Aug. 27, 2014
Get a fan. That was the first piece of advice I found myself offering new freshmen as I helped them move into Campbell Hall last Sunday. There isn’t any air conditioning in the hall and the forecast for the week ahead looked downright steamy. I lived on the third floor of Campbell and I remember just how warm it can get.
I tried to chat with all of the students as I helped them find the check-in table or lug boxes up the stairwells. Some were more than happy to chatter away, ask advice and offer their thoughts. Others seemed too nervous to do much talking. One young lady came right out and said, “Oh, I’m so nervous. Well, not bad nervous—good nervous. This is all so crazy that I’m here. Do you have any advice?”
Ask any Spartan alumnus for advice and I guarantee you’ll get plenty.
Get a fan. Go to class. Study hard. Make friends. Join a club. Get to know your professors. Find a tutor. Be open to new experiences. Form study groups. Get a bike. Do the Izzone campout. Go on a study abroad. Love your major. Learn to be a good writer. Find a research opportunity. Get involved. Do an internship. Walk all over campus. Go to the Dairy Store. Volunteer in the community. Meet your neighbors. Speak up in class. Have fun. Learn. Enjoy. Be a Spartan.
The list is as long as the hundreds and hundreds of opportunities students can find here at MSU. Every bit of it is good advice and given from the heart. Once you join the Spartan family, you’ll find about a half a million alumni who want you to succeed. You’ll find alumni from every era who want nothing more than help the next generation of Spartans make their mark on this world.
You’ll find alumni who just graduated, like Lukas Hagen. He’s a recent graduate of the Urban & Regional Planning Program in the School of Planning, Design and Construction. Right around the time he graduated in May, he took some time to leave some advice for others coming up behind him in the same program, though most of it can be applied to any major. Read his STUDENT VIEW: Sound Advice, to see what he wants students to know.
The 7,800 freshmen who moved in will also find their biggest cheerleader sitting behind the biggest desk on campus—that of the president. President Lou Anna K. Simon spent Sunday traveling across campus welcoming students and meeting parents. Check out a video from the day and read her message, FROM THE PRESIDENT’S DESK: Welcome to our Spartan Community, to learn what knowledge she has to share with students.
Some of the best advice given is to get to know your professors. Not only are they smart and experts in their field—they’re also pretty cool people who do some pretty incredible work.
People like Meredith Gore, an associate professor of fisheries and wildlife with a joint appointment in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife and the School of Criminal Justice, who is an expert in environmental crimes. She recently returned from a research trip in Madagascar, where she has also taken students for a study abroad course. Read her FACULTY VOICE: It’s Been a Busy Week, to learn more about her and her work.
It’s been a busy week around campus too. All of a sudden, things are buzzing, people are scurrying, parking is limited and excitement is in the air. Classes started today and it’s a whole new world in East Lansing—one I look forward to every year.
I love seeing the new students (who look younger every year) and imagining all the new experiences they have ahead of them. What will they learn? Who will they meet? Where will they go? How will they change the world?
Oh, and did they get a fan?
Photo of President Lou Anna K. Simon, volunteers, students and their families by G.L. Kohuth