Advice to Incoming Freshmen From The Fordham Ram Staff

Ava Erickson: Many Fordham students discount the cafeteria, but it was such a central part of my freshman year. It is a hub of campus life — the perfect place to people-watch, work on homework or meet up with friends, all while snacking on a delicious bowl of cereal. Since moving off campus my sophomore year I have really missed receiving that “caf at 6?” text in the group chat. So don’t miss out, the caf has the power to become the heart of your social life and the site of your best memories.

Hanif Amanullah: There’s of- ten a pressure on freshman to pack absolutely everything into their schedules — meetings, outings, dinners and classes. Don’t forget that downtime is just as important for your well- being. For the average college student who is racing between boroughs and school buildings every week, a quiet night in is an essential mental health break.

Michael Sluck: Make sure you explore New York City! No matter what you’re into, there’s something here for everyone. Parks, museums, stores, concerts, shows, movies — all just a subway ride away. Your college education takes place in all of New York, not just Fordham’s campus.

Sebastian Diaz: Don’t feel pressured to know what you want out of your post-college life when you’re still only entering this stage of life. As a freshman, I found myself continuously trying to find the most efficient way to enter a career path only to end up changing my mind multiple times. The first couple years of college are designed to give you time to figure your own life out. While you might feel pressure from other students who have their pas- sions predetermined, remember that it’s okay to take the time to work on yourself.

Pia Fischetti: Stay organized any way you can. College can be a startling transition as you realize that with more freedom comes more responsibility. It can be hard maintaining a healthy balance between academics and a social life. Whether it’s writing in a planner or setting daily reminders, organization can help with time management and productivity.

Amanda Yarolin: Don’t let your grades define you as a person. As important as a good GPA might be, it does not dictate the kind of person you are, nor your talents and abilities. Simply trying your best goes a long way; cherish this time for establishing the best parts of yourself and continuing to grow.

Hannah Boring: I’ve struggled with codependency my whole life, but over the course of my freshman year, I learned to enjoy being by myself. Go into the city, read on Eddie’s or sit at a coffee shop — there are so many options. Of course, make friends and cherish your time with them, but don’t forget to treasure the lonely days too.

Isabel Danzis: When I was a freshman, I felt like everyone else had a better handle on things. I felt like everyone else had more friends, felt more at home, was getting better grades and had more of an idea about what they wanted to do with their lives, and that perception was utterly false. Everyone is at the same place. Some people are better at faking it or making it seem like they have everything better than others. So with that, be outgoing! Everyone wants new friends, everyone wants someone to walk to class with or go to the caf with. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.

Sam Minear: Freshman year was a rough one for me. Between the COVID-19 pandemic and moving to a new state by myself, I felt incredibly isolated and lonely in contrast to my peers, who I perceived as much more socially and academically fulfilled. I performed poorly in my classes –– to my standards –– and made little friends. That being said, I wouldn’t change a thing because I learned so much about myself and others. My piece of advice would be to take risks and leave your comfort zone: you’ll only be 18 once, so make the most of it!

Emma Kim: There are so many new people and things freshman year. With all the change, it is important to go outside of your comfort zone and get involved. It is a lot easier to meet new people if you reach out to them instead of waiting for them to reach out. Also, since there are so many things to do in the city, it is a great opportunity to invite people out to explore.

Taylor Herzlich: If you are ever going through a rough patch and feeling mad at the world, think of your middle school self. Think of how proud that little version of you would be to see yourself all grown up at college, living on your own and pursuing something important, challenging or just something you love. A little perspective can help you feel more grateful for “the college experience.”

Nicole Braun: Don’t take things too seriously. Yes, it’s important to try and succeed academically, but don’t lose perspective of who you are and what is import- ant. If things start to feel too big and scary, take a breath. Find the little things, the little moments, that remind you of who you are.

Daniella Terilli: Remember that every other new student is experiencing the same feelings you are. It’s completely normal to stress about doing well in your new courses, worry about making friends you really connect with or even get lost finding a classroom. You’re not alone, and you all will feel settled before you know it.

Kari White: Take care of yourself. An underrated lesson I learned my freshman year was to eat regularly, eat properly, drink plenty of water and exercise. It’s easy to get caught up in the stress of classes, clubs and social outings, but you will not be your best self mentally if you do not take care of yourself physically.

Nick Guzman: It might sound obvious, but talk to people! Talk to the person sitting next to you in class or the person relaxing in the lounge. Every freshman is eager to make friends, even if they don’t outwardly show it. Speaking up and making the first move can lead to lasting friendships.

Maddie Bimonte: Don’t be afraid to reach out and talk to your professors during office hours. Especially if you don’t understand something in class, office hours are a great place to get clarification or extra help. It can seem very intimidating to approach a professor in their office, but all of the professors at Fordham want to see every student succeed.

Ava Carreiro: Don’t be afraid to get involved. One of the best ways to put yourself out there and meet new people is by join- ing a club. I highly recommend attending Fordham’s club fair which is held every semester (this year it is on Aug. 31 at 2 p.m.). Plus, everyone leaves with free t-shirts, pop sockets, candy, etc. It’s a win-win! You can also join clubs via if you happen to miss the club fair.