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Advice from Current Spiders

Welcome to the WOW first year advice page! These nuggets of advice have been submitted by current Spiders to support your transition to college life at the University of Richmond.

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  • Step out of your comfort zone.

    When I first arrived at the University of Richmond I knew I wanted to connect with people and create fun memories to look back on. Without in person orientation and other events that could facilitate meeting new people, reaching my goal was tough. Nevertheless, I took a risk and smiled behind my mask at every person that walked by me. I introduced myself with a positive attitude and a 6 feet distance. While we yelled behind our mask I began making new friends and learning from my classmates’ diverse experiences. In retrospect, I am so thankful I kept an open mind and talked to as many people as I could. - Dani Valderrama

  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions in class.

    Introduce/befriend at least one person in each of your classes. Having a study buddy that you can text with questions is a huge advantage. Everyone is as lost and confused as you are, ask questions! Your peers thank you later.

  • Get connected.

    Presence is your gateway to campus involvement! Presence has a regularly updated schedule of campus events hosted by student organizations, departments, and offices. Additionally, students can learn more about clubs and activities they may like to join by checking out the student organizations’ homepages. On these pages, students can find a video introducing the club, an introduction letter from the president, contact information, and how to get involved. In order to always be in the know, students should download the UR Involved to their phone, which contains a live calendar of all events in Presence. To find out what clubs may interest students, complete the Involvement Calculator for suggestions and come to the annual SpiderFest to meet with representatives from over 170 student organizations.

  • Have confidence.

    Be confident because you are just as capable, if not more, than every other student here. Getting to know people who are different from you, college isn’t fun being surrounded with only people who are similar (ex. race, socio-economic status). Friends are fun, but focus on your grades too! Don’t shy away from opportunities. Most importantly, believe in yourself! - Rising Senior

  • Get to know experienced Spiders.

    Reach out to students in graduating years above you! They are incredibly friendly to first year students and will happily give advice on classes and professors! - Rising Junior

  • Balance your schedule.

    It’s not a good idea to fulfill all your gen-eds in your first year, take classes that interest you instead. - Rising Sophomore

  • Build relationships with your professors.

    Go to office hours!! It’s a great time to get to know your professors on a more personal level. You never know what opportunities they could offer you in the future.- Rising Sophomore

  • Get involved.

    Get involved right from the jump and try everything out. You don’t want to be thinking "what if..." at the end of your four years, and Richmond has a ton of great opportunities that you can take advantage of, from student orgs to career resources. - John Mulligan

  • Think about your future.

    There are a lot more people with niche interests on campus than it seems like during orientation. Take classes that are relevant to where you want to go in life. Yes you have to finish at least 1 major to graduate, so definitely choose those courses wisely, but professors outside of your major may ultimately become your greatest allies, biggest fans and the best people you’ve ever met. Now is the time to Try Everything! - Sarah Pixley

  • Put yourself out there.

    If you want to make friends, you can’t rely on bumping into people. Make plans to hang out! You have a lot more time to be alone than before, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re lonely. - Rising Junior

  • Go to things.

    You have access to lots of free things that you’ll never have access to again- plays, talks, concerts, dance classes, clubs, educated speakers, sports games etc. go to them! Take advantage of what the University, Deptartments, Student Groups, etc. are offering you!