Last Updated: April 24, 2021, 2:59 pm

Blazing new trails: Your guide to freshman year at DSU


Becoming a freshman at a university can be an overwhelming adjustment. With these tips, your freshman year is guaranteed to run a little smoother. Photo by Bailey Chamberlain.

Entering your freshman year of college can be a truly daunting task.

Think about it – you could be moving away from home for the first time, living with complete strangers, having to learn how to navigate around a huge campus as you run from class to class, learning how to balance a larger workload… the list just goes on and on.

Though these tasks can be overwhelming, beginning your journey at Dixie State University does not have to be difficult. Here’s how you can begin blazing your new trail with ease:

No time for messin’ around

Your new chapter deserves a strong start.

Jared Smith, a freshman nursing major from Grace, Idaho, said he learned right away that if he was going to be successful in college, it would all depend on how hard he worked his first couple of semesters in college.

“I got here and I was like, ‘OK, it’s time to get serious, especially because my major is pretty demanding,’” Smith said. “A lot of freshmen take this new freedom too far and slack off right away, but I think a strong start will lead to a strong finish.”

Smith stressed the importance of beginning your freshman year at DSU with a focused mindset, but remaining disciplined doesn’t mean you can’t have fun.

“Of course I don’t spend 24/7 with my nose in my book, studying,” Smith said. “I like to go out with friends, go to the events happening on campus, catch a game or something, but I also know when I have to do my homework.”

Professors aren’t as scary as you think

Aspin Cram, a sophomore elementary education major from St. George, said she made sure to make herself known to her professors as a freshman in college because building a relationship with them helps in the long-run.

“Trust me, I know it’s scary, but I made sure to participate at least once a day in every class I had my freshman year,” Cram said. “Your professor will notice the effort you’re making and really appreciate it.”

Cram said once she started participating and building strong relationships with her professors, it became easier to email them with any questions she had about assignments or projects.

“The truth is, if your professor knows you personally, they’ll definitely be willing to help you more,” Smith said. “Professors are human; they’re fun if you get on their good side.”

Don’t add too much to your plate

Between getting a job, taking several classes, doing homework, trying to remain social by going to school events, hanging out with friends, and more, you don’t want to add even more to your plate, Cram said.

“As a freshman, you already have a lot going on, [so] the last thing you need to do is add more priorities or things to do that’ll just stress you out,” Cram said.

Cram said she was met with instant frustration because she worked two jobs her freshman year.

“I literally wanted to cry every day because of all the things I had to get done,” Cram said. “Working two jobs while trying to get through all the obstacles of freshman year was not for me. I highly don’t recommend it.”

Use the variety of study spots on campus

DSU is located in none-other than sunny St. George.

John Sparks, a sophomore elementary education major from Smithfield, said he uses St. George’s good weather and DSU’s multiple outdoor study spaces to his advantage.

“I rarely see students using the study spaces outside, which is crazy to me,” Sparks said. “The weather is great here, DSU is a quiet campus, and those [outdoor] study spaces are almost always open. I think all freshmen could use it to their advantage.”

Sparks said he likes that the outdoor study spots include a table to put all of his things on and a shady roof. He’s able to enjoy the fresh air while being in the shade and is never distracted by anything happening on campus since it is usually so quiet and peaceful.

“The best time to go is around 1 p.m.,” Sparks said. “It’s usually a little more dead on campus since everyone with morning classes has left and the weather is perfect. You can even pack a lunch if you want.”

Put your phone down, connecting is cool

It’s common for students in college, no matter what year they’re in, to walk into class, grab a seat and instantly go on their phone as they wait for the lecture to begin, Smith said.

“I noticed so many people on my first day of class just walk in and go on their phone instead of making friends with the people around them,” Smith said. “Everyone was giving me the weirdest looks for trying to start conversations with everyone around me, but that’s how you make friends.”

Smith said he likes to make friends in class so he can have people to contact in case he misses a class, doesn’t understand an assignment, or just needs someone to talk to.

“Making friends in class is what makes it fun,” Smith said. “If you’re just showing up, sitting in the back of the class, and not talking to anyone, you’re missing out on meeting people who could change your life for the better.”