15 Things Alumni Think First-Year Students Should Know

Posted by Carolyn Heefner on August 14, 2019

Welcome to Binghamton, first-year students! While you're probably pretty excited and a little nervous, rest assured -- others have been in your shoes and made it through to the other side. We asked our alumni to share their best pieces of advice to help make your first year memorable, fun and worry-free. So pack your bags, read these tips, then get ready for a fresh start!

Meet as many people as you can

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“Don't take calculus at 8 a.m. in Lecture Hall 1. Play co-rec football. Listen to WHRW. Introduce yourself to as many people as you can. You never know who might become a life long friend or soul mate.” - Seth Marcus '97

You earned your spot here

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“Don't change now that you're here. You’re here because of the work ethic and passion you’ve displayed the first 18 years of your life.” - Adam Zahn ’10

Pack the essentials

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“Half of the things you think you need you don't need, so just pack the essentials. Be open to trying new things and meeting people. Join one or two student organizations. Go to office hours with professors and teaching assistants. Lastly, take advantage of everything Binghamton has to offer: late-night activities, on-campus concerts, career development, volunteering opportunities, study abroad, etc.” - Ivan Mendoza ‘16

Take a hike

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“Explore as much of the Nature Preserve as possible. You’ll always find something new!” - Andrew Korsky '18, MBA '19

Keep some things to yourself

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"Nothing is a secret. If you tell someone something, the whole dorm will know. So if you want to keep something secret, keep it to yourself." - Dave Vermont '92

Professors are here to help

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"Go meet your professors during office hours and introduce yourself." - Chris Cassano '95

Don't forget to study

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“You are getting an amazing education for a fraction of the price. Study. It's worth it.”  - Alex Nikulin ’05

Ask for advice

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“Speak with at least three people who are currently working in your desired post-college profession or industry. Ask for advice to build your career track, and try to spend some time on-site to experience it firsthand.” - Lisa-Michelle Kucharz '90

Try a spiedie or two

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“A spiedie is the answer to all your problems.” - Paul Tavolacci '87, MBA '15

Be kind

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“Participate in dorm activities, be kind to everyone, as you may meet them again in 10 years; this is where connections are made. Relax, you don’t need to decide or worry about what you will do for the rest of your life. And finally, if you wouldn’t show it to your mom or grandma, don’t post it -- keep it off the internet.” - Nalissa Dyalram '06

Have some fun

“Connections are more important than grades. Make friends with people who DO things and GO places. You won't regret the road trips, the fun things on campus and the friends you make in the process. Make time to study for sure -- but have some fun, too.” - Christine Plentyhoops '96

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Appreciate every second

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"Bring wet-weather gear, a thirst for knowledge and an appreciation for every second you are there. Be open to trying new things and meeting new people. Treat the people from the surrounding area with respect. You represent the crown jewel of the SUNY system." - David Cohan '87

Don't be afraid to leave campus

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“Get to know your professors. Drop in during office hours, even just to say hi. I barely did and it's the one thing I really regret missing out on. Get involved in the local area -- there's a lot more to the Binghamton area than just what you see near the school. I wound up coaching a local swim team, my senior team. Getting involved in the area at that level was the best thing I did.” - Richard Pinto ‘90

Today is the first day of the rest of your life

“Understand that this is the first day of the rest of your life. Don't allow anyone to impede your success at BU.” - Lawrence Weinzimer ’81

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It goes quick

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“Before you know it, you’ll be graduating. Enjoy your time at Bing!” - Jose Pascual ‘15

Carolyn Heefner is an advancement communications manager at Binghamton University. As a Binghamton native, she is passionate about the area and about the University.

Have questions, comments or concerns about the blog? Email us at social@binghamton.edu.