Advice from orientation leaders as you finish your first year

group of orientation leaders holding a free hugs sign

The end of your first year at Case Western Reserve University is a time to celebrate, reflect and look forward. As this is your final edition of the FYI newsletter, we wanted to share some advice and recommendations as you look forward to your future at CWRU. 

So, we asked the experts (your orientation leaders!) to share some advice and reflections about their second year experiences:

“I feel like the second year is where it starts to feel like "oh yeah I've got this!” It's just important to not over-commit and still take time for yourself. Try to live in the moment and enjoy it rather than stressing about stuff all the time, which is way easier to do if you're only doing a reasonable number of things you enjoy.”
— Jacob Kauppi ’22

“Sophomore year is when it became more important and helpful for me to plan out classes for my entire college career. It doesn't have to be something fancy and color-coded—even just writing down the classes you want to take and planning out pre-requisites and double checking that you have all of your requirements is really helpful and I would argue necessary. It also prompts you to figure out a plan for later classes and might make you start having conversations with instructors and advisors now about later things (for example, if you're on a pre-professional track, talking to the advisor sophomore year can be super helpful!)”
— Megha D. ’23

“Think about what enriches your college experience, because ultimately that’s what you should put your time and energy towards while you’re here. Remember that in the long term, grades will be a figment of your imagination and finding the balance between school, work, extracurriculars, rest, and fun is important for you too.”
— Amber Hsu ’22

“Second year was when I started thinking more deeply about why I was doing what I was doing (in general, yet especially with my academics). Once I could start answering that "why" for myself, it made it a lot easier down the road when I had an interview or was making a difficult decision.”
— Nathan Ruhde ’22 

“It’s OK to take your time deciding your major and changing it even until the end of your second year. I found myself comparing my path to friends of mine who were in majors that have very specific paths and tight schedules laid out for them while I was still undecided near the end of my second year. But I'm still on track to graduate on time and set myself up for ideal future plans with graduate school.”
— Jacob Osborne ’23

“Pro tip: get your SAGES done early so that you don’t have to worry about it junior or senior year. This is especially important since you’ll be working on your departmental seminars and capstones those years.”
— Megha Dalal ’23

“Feel free to minor in something for fun simply because it fits in your course load. I have no real use for learning Japanese but here I am minoring in it because it's fun for me. It's 100% OK to take classes that are just simply fun for you sometimes.”
— Jacob Osborne ’23