Welcome to a new feature! We excited to share regular tips from the peer advisors in the Center for Performing and Cinematic Arts Advising Office.
Ah, freshman year. The first couple weeks at a new school can be terrifying. Most of you are coming hot off the press from your senior year as the top dogs of the school. Now entering as freshman, you're at the bottom of the proverbial totem poll all over again (#tbt to the lunch room first day freshman year of high school.) Being away from home for the first time and learning how to navigate this new semi-adult world can be a challenge, but have no fear we are here with the top ten things you need to know as an incoming Temple Owl, because no one wants to be "that freshman."
1. Show Up to Class
This may seem obvious, but you'll start to understand when it's mid-semester and that 8:00 am you scheduled has become your archnemesis. Most professors have a three-day absence policy, and after that your grade drops a whole letter. Harsh. I know. So get your daily dosage of caffeine and get to class! You don't want to be known as that kid who never shows up. Obviously this is easier said than done, but you'll ultimately thank yourself in the long run.
2. Learn how to Send Professional Emails
Become besties with your TUmail. Trust us on this one. Email is the official form of communication at Temple, so expect to be bombarded with a deluge of emails. "Zero to 100 real quick" will have a whole new meaning by the end of the semester. However, there is so much important information sent through email, so you can't afford to let them go ignored. Lastly, for the love of all that's holy, DO NOT USE THE REPLY ALL option when responding to an email sent through a listserve. Everyone on the listserve will get that email, and you will be judged.
3. Don't Be Afraid to Talk to Faculty Members
Find that professor you can always confide in. The majority of professors are working professionals in whatever field you aspire to have a career in. They have been there and done that. Find a professor who you can relate to most, and meet with them regularly. Never be afraid to ask them questions. They may seem intimidating at first, but put yourself out there and make some connections. You never know what can come out of it, many students get outside jobs through their professors.
4. Support the Arts
Seeing shows can be expensive, but luckily many local theaters and performance venues offer cheap student ticket prices, all you have to do is bring your TUid. Some even have a "pay what you can night," which is extremely helpful for those who are living on a budget. With the Philadelphia Fringe Festival currently happening and the Philadelphia Film Festival coming up, student discounts will come in clutch. Pro Tip: If you are a theater major you get free tickets to all of Temple Theaters' mainstage shows; just be sure to get them before the deadline.
There is also a plethora of free events happening all the time around Temple's campus, like the free Diamond Screen Film Series, Boyer College concerts and Temple Theater's Sidestage Season (TTSS). TTSS is an organization that produces it's own season that is run solely by students and always has stellar shows. If theater isn't your thing, Boyer College of Music and Dance has tons of concerts and rectials throughout the semester that are open to the public. So there is no excuse to not go out and support the arts.
5. Experience Philly
This city is unique and special in so many ways. I know it's tempting to stay locked up in your dorm room and binge watch Netflix all day, but you'll be missing out on all the incredible things the City of Brotherly Love has to offer. Go to Pats or Geno's, and see which cheesesteak is your favorite. Go to the Spruce Street Harbor Park where lay on the hammocks and eat funnel cake. Find your favorite mom and pop coffee shop. Explore South Street and go shopping in Center City. Temple's campus is great, but you have to city at your fingertips, so utilize it.
6. Be Open to New Ideas
Many of your classes will not only challenge you an artist, but also as a person. It's college! This is the time to broaden your mind and see issues from a different perspectives. Don't close yourself off to new experiences because it is out of your comfort zone. However, never be afraid to question your professors. Listen to what they have to say, and if you disagree speak up. While they can be a wealth of knowlege, they are not infallible.
7. Start Networking Now
As mentioned before professors are always a great resource when it comes to networking. However, students in your major also are pursuing the same dreams as you. So make strong connections with other classmates, because when you graduate fellow alumni may be able to get you jobs or internships. In the same vein, don't be afraid of the upperclassman. Not to long ago they were in the same position as you.
8. Ask for Help
There will be times of stress. Never be afraid of asking for help. If you feel yourself sinking let someone know. We have a great Wellness Resource Center and Counseling Services officewhere you can talk to someone and get help. There is also a tutoring centers for math, science, and writing where you can get help if English 802 is bogging you down.
Let's be real. Most of us didn't study all too much in high school, except for the really smart people. That won't cut it in college. It may seem easy to just coast by, but it will show in your GPA. So hit those books and make all the flash cards.
10. An Arts Degree is Not Worthless
Everyone and their mother has an opinion about your arts degree. Never let someone devalue your passion. The truth is only 27% of graduated students in any field will get a job in their respective major. In fact, recent studies have found that art students have lower unemployment rate than those graduated with technical degrees, at 14.7% vs. 6.4%. This is according to a recent Georgetown Study, so feel free to throw that statistic in the face of those haters. So keep doing what you do best.