If I knew then what I know now

Advice from a senior who’s been there

Don’t stay out too late, call when you get home, save your money and study hard—sound familiar? While advice from parents is useful, it doesn’t begin to tap into the specifics you need to know while attending the University of Nevada, Reno.

Take it from me. I will start my fourth year as a journalism major at UNR in the fall. I have lived and worked on campus and off, I made long-lasting friendships and a few enemies, and I earned some good grades and a few I’m not so proud of. It took me three years to decide on a minor (digital media). I put off some core classes and am now enrolled in a 100-level course as a senior (oops). I became a Wolf Pack sports enthusiast—I even know some sports lingo—and am heavily involved in campus life as the editor in chief of the Nevada Sagebrush.

These past few years have been better than I imagined. Here are a few tips to ensure your own college experience will be nothing less.

Get involved

It is in on-campus organizations that you will find people with similar interests, develop new hobbies, be more knowledgeable about the campus and feel part of UNR.

You can join more than 250 clubs and organizations through the student government, the Associated Students of the University of Nevada. If there’s not one right for you, create your own club with 10 friends and get paid for it! Find out about the student government and clubs at www.asun.unr.edu

Clubs and organizations are also offered through each of the colleges, so be sure to check out your department’s website for those opportunities.

Greek life offers a close-knit community while focusing on academics, philanthropy and diversity. The several fraternities and sororities on campus offer different missions, so it’s important to attend recruitment events and choose what, if anything, best suits you. Find out more at www.unr.edu/greeklife. To join intramural sports, check out the Lombardi Recreation Center.

Become a fan

In my opinion, to truly become a Nevada student, you have to be a Wolf Pack fan. Buy some gear at the ASUN Bookstore on the first floor of the Joe Crowley Student Union, and get dressed up for sporting events.

Take the time to learn the cheers and the fight song to root for our team. Cheering as UNR beats the University of Nevada, Las Vegas to win the cannon is an irreplaceable college experience, so don’t miss out.

Use services

Your tuition dollars don’t just pay for classes. Part of your fees also pay for student government operations, the health center and counseling. You wouldn’t buy a $150 pair of designer jeans, then never wear them, right?

The student government hosts a variety of activities, including free movies in the Joe theater, pancake breakfasts, homecoming events and more. You can also receive legal advice through ASUN’s legal services or free rides through Campus Escort.

The Health Center is located on the north side of campus. It provides general care, pharmaceutical services and sexually transmitted infection testing for little to no cost. You can even take the shuttle—another free service—to get there. Check out all you need to know about your physical health at www.unr.edu/shc, and find information for your mental health and counseling or substance abuse services at www.unr.edu/stsv/cs/.

Ask questions

Don’t be shy. Plenty of people are employed on campus solely to help you. Find your residential assistant, student senate representative, club leader, academic advisor or favorite professor, and ask questions. If you are unsure of how to apply for scholarships, register or drop classes or are falling behind in a course … ask for help. No question is silly or dumb, so don’t wait until it’s too late to figure out what you need to get settled into your new life at UNR.