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Advice from a Senior: Danielle Durak | Valparaiso University

Looking back on my time at Valpo, there are a lot of aspects I wish I would have known about before coming to college. When it comes to reminiscing about my past years, here are some pieces of advice I have for incoming freshman: 


  1. Bring the right supplies for freshman dorms. When I was a freshman, I forgot to bring important necessities that would’ve been very helpful, such as a Brita filter, a shoe rack, mattress topper, and a decent sized fan for air conditioning. The      Brita filter is super important because you don’t have to worry about going all the way to the water fountain down the hall to fill up your water bottle. The shoe rack is super helpful because it helps organize your shoes so that you’re not tripping over them when you walk in the room. Having a mattress topper does wonders for your sleep quality and makes it      softer and more comfortable to sleep on. When it comes to buying a fan, I’m not talking about a little dinky one, but one that is reliable and efficient like a tower fan. It will keep the room feeling nice and air conditioned even though there is no air conditioning in the freshman residence halls. 

  2. Managing your time wisely. There are a lot of things you can do to help manage your time. Buying a nice planner can help with creating a schedule each day and sticking to it. It’s also good to plan out your day the night before if you have a lot going on the next morning, or plan it out that day when you wake up if you don’t have too much going on. 

  3. Make time to meditate and relax during the day. College can be very stressful, so it's always good to have an outlet to manage your stress. I would recommend meditating      every day when you wake up      so you can start the day off on a calm note. There are a lot of meditation apps available that are really useful, like Headspace and Meditate. 

  4. Know your resources and use them to your advantage. Go to office hours with your professors and get to know the resources that are available for you within your major and how they can help. Also, go to the Valparaiso University Career Center and Alumni network (VUCAN) as much as possible and utilize it as much as you  can. The Christopher Center has a writing center that can help students with their essays, papers or assignments. There is also a counseling center that can help students if they are struggling with mental health and social media platforms that can help inform students on what their peers are doing, like Valpo Student Life, Valpo Dining, College of Business, College of Nursing, College of Engineering, etc.  

  5. Get involved as much as possible. Go to the student organizations fair in August and figure out what clubs or organizations you would like to be involved in. It’s also smart to sign up on and get involved in as many rec sports as you can!

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