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Tips for New Students from Last Year's Inaugural Class

August 22, 2006

Tips for New Students from Last Year's Inaugural Class

Students who completed the opening year at UC Merced last year found it wasn’t easy, but it sure was a lot of fun being the inaugural class at a new university.

Now that the foundation has been set, it’s time for another new class to take the spotlight and continue to build the campus environment. To ensure success, a few students who survived last year have some words of wisdom for newbies.

When it comes to academics, psychology major Matt Creeger suggests developing a strong work ethic and getting to know the professors. He says that he completed assigned reading and wrote an outline the day before a lecture. He also took advantage of the low teacher-student ratio at UC Merced and dropped in on his instructors for extra help.

Stay committed to this type of work ethic, and you’ll be the only one not freaking out when a midterms or exams roll by, Creeger said.

Matt Siordia, a business management major who juggles school, a part-time job and an active social life, suggests taking it easy.

Have fun; don’t burn yourself out. That’s one thing a lot of people I knew did. They couldn’t relax, he said.

He would unwind by hanging out with his roommates, who became his best friends. He also says he was always looking to meet new people.

To pay for extra expenses, Siordia suggests looking at the Student Positions section of the UC Merced Jobs site ( for jobs tailored specifically to students. With limited hours, these jobs don’t add too much more stress but still provide some funds.

Even though Southern California native Samantha Bryant wasn’t too far away from home, she avoided homesickness the old fashioned way, by writing home and sending self-addressed stamped envelopes for a response.

An avid artist, Bryant also suggests finding a hobby or continuing an old one like she did.

If you have a hobby, bring it, or bring supplies for it because doing something you love will release stress and be comforting because it will remind you of home, she said.