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Bringing It Home – The Saint Rose Blog

Advice for incoming students from a graduating senior

In August 2019, I started my first year at The College of Saint Rose. Now, I’m a senior graduating in May.

I’ve learned so much over the last four years, but there are so many things I wish I knew before I came to college. Being the oldest sibling in my family, I am the first one to go to college, so I did not have an older brother or sister to tell me much about what to expect during my four years of college. That’s why I am writing this today – to help those of you who are entering the next chapter of your life!

A female student sitting on a dorm bed on her first day of college. She is smiling.

The author setting up her first-year dorm room in Brubacher Hall in 2019. Photo courtesy of Zachely Nickens ’23.

Utilize On Campus Resources
There are an endless amount of resources on campus to help you navigate (pun intended) your time in college. The Navigate app is a great resource presented to students by the college in order to make it easier for students to gain access to the resources they need to succeed. Students can book appointments with Career Services, Student Development, Financial Aid, Residence Life, or Academic Support all from one app.

As someone who has struggled with math my entire life, I had to take a math placement test to get into my math class.With a tool like Navigate, I was able to 1) gain access to a study guide and 2) use the app to book my time slot to take my test. Thankfully, I got the score I needed for my class and eventually went on to pass the class with an A.


A large group of college students posing in a dorm hallway.

The author (fourth row, center) posing with Sabor Latino at Midknight Fever 2019. Photo courtesy of Zachely Nickens ’23.

Put Your Mental Health First
When I was a sophomore in 2021, I found it really difficult to get through my semester on campus during COVID-19. On top of the stress of school, I was dealing with a lot of personal issues and it was really hard to get an appointment with a psychologist in my health insurance network. I was lucky enough to be referred to the Counseling Center on campus and began seeing a professional counselor right here.

Saint Rose’s Counseling Center was really convenient and beneficial to me for the time that I needed it. It is normal for school to take a toll on your mental health, but it’s important to remember that there are always professionals available to help you through those challenging times. Remember to be transparent with your professors and let them know when you are not feeling yourself. It’s important for them to know your situation in case you miss class or need extensions on assignments.

Expect and Accept Change

Three female students smiling together in front of a wall covered in lights.

The author and two of her friends celebrating after a Sabor Latino event. Photo courtesy of Zachely Nickens ’23.

Just as no day is the same as the one before, no year will be. College is a place for everyone to grow and flourish. After four years of being in college, you should expect multiple changes. Your outlook on life, friendships and relationships, financial situations, grades, and much more may change.

That is not to say that all change is bad, but there are times it will feel like that and it will be difficult to see the bigger picture in difficult times. You may start college with one major and end up with two, or completely change it altogether, but those changes may lead you to a career and life you absolutely love! Change is inevitable and you’ll be more receptive to it when you accept that it is a sign of growth.

College for me has been full of growth and changes. I learned a lot about myself and the way I handle the situations life throws at me. With all of the resources on campus, I found it a lot easier to navigate through my hardships throughout the past four years. As you get ready to come to campus this fall, my advice for you is to make the most of your experience by trying new things, getting involved on campus, creating relationships with people, and utilizing all of the resources that the College provides. Welcoming change puts you on a great path to growth and allows you to achieve your goals with an open mind.

A female student sits on a brick half wall on the Saint Rose campus on a sunny day. She is smiling and wearing a Saint Rose sweatshirt under a black jacket.

The author posing on campus. Fun fact: Zachely bought and is rocking her first piece of Saint Rose merch in this photo! Photo courtesy of Zachely Nickens ’23.

By Zachely Nickens

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