Ask a Lawrentian

What advice would you give to incoming students?

  • “Go to concerts, films, lectures and events not required for your classes. Every term, I go through the online events calendar on the LU website to see what might interest me. I add those things to my personal calendar so I can make time to attend them.”
  • “Your productivity does not determine your worth as a human. Take breaks when you need to. Reach out to others and ask for help, even your professors.”
  • “Remember: Every other incoming student is just as nervous as you are!”

What advice would you give to students who are experiencing Appleton for the first time?

  • “It’s ok to not feel at home in this city right away. It’s an adjustment for everyone. It might feel incredibly small or overwhelmingly large depending on where you come from. The political climate or diversity might be nothing like your home town. It’ll be a shock and it can feel very alien at first, but that’s ok. Find things in the city that remind you of your hometown, like traditional restaurants or niche shops. Explore with a friend from a similar place as you so that you can both take in the city and talk about the changes as you go along.”
  • “Try not to get hit by cars!”
  • “Don’t try to be a hero in the winter and walk around campus in shorts when it’s below freezing. Wisconsin gets cold, and the smartest thing that you can do is dress for the weather.”
  • “Go on walks in the neighborhoods around campus, it helps to not feel as trapped!”

What/who is a hidden gem of Lawrence?

  • “The trails, the underground tunnel (so useful in the winter,) the Harry Potter room in the library, the individual study rooms in the library.”
  • “Wellness services and counseling staff. They care about you SO much. Also Julie H in the CAS.”
  • “SLUG hill. When the grass is mowed and it’s nice out, it’s fun to sit out there with a cafe drink and look over the river. Or when there’s enough snow to sled down it… If you’re brave enough, it’s pretty fun too.”
  • “Kate Zoromski! (Light of my life <3)”
  • “She’s super new, but definitely Prof. Sommer in the music theory department!”

What advice do you have specifically for first-year students?

  • “Try new things, but also listen to your gut and your body. Don’t feel pressured to do something if you really don’t want to!”
  • “The term can go by really fast, 10 weeks is no joke, so try to take time to relax, especially during the last three weeks. Eighth week can be notoriously taxing.”
  • The first friends you make at Welcome Week may not be your friends forever, and that’s okay. There are so many wonderful students to meet at Lawrence!
  • “If you are struggling in classes go talk to your professors!! They can’t help if they don’t know!”
  • “Don’t be afraid to try new things. You won’t always succeed, but you will learn something if you are reflecting on your experiences. Ask others for advice, but remember “your mileage may vary”— don’t make up your mind about something or someone before you encounter it/them yourself.”

What advice do you have specifically for sophomores?

  • “It’s ok to feel like last year wasn’t so great. You started college during a pandemic! Making friends, connecting with professors and taking advantage of experiences are all hard enough during a normal freshman year, but even more so for you. You have so much more time to do all of these things and to discover who and what makes you happiest here. It’s completely normal if feeling connected and happy here takes some time. It’s alright to not feel the best right now. But we’re all rooting for you this year and give you our support!”
  • “Don’t feel intimidated by choosing a major. Choose something you’re excited to learn about and remember that you still have two more years so it’s all flexible.”
  • “It’s okay to grow apart from your first-year friends, you will make new friends.”

What advice do you have specifically for transfer students?

  • “It might feel like friend groups are already established, but everyone is looking for new friends! Don’t be afraid to ask someone to grab lunch or hang out after class. The community here is so friendly, and someone would be thrilled to get to know you! Also, don’t be afraid to let others know you’re a transfer student — upperclassmen are super excited to have you here and are eager to help you feel welcome!”
  • “You are welcome here!!”