“Do not be afraid” – letter from an alumni

Marisa Spiegel, Class of 2020

When I was an undergraduate student at Ursinus, I admit it was difficult getting used to a new environment. However, after four years of attending, I realized that it was a great experience. I try my best to give any students advice since I learned a lot from my professors, my family, and myself as well. My first piece of advice to people is “do not be afraid.” It is okay to be shy and quiet, but making friends is the best thing you can do at college. You will not be alone, there are many great people there that you will get along well with and just want to be with. 

My second piece of advice is that college is not just about work. Yes, you should do your work, but do not overwork yourself. If you do not understand the material, then skip it and go back to it later. If the entire thing is confusing, then take a breather and go back to it when you have a clear and refreshed state of mind to think over it. If that doesn’t work, go to office hours for help. You will gain more of an understanding since it will be one-on-one and your professors know you are trying your best. Personally, I hate asking for help since I also want to do it myself, but when I realized I could not do it alone the professors were there to help. More importantly, we are not perfect human beings, if you do not do well on an assignment or an exam, do not let that define you. You are not your grades; you are trying and that is all your professors are asking of you. So don’t worry too much about work.

In the end, the college experience is about having fun as well. So, gather your friends and have fun with them. My last piece of advice for undergrads would be to get close to your advisors and the other professors within your department. You can visit them for office hours for help or just stop by to say hi. Your professors will appreciate that you made the effort to see them, even if it is a brief conversation about random ideas. Just like us, the professors need a break, so a few moments of free time help. By getting close to your advisors and professors, they will get to know you a little bit better which benefits you in numerous ways. Your professors are not just your teachers and advisors, they can be really good buddies as well. They can see how well you can handle any type of workload or situation, but also the struggles you have. That way, they can try different methods to make sure you are educated using the best method possible. In addition, you will need letters of recommendations for grad schools, and so your advisors can write a proper and unique letter about your achievements.