Kiran Misra is a third-year in the College majoring in public policy and international studies.