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Advice to the Class of 2020

News Story

Freshman year…is finally here! Here’s what you need to know, from a Setter who was also once new to campus.

Pace Orientation Leader Owen Benfield recently shared some thoughtful advice to the Class of 2020 on Facebook—about classes, roommates, and other freshman year items that can sometimes be difficult to navigate. We’re happy to share an excerpt of his post below!

On the token of housing assignments, trust me when I say that it all falls into place the way it's supposed to. What I mean by that is that if you're living with someone you like, what building you're in doesn't reeeeally matter. I promise you that you not getting the building you want is not reason to launch yourself into the cosmos or transfer to NYU or drop everything and move to Fiji. Yes, some people really want those private bathrooms, but at the end of the day, that stuff doesn't make that big of a difference. You'd be surprised how adaptable you are, and at how comfortable you'll find yourself. Being that the floors in MT aren't that big, you only ever really find yourself sharing a bathroom with about 10 people, maybe even less (and that's not bad, considering that some state school residence halls have residents sharing bathrooms and showers with 50100, and sometimes even more people). My best advice is to go into it with an open mind. Give where you live the benefit of the doubt, and you might be pleasantly surprised. If, after a week, you find yourself really miserable where you're living, talk to housing, and see what they can do to help. They want to help you, and if they can, they absolutely will.

Roommates: You're all adults. More than likely, you'll end up liking your roommate. Be flexible and mature and open to discussion and negotiating and it can and will be fine. If you don't like each other, that's totally fine. Talk to housing, switch rooms, and call it a day. At the end of the day, all you two (or three, depending on the building) need to do is sleep together. Don't put too much stress on it, and it'll be fine. That's all there is to be said about that.

Classes are sort of the point to being at college, so try and keep that in mind. I know y'all are gonna go out and explore the city and find your favorite brunch spots and ride the subways and whatever else, but try not to let your schoolwork slip. It’s super important, I promise. You might end up loving that weird class on your schedule you're not excited about, so try to go into things with an open mind. If you hate it, that's totally fine. You can always switch it. Don't worry about it now. All you can do it cross that bridge when you get to it.

Don't waste your money on textbooks now. Talk to your professors when you get to class, and see what you actually need. Shop around, and find discounts, ONCE YOU GET TO CLASS. I can say with confidence that what you think you need and what you'll actually need will be very different things.

That's all of the big stuff. Any questions, of course feel free to ask by e-mailing me or sending smoke signals. If nothing else, try and remember that you go to school in NEW YORK CITY. Hellooooo, greatest city on Earth? So the details you imagine don't fall into place exactly how you want them to? Don't stress. You live in the best city on Earth. I guarantee you'll be having more fun than your friends who go to school in the middle of Minnesota or North Dakota or Pennsylvania or wherever else. It all falls into place, I promise. If nothing else, remember this:


See y'all in the fall! Have a great rest of your summers, and feel free to reach out with any questions, comments, concerns, existential crises, or anything else.


OL Owen