By Sumeet Shah
1. Never go to Subway unprepared – Trust me on this one. The Subway at Wash U runs like a high-performance sports car – smooth, fast and efficient. Make sure you have your order ready, or else you might grind the gears.
2. You can never have too many friends – Coming into college you meet a lot of people in a very short period of time, and it can be overwhelming at first. But who knows who might make a good study buddy in that really hard class you’re taking?
3. Engineering students might be classified as nerds, but it is a well-known fact that we are among the best of the best at Wash U. Don’t worry, everyone knows it, but that doesn’t mean they like to hear it. So the next time one of your friends starts rambling on about how great they are because they study this or that, just smile and nod.
4. St. Louis is a really fun city – St. Louis is a city full of things to do! Be on the lookout for anything from concerts to sports games to food festivals. They’re happening all the time, and you don’t want to miss out!
5. There’s help available all around you – Everyone coming into Wash U is really smart. However, even smart people need help sometimes. Wash U is full of resources to help you ace that really tough course you’re taking. Go visit Cornerstone!
6. Work hard, Play hard is a lot better than Play hard, Work hard – Work hard, Play hard is somewhat of an unofficial student motto at Wash U, and with good reason. Study hard and get your work done so that you can relax and enjoy yourself later. Don’t fall into the trap of relaxing now and telling yourself you’ll finish your work later. Besides, if you get your work out of the way, you don’t have to stress about it during your fun time.
7. Keep yourself in shape – Everyone dreads the freshman 15. Luckily, exercising at Wash U is easy. The Athletic Complex has an amazing set of athletic facilities, and for convenience, there’s a gym on the South 40, too. You can also take part in sports at the varsity, club or intramural level depending on your interest.
8. Take advantage of registration – When it’s time to register for classes, have a list of everything you have to take and anything you want to take. Go ahead and register for 21 credits. Attend them all for the first week or so, and then drop the courses you don’t really want to take. By being registered, you keep a spot in the class open for yourself and give yourself some flexibility in your schedule.
9. Professors are people too – Try going to office hours with your professors. Apart from the fact that you’ll get a lot of help with any questions you have about academic material, you’ll also get to know your professors better. They’re nice people, and have many interesting stories to tell. I have yet to meet a single professor at Wash U that hasn’t been absolutely fascinating to talk to.
10. Take your studying in the library to the extremes – By this I don’t just mean “study hard.” I literally mean the extremes of the library. The middle regions of the library will likely be populated by people, meaning extra distractions. If you really want a quiet space to get some serious work done, head to the top or bottom floors.
— Sumeet Shah is a senior majoring in biomedical engineering.