Adjusting to new school doesn’t have to be hard

To the exchange students, transfer students and members of the class of 2016 that are just joining us, welcome to the University of Miami!

Choosing Miami was a great decision. You may be feeling lost or a little overwhelmed because it seems like everyone else already has UM all figured out.

I will admit, it’s difficult starting school in the spring, but there are ways to make your transition to university life easier.

Hopefully, you took orientation seriously and paid attention, or at least kept the information that they gave you because orientation can help you get your bearings these first few weeks. If you didn’t pay attention, don’t panic because it’s not the end of the world.

One way to make your transition easier, especially if you are a freshman, is getting to know the people on your floor or at least just your neighbors. It’s good to get to know the people that you are living with and around because you never know who will end up becoming your new best friend. Also, it makes it less awkward in the common areas when everyone knows each other.

At UM, we also have a lot of student organizations. You can find out about all the organizations on campus by visiting If you’re looking for something to do or just a place to sit down and kill time, try the University Center. There are different organizations and sometimes recruiters tabling in the UC Breezeway or out on the Rock. It’s just another way to see what UM has to offer.

If you need to work, or just want to work, you can find job listings on MyUM under the life at UM tab. You can also go to the Office of Student Employment and speak with someone there. There are both work study jobs and student assistant jobs. In most cases, if you want a job on campus you’ll be able to find one.

If at any time you are feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope with the transition from high school to college, or the culture shock, don’t be afraid to reach out to your RA. RAs are here to help make sure that you have as smooth of a transition as possible. If you don’t want to talk with your RA, we have a counseling center located on campus. They keep everything you tell them confidential.

Your college experience is what you make it. UM has a lot to offer but it’s up to you to take advantage of it. Whether you are a freshman, international or transfer student, make the most of your time here. Get involved and make sure that you get your school work done because that is a priority, but don’t forget to have fun too.


Taylor Duckett is a sophomore majoring in economics.