A Warm Welcome to Duq

By: Carley Thieret  |  Opinions Editor

When I first heard the theme of this year’s freshmen orientation, I thought to myself, “This perfectly describes the four, five or six years you are about to experience at Duquesne.” “Rise, You Are Limitless” defines the experiences that you will encounter throughout your time at Duquesne University.

College is the first time in your life that you are completely on your own. There is no bell schedule telling you when to change classes or parents telling you when to be home. Not only do you have freedom like you never have had before, you also have the chance to embrace all that Duquesne and the surrounding city of Pittsburgh have to offer.

Duquesne is so much more than just the quaint campus. Overlooking the Southside from Martins, you can see that there is always something going on across the 10th Street Bridge. Step off the bluff and take a walk to Market Square, The Point or the North Shore. These fun memories you will make on the weekends with your new friends will diminish any feelings of homesickness you may be experiencing.

Getting acclimated to your new home, or anything new for that matter is never easy. Change and transition always takes time. Everyone handles change differently, and the best way to get involved in your new home is to get involved on campus.

Orientation week is a great time for new students to meet other freshmen on campus and in their residence halls. Leave your door open and don’t be afraid to knock on your neighbor’s doors and introduce yourself. You will be seeing a lot of your floor mates throughout freshman year and they often become some of your closest friends.

College is a big change socially, and the same holds true academically. In those classes where it feels like you are losing all hope, go to your professor’s office hours, ask questions in class and show that you are genuinely interested in the material and concerned about your grade. Your professors want to get to know you on a personal level and they want you to succeed academically, that’s their job.

This being said, in order to succeed, one of the most important piece of advice you will hear from any upperclassmen, professor or administrator is go to class. There will be classes you love and some that you’ll struggle to make the grade, but there are a plethora of resources on campus to take advantage of as a student.

Professors also take note of who attends class on a regular basis, especially when it is not mandatory, and this could make a difference at the end of the semester if you are in between two letter grades.

Enjoy your first week in your new home, and don’t be afraid to embrace the freedoms that accompany it. Order pizza from Milano’s at midnight on a school night, explore all of the places that downtown Pittsburgh has to offer, and continue to open up and create memories with your new friends on campus.  Although it is overwhelming at first, there is a place for everybody at Duquesne.

I came to Duquesne as a transfer student the spring semester of my freshman year after having a horrible first semester at Kent State University. When I arrived Duquesne, the friends I made had nothing but positive things to say about their orientation experience and how it helped them not only feel welcome and at home on campus, but form friendships and relationships with students and faculty.

I could not be happier with my decision to come to Duquesne, even if it was a semester late. You will face challenges, trust me. The word homesick doesn’t even begin to describe what I was feeling my first week. Put trust in yourself as a person, in the Duquesne community and have faith that you will have a happy and successful four years here.

Believe me, by the time you reach your senior year you will want to be back at freshman orientation week again. Be aware of the memories you’ll make during this time in your life and you’ll find yourself cherishing them by the time you’re a senior.