Group of Community Advisors standing outside of Harrington Auditorium.

Ask the Experts

WPI faculty, staff share advice for first-year students.

August 15, 2019
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Natural Resources

Sure, it might take some rearranging, but you still can’t spell “Worcester Polytechnic Institute” without “h_e_ l_ p,” and that’s exactly what everyone across campus is ready to do.

  • “Time management is the greatest skill you can learn. If you find yourself cramming for tests at the last minute or staying up all night to complete a project, you’re doing it wrong. That’s not the way to produce your best work.” —Aaron Sakulich, Civil & Environmental Engineering
  • “When trying to do something differently, don’t tell yourself that you will just work harder or do better next time. Future you is not better at this than past you. Do some reflection on why you stayed up so late or didn’t work on that paper earlier. Maybe the thought of working on that paper was scary, so next time, make an outline right when you get the assignment so you already have it broken down into less scary chunks.” —Zoe Reidinger, Biomedical Engineering
  • “Get to know your professors—they will be a great resource (and will be writing you recommendation letters). And it’s easy. Stop by after class or go to office hours and ask a question, or even just introduce yourself! We are here to help you succeed.” —Steve Kmiotek, Chemical Engineering
  • “Be ready to communicate with your professors, roommates, peers, staff, and other members of the WPI community. Don't be afraid to ask for help, that help could be what you need to push you in the right direction for a student leadership opportunity on campus or a long-lasting relationship with your favorite professor!" —Kaitlynn Bartley, Residential Services
  • "Try to challenge yourself at least once a week by doing something completely out of your comfort zone: introduce yourself to someone new, ask a professor a question, or join one of our many clubs. Welcome to WPI!"
    — Adrienne Hall-Phillips, Foisie Business School

Bon Appétit

This one’s simple: You can’t change the world without a balanced breakfast (lunch and dinner too, if we’re being honest).

 

  • “When dining at Morgan, don’t limit yourself by sticking to the grill or pizza stations. Choose from a variety of stations to maximize your eating experience at each meal. Food allergies? Let us help! Introduce yourself; we’re happy to assist!” ­—Shavaun Cloran, Dining Services
  • “If you’re new on campus, order your Dunkin’ via the app and your order will be ready when you get out of class. If you don’t have the app, then sneak out a couple of minutes before class is over and beat the rush crowd!” —Jagan Srinivasan, Biology & Biotechnology

Goat in the Habit

WPI is the perfect backdrop for innovation, and there are countless places around campus that contribute to a student’s success—both before and after graduation.

  • "Need a better place to work? With our late night hours, the library is the ideal place. Head to the first floor for quiet study or reserve a Tech Suite for group work.” –Lori Ostapowicz-Critz, Gordon Library
  • “Come to the Career Development Center, first floor of the Project Center, to learn, practice, and receive strategic advice on topics from resume writing to job negotiation and everything that comes in between.” –Jenni DelVecchio, Career Development Center

Take a Break

Even the toughest goats need a break sometimes (seriously—just Google “fainting goats”).

  • “When you need to clear your head, explore the gardens and reflecting pool behind Higgins House. It is a great little sanctuary right on campus!” –Terri Camesano, Dean of Graduate Studies
  • “Finding new friends and feeling comfortable with them takes time and work. It’s normal to feel awkward about approaching new potential relationships. Come with the expectations that healthy, lasting friendships in college will happen, but not overnight.” –Lesley McGee, Student Development & Counseling Center
  • “SGA sponsors the City Ride shuttle on Friday nights. The shuttle takes students from WPI and Assumption College to Union Station and The Shoppes at Blackstone Valley. Take a night to do some shopping, see a movie, or grab a bite to eat with friends!” –Christine Sharry, Student Activities

Goats Weigh In

You are now part of an incredibly smart herd. Listen to your fellow goats—they’ve been in your hooves and have learned some lessons.

  • “Don’t be afraid to make mistakes” @kyagoobi   
  • “Remember that everyone is just as scared and excited as you are, so have fun & run thru the fountain” @whereintheworldisgrania
  • “Call your parents” @mrcsadie
  • “Talk to Chartwells employees when you’re being swiped in or served—they’re all lovely” @pressurized
  • “Learn the acronyms fast!” @leahmitchie

—by Allison Racicot