4 Tips for First-Year Students from ECS Peer Leaders

Unique View of Carnegie Library
Unique View of Carnegie Library

Leaving home and starting a new chapter at college can be challenging. At the College of Engineering and Computer Science, we prioritize making all students feel welcome, so we’ve gathered valuable insights from fellow students who were once in your shoes. Sharing their experiences and advice to help you navigate this journey, here’s what they had to say: 

Aaron Shin

Aaron Shinn ‘25 | Civil Engineering  

“As a first-year student, I wish I put less pressure on myself. The transition to college can be difficult as you meet countless people, learn about different opportunities, and try to figure out what best interests you. Instead of overwhelming yourself over how things will unfold, just trust that simple actions like trying a bit of everything and building connections with those you meet early will be helpful in the future. You may not know who your closest friends will be, what you’re most passionate about, or what student organizations you want to commit to, but doing those little things will ensure that everything falls into place.”

Mary Schieman ‘24 | Environmental Engineering  

“The biggest piece of advice that I could give a first-year student is to put yourself out there!  Starting anything new can be terrifying, but college is a new slate where so many new opportunities are presented to you. I tended to isolate myself before college, but once I started joining clubs and meeting people, I enjoyed myself so much more. Everyone might seem like they have it together, but I promise we’re all still figuring it out.”

Paxson Andino

Paxon Andino ‘24 | Electrical Engineering   

“As a first-year student, walking into Shaw Hall with a whole bunch of people I didn’t know was terrifying. If I could go back in time, I would put myself out there more. I started to get out more during my second year and by taking that leap of faith, I now have great friends and keep meeting more people. Your first year of college is crucial to figuring yourself out and getting involved. Trust the process and you’ll find your people, your passions, and yourself. Also, make important connections with professors, advisors, or people who have more knowledge in your major and in life. I hope you find your place at Syracuse University because it’s such a great place to be your authentic self. I wish you all the best and to make the community the best it can be.” 

Isabella Perkins 25’ | Chemical Engineering  

“I wish I had known about the beauty of trying new things. There are so many great programs and organizations here at SU that may or may not be a part of your home college. I wish I had taken the time to look into more of the different clubs and groups on and around campus as they are a great source not only to make connections but also as an outlet for the stresses that come naturally with schoolwork. It’s incredibly important to avoid getting burnt out by what you’re doing in school so joining clubs and different organizations that aren’t related to your major are great outlets. “

Experience college beyond the classroom and see what life as an ECS student is all about. Click here to explore all our clubs and organizations to connect with other students and faculty.