Tips for UW-Eau Claire’s incoming class of first-year students

Current first-year students give advice for incoming students next year


Photo by McKenna Dirks

As UW-Eau Claire’s current first-year students are finishing up their first year of college, some are offering advice to next semester’s incoming students.

Nik Carpenter, a first-year kinesiology student, said he chose UW-Eau Claire for a few reasons, including the scenery and “smaller, yet big university” feel.

Carpenter said his advice to incoming students is to go to every “cheesy” event the school throws throughout the first month of school, and to never stop making friends. He also said it’s OK to go out every weekend, but it’s also OK not to if that is someone’s preference.

“Make sure school comes first,” Carpenter said. “And good times come immediately after. Every day is a new adventure and you’ll never have the same outlook on life again after this year.”

Casey Hilts, a first-year music composition and theatre arts student, said he chose to come to Eau Claire because of the music and theatre program, but also because of the people.

“The people around this area seemed very likable,” Hilts said. “So I decided to give this place a shot.”

He said first-years shouldn’t fear failure and shouldn’t come in expecting college to be perfect.

“Everyone here makes mistakes all the time,” Hilts said. “But we learn from them, and they make us better people. If you fail at something here, embrace it, because it will help you grow.”

Hilts also said first-years should put themselves out there from the start through all the clubs and organizations the university offers. Hilts said to have fun and meet new people.

Elena Crownover, a first-year elementary education student, said she decided on UW-Eau Claire because of the opportunities it provided her.

“The education department here allows me to get into the program quickly,” Crownover said, “and provides me opportunities to work with kids, and to grow as a person.”

She said she joined the triathlon club, as well, in order to challenge herself and help herself grow.

“But don’t take on too much,” Crownover said. “Allow yourself time to be by yourself. Have healthy relationships and make sure to stay active and eat.”

Tyler Wyland, a first-year general marketing student, said he came to Eau Claire because the people seemed much more genuine, and it “felt right.”

He said he recommends that first-years get involved in anything on campus.

“Get involved in an organization they’re passionate about,” Wyland said. “Or just try something new.”

Elijah Colson, a first-year women’s, gender and sexuality studies student, said he decided to attend UW-Eau Claire for not only the beautiful campus, but also the accepting atmosphere.

He said, for any incoming student, they should get involved and try something new.

“I never would’ve thought I’d be part a part of some organizations on campus a year ago,” Colson said. “Now I’m thankful I did.”

Transitioning into college can be confusing or overwhelming times for many people, but there are healthy ways to work through the fear and make the best of a new situation.

Dirks can be reached at [email protected]