The day freshman students leave home for college can be exciting for some or nerve-wracking for others. Although summer orientation may have helped them prepare for this new stage in their lives, once they stepped foot on campus, everything they learned suddenly became a distant memory as they focused more on making new friends, getting along with their roommates, and finding their classes.
Those reasons are exactly why members of Associated Students (AS) at Santa Clara University decided to create a guide called How to SCU just for freshmen and transfer students.
“We’ve been talking about the idea for several years and originally thought a class called ‘Freshman 101’ would be good, but we quickly realized that wasn’t going to happen in our college lifetime. So, we came up with the concept of putting together a guide for students from students,” says Sarah Beauchamp, SCU senior and vice president of community development of AS.
How to SCU is a compilation of advice from about a dozen students who have already spent three to four years at SCU and know everything there is to know about being a successful, healthy, college student. The guide has 11 sections, including tips on studying, eating, and Bronco traditions. It also has information students wouldn’t have known unless they spent a couple of months on campus.
For instance, Harrington Learning Commons, Sobrato Technology Center and Orradre Library is quite a mouthful, so students call it “the lib” or just “Harry.” Thursday and Friday evenings are usually quite lively around the Bay Area and on other campuses but not in Santa Clara. The guide explains why students hold get-togethers on Wednesday nights. And despite what those cell phone providers claim, students say only one network provides the best reception at SCU— a tip you’ll find in the “How to Technology” section.
“I like the idea that students are able to get a true perspective on everything at SCU including academics, social, etc. Instead of having to search for answers to everyday issues, you are able to go to your booklet and find answers quickly,” says Sumeet Chadha, freshman student.
The members of AS worked with community facilitators to distribute the guides to students the first week of November. AS is now working on putting the guide online.