By Sam Palmisano
As a new year begins, it’s important to start off with some great advice from the people who have done this all before. I asked around campus, and everyone had plenty to offer up about their top tips for new students.
Getting involved on campus is one of the most important things you can do. Whenever I speak to alumni or graduating seniors, their top advice is to get involved. Getting connected can make the most your FGCU experience. You’ll look back later and be thankful that you were involved.
Take advantage of free opportunities
FGCU has plenty of opportunities to participate in free travel trips or just daily activities. The North Lake Waterfront has free kayaks, paddleboards and sailboats for students to use. Certain offices on campus have trips anywhere from one day to one week and are free for students to attend.
Network with everyone you meet
You never know if your next-door-neighbor is going to be a future CEO or if that girl beside you will end up curing cancer. Everyone you meet is a valuable resource that can benefit you in your future career and provide new opportunities; as long as you stay connected with them.
Find the best places to relax
The nature trails and food forest have a ton of hidden spots for you to hang your hammock or go for a hike. There are also hidden rooms around campus buildings for you to relax in between classes or before a big exam. My personal favorite is the hammock at the entrance to the nature trail across from the recreation fields.
Use Tapingo to order your food
The lines for any dining location can go from empty to full in a matter of minutes. Regardless, it’s usually faster to order on your phone ahead of time so that you’re not stuck waiting in line. Once you’ve ordered, that order is saved so you can repeat it whenever you want.
Go to office hours
The benefit of FGCU’s small classes is that the professor actually learns who you are. This is great when you need extra help with homework or a possible boost at the end of the semester. Your professors have connections, advice and experience to help you both in and out of class.
Attend as many events as possible
EagleLink and various campus organizations have great lists of all the events happening on campus. Most of them have free food or swag items when you attend. This is a great way to meet new people and also avoid paying for a few meals per week.
Know where you get an FGCU discount
When you do end up paying, make sure you’re not paying full price if you don’t have to. A number of stores and restaurants at Gulf Coast Town Center, Miromar Outlets and Coconut Point have discounts for FGCU students as long as you bring your ID with you.
Schedule your advising appointments early
A major complaint I hear quite often is the lack of availability for advising appointments right before registration opens. Be sure to look at your calendar and schedule your appointments a few weeks in advance to ensure yourself a spot. The last thing you want is to miss out on registering because you didn’t get an appointment on time.
Check your holds regularly
The worst thing that happens is when you wake up at 6:00 am to register, you’ve got all of your classes set, and you can’t register because of a hold on your account. Whether it’s an unpaid parking ticket or an overdue library book, holds can pop up at any time, so make sure you’re always checking them.
If you have any other tips you’ve learned to make the FGCU experience even better, make sure to let us know! Our DMs are always open.