Advice from seasoned Whitties

Alyssa Fairbanks

Advice from the feature editors:

Try something you’ve never done before; write for The Pioneer, sing in Schwa, play IM football. Your first month at Whitman is the perfect time to start. Explore Walla Walla and get involved in the community beyond our comfortable Whitman bubble. Walla Walla can enrich your college experience if you take some time to volunteer off campus, read the Union Bulletin  or just venture beyond E. Main Street.


Credit: Emily Johnson

ACADEMIC

“There is no shame in working hard–there are a few super brilliant people who can do well in classes without ever studying, but you’re probably not one of them.” -Carolyn Hart ’12.

“Your first test/paper grades probably won’t be as high as your were used to in high school. Don’t panic, and listen to your professors’ feedback.” -Madeline Jacobson ’12.

“Don’t raise your hand. Just talk. Be polite. But be sassy. There’s no need to play the awkward “guess what the teacher is thinking” game. Just get your ideas out there. Especially in a literature class, the teacher doesn’t have the answer at the back of the book: there is no right answer. So just jump in with your first reaction to the question and go from there. The more you censor yourself in discussion, the less you sparkle.” -Rhya Milici ’12.

“Keep on top of requirements. Do a four-year plan. And then do alternates. And take classes that sound interesting. That’s why you are here. An “easy” boring class often ends up being a lot more strenuous than a “hard” interesting class.” -Rhya Milici ’12.

BEYOND CLASSES

“Take advantage of the freshman dorm experience. It might be the only time when you have the chance to live with all your friends, as well as a hundred other people your age, so have fun with it!” -Christa Heavey ’12

“Meet Chuck and George. One thing I wish I did when I first got here (maybe because I didn’t know I could do this) was to go up to Chuck Cleveland’s office or George Bridges’ office to introduce myself and see the place where they work. They both have great offices and really nice assistants, so if you are interested in meeting them just stop by their offices in Mem. They both love meeting students and I’m sure they would enjoy some company from time to time.” -Aaron Rosenbaum ’12.

While my orientation experience was a little different as a Jan-start, one thing that really helped my transition was learning how to extend my hand and introduce myself. Coming up with phrases like, “My name is Aaron and I don’t think I have met you yet,” or even if you know of someone, “It’s nice to formally meet you” or “It’s great to finally shake your hand.” Its hard to put yourself out there, but someone has to do it, and know that everyone wants to get to know you and everyone wants to make friends, so if you feel comfortable, make the leap. -Aaron Rosenbaum ’12.

“During orientation week you meet a ton of people. And it’s easy to forget once you settle into your room and your classes that all of those people are still out there. You don’t have to do it immediately, or even during your first year, but just remember that everyone you met during orientation (as well as the older students) are at Whitman too. Never be afraid to reach out and meet new people.” -Stefanie Brown ’12.

“[The] foam party is a form of initiation for freshmen.” -Natalie Tamburello ’12.

“Play IM sports! They are great for meeting new people or trying a new sport, and your team can be as intense or laid back as you want.” -Christa Heavey ’12.

“Go to Mr. Whitman, the Chorale Contest and all the visiting speaker events that you think you might even be remotely interested in.” -Madeline Jacobson ’12.

FUTURE/CAREER

“During your time at Whitman College seek out experiences that interest you: clubs, groups, sport teams, jobs or internships. Things that you would choose anyway. Any experience you take on can provide skills that could be beneficial to your future while you are having fun.” -Susan Buchanan, Director of Career Development.

“Don’t feel like you have to figure it all out by the end of college. Some people are lucky to be sure of what they want to do, but the rest of us will keep on guess-test-and-revising, and that’s kind of an adventure it itself.” -Stefanie Brown ’12.

“In an interview, you have 25 applicants with similar qualifications; so, you want to stand out. Be five minutes early. Personal appearance matters. Take a pad of paper to take notes. Follow up with a thank you note thanking them for taking the time to interview you and for the experiences of interviewing with them. It should be handwritten, not an email. And remember to note the name of your interviewer.” -Janice King, Book Acquisition Specialist.