Thursday, August 26, 2010

Advice from Current Students, part of the Welcome (Back) series

As the start of the school year approaches, OMSA is getting ready to welcome the Class of 2013, and welcome back returning students. To kick things off, OMSA will be featuring a series of blog posts in the upcoming weeks offering advice from current students for new students in the College and new students in the graduate and professional schools.

In addition, we will highlight resources and services offered by OMSA including, but not limited to, the research initiative grant, free test prep courses, the 5710 resource collection and so much more.

In this post, we are featuring one student in the College and one student in graduate school.

Featured Graduate and Professional Student

Mary Adekoya, 5th year PhD student
Cinema & Media Studies

Favorite Campus Hangout: 5710 S. Woodlawn

3 Tips to enjoy the First Year Experience:

  1. I completely missed out on O-Week my first year because I thought that, as a graduate student, I was 'too cool' for orientation. But I quickly found out that the students who attended orientation were already forming great connections and now knew about all the resources the University of Chicago had to offer. I would definitely encourage you to attend O-Week.

  2. Speaking of resources - take advantage of them! Call it unfair, but there are many hidden resources for people who need extra financial help for research, books, language study, etc. As well, there are various campus and community groups that you can join that will boost your skills and networking options. Ask people you meet about what opportunities are around and take advantage of the ones you can benefit from.

  3. For those of you in graduate school, I should warn you that the advisor-advisee relationship is a very important one. Be painstakingly careful with how you pick your main advisor. Do not just select someone who you admire academically or who knows everything there is to know about your thesis/dissertation. Most importantly, you should select someone who presents himself or herself as very interested in your work, someone who will be present to provide advice and guidance, and someone who you find is not difficult to work with.

Dalia Rubino Yedidia, 3rd year transfer student
Primary Campus Group Affiliations, if any: OMSA, LGBTQ Student Life
Favorite Campus Hangout: Harper Library (winter) & Bartlett Quad lawn (summer)

3 Tips to enjoy the First Year Experience:
  1. Go to as many lectures, events, screenings, and presentations as possible! Any topic that sounds vaguely interesting is worth checking out, since college is a rare time where everybody and everything comes to you (you don´t have to work hard to find cool stuff that is happening!) Most of these events have free food, people who share similar interests, and they are a great way to check out professors (if you are considering taking a future class with them) and potential faculty/other mentors.

  2. The food from the Plum Cafes is a little pricey but definitely healthier, tastier, and generally has shorter lines than any of the spots in Hutch. If you need to buy a lunch and don´t want to wait in line forever, try these cafes (with real Intelligentsia coffee!) hidden all over campus. Plus, Monday night is Wing Night at The Pub and Wednesdays is $1 milkshakes at Einstein´s in C-Shop—hit up those deals!!

  3. It was hard for me to find people just like me at the U of C, with nontraditional educational backgrounds, queer womyn of color, people interested in and dedicated to the world outside of "the college experience." At 5710 I found people and avenues toward finding more like-minded people. I also rely heavily on all that Chicago has to offer, including visiting new neighborhoods and social-justice organizations. There is so much in this huge city, there is definitely community to find and build with!