University of Minnesota Driven to Discover
Orientation & First-Year Programs (OFYP) December 14, 2016

Hello Gophers!


Congratulations Gophers! You have almost completed your first semester at the U! This fact can be accompanied with many different emotions, so to help you through these last few weeks, here is some advice from fellow Gophers:

“College is supposed to challenge you, and this may mean that you do not get the grades you were maybe hoping for, and that is ok. Remember that while A’s are nice, B’s and C’s do not by any circumstances mean that you did not sufficiently understand the material.”

“Try not to sacrifice your health for your academics. While focusing on getting your degree is important, so is your health whether that be physically, emotional, or mental. Plan for study breaks and activities that help put a smile on your face in the midst of everything else you may have to do.”

“Start studying now, or as soon as you can, to not only make things easier on you during finals week, but also so you can get a feel of how you best study. It is never too late to change your study habits if your current ones are producing the results you want.”


Break is almost here. Here are some tips to enjoy your first long break!

For students going home:

Respect the Ways of Home
Just because you have an abundance of independence on campus, don’t expect that you will when you are back home. There may be some rules or expectations you need to follow, events you need to attend, or chores you need to complete. Respect those expectations and explore compromises.

Prepare for Changes
Your bedroom may not look like your bedroom. Your high school friends may not feel like friends. Your parents/guardians may act different. Be open to the change, but don’t feel like you have to pretend the changes are ok. If a change bothers you, talk about it. If you don’t tell anybody, nobody can help smooth things over.

Share Your Struggles
Pinching pennies? Scrapping by with D’s? Talk about it. Your family may be able to help in ways you didn’t imagine. If your family doesn’t know how to assist you, remember that there are always resources on campus to help. Many campus resources are available by phone or video chat, and those appointment times may be easier to reserve.

For those of you that will be staying around campus:

This is your time to go beyond the campus. Make use of your free time to explore new areas of the Twin Cities.

Reading for class is required, and done – for now. Savor the opportunity to read a book for fun!

Think of what causes are important to you. Research organizations around that theme and give some of your time to lend support.

Just because you don’t go home doesn’t mean that you can’t connect with people from you hometown. Jump on Skype/Facetime, handwrite a letter, call a friend, and so on.

Meet with campus resources
Time for meetings during the semester can be limited, but most offices on campus are open throughout the break. This can be a great time to have a quality conversation with a campus resource you've been meaning to visit.


While relaxing over break, here are some questions for you to consider that can help you make the most of your second semester here at the U of M:

  • What is one thing from the fall semester that you are proud of? What do you hope to be proud of this spring semester?
  • How do you want your spring semester to be different from your fall semester? How will you make that happen?
  • What is one thing you’ve been curious to try/explore/pursue/etc.? How can you take one step to make that happen?
  • Make a list of goals you want to accomplish, map out some steps that will help you accomplish them, and then jot down how you will keep yourself accountable to these steps.


Want to make next semester better than fall semester?
Need to work on managing your time, courses, study habits, or other aspects of your life? If you will be around this winter break, consider attending SMART Learning Commons Second Wind workshop on January 11! Click here for more information.

Class of 2020 T-Shirts
Lost your Class of 2020 T-Shirt? Need a replacement? Stop by Orientation & First-Year Programs (Coffman 315) Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. to get a new one (while supplies last)!

Orientation & First-Year Programs