First year student survival guide


Lizzy Kalikasingh

On the main quad, students are walking to classes in snow.

Let’s admit it, the first year of college is seldom easy, sometimes awkward and always confusing. You’re told to do anything you want in college, but with so many options even choosing a place for dinner is difficult. No matter the effort to make your dorm look comfortable, it still barely resembles your cozy bedroom at home. Then there’s the crazy workload and the crowded library before finals.

Yet here we all are, standing strong as Case Western Reserve University students. Many of us are survivors of first year of college, of the transition period when we deal with homesickness, insecurity and confusion together. Turns out, life at CWRU is pretty awesome.

So behold, here are some tips from our honorable CWRU first year survivors and a list of great events that we recommend you check out. All in all, welcome to CWRU and we hope you have a memorable first year.


Tips from CWRU students:

  • Adithi Iyengar, a graduate student and alumna: “Super cliche: Don’t eat ramen every meal. Actually bother to go to the dining hall and eat real food.”
  • Ashley Chan, a second-year student: “Your friends from home are great, but your life is here now. Remember the past, but don’t let it hinder you from the future.”
  • Aquene Kimmel, a third-year student: “Try new things, and don’t feel like you have to continue with an activity or an academic subject just because you were good at it in high school.”
  • Ellie Pfeiffer, a fourth-year student, “Actually DO the homework, don’t use a solution manual. Getting enough sleep generally makes things seem less overwhelming, but not always. This is college after all.”
  • James Hochadel, a fifth-year student, “CWRU has a lot to offer outside the classroom. Go experience it. You’ll forget nearly every night you stay in playing games or watching TV, but you’ll remember the ones when you spontaneously decide to do something ridiculous with your friends.”
  • Nathaniel Hoffman, a second-year student: “Get a big fan.
  • Brandi Jett, a fourth-year student: “Explore buildings on campus that you don’t have classes in. Sometimes the best study spots are found in buildings you never thought to check out before.”
  • Daliah Greenwald, a fourth-year student and a former Resident Assistant: “Take the time to talk to your RA. They can either be your best friend or your worst nightmare.”


List of Events:

Fall Concert

Every year, University Program Board (UPB) brings to CWRU one (or more) popular musicians to celebrate the beginning of the school year. The Fall Concert is one of the biggest events on campus where students gather, enjoy live music and dance their stress away.


Homecoming is when we celebrate our school spirit, reunite with graduate friends and welcome our family members. This year, Homecoming will be launched on the October 13 and last for four days. You and your families will be entertained by a street festival, the Homecoming Parade, tailgate party and the Homecoming football game.


Thwing Tuesday

Thwing Tuesday is all about giving out food, drink and other free stuff every Tuesday at noon in the atrium of Thwing Center. Be sure to go and enjoy your middle of the day treat.


Thwing Study Over

If, at the end of semester, you haven’t gotten a chance to try all the good restaurants around University Circle, just go to Thwing Study Over and eat everything for free. Thwing Study Over is hosted at the end of every semester to help students relax before finals. Starting in the afternoon, food from different vendors, restaurants and bakeries will be served continuously. Many student groups will also provide different stress-relieving activities.


Trivia Night and Karaoke Night at The Jolly Scholar

Trivia Night and Karaoke Night are two time honored traditions of The Jolly Scholar, a beloved campus bar and grill. Trivia Night is hosted every Tuesday throughout the semester, while Karaoke Night is on Thursdays.

P.S. It is impossible for us to introduce every event at CWRU because there are just so many and they are all great.The university event calendar would be a useful place to start to find events that interest you.