Upperclassmen’s advice for freshman

Photo courtesy of PXFuel | UWT offers an array of social and career opportunities outside of traditional academia.

Upperclassmen give their two cents on making the best of one’s time at UWT.

“UW Tacoma is more than just a bunch of boring old classrooms,”explained the upperclassmen of UWT. For starters, the diversity of both the student body and the student organizations brings life to the campus. 

According to senior Paris Markley, a student who simply attends class and promptly goes home is missing too much of the college experience.

“Going to class is only like 10% of what makes college worth it,” she said, “You’re spending thousands of dollars to at least make all the use of the money spent.”

With this being her last quarter, Markley explained that one of her biggest regrets from her time at UWT was not being more involved in the community. 

“The one time I did a group project after school, it felt way different compared to me just normally doing it by myself at home. I felt more comfortable doing it with others.”

Senior Sydney Moncrief is spending her last quarter here looking to make as many connections as she can.

 “I’ve always been kind of a social person, so going to class and meeting people instead of just staying home is like heaven,” Moncrief said.

Moncrief then noted the array of benefits of attending class and networking with others. One of the notable benefits for her was feeling more motivated to attend class and receiving better grades as a result. 

“To be honest, I used to skip class a lot when I first started taking classes here,” she said, “But me and my friend decided to take a business class together. [And] we were surprised how much fun we had in getting our grades up together.” 

After a while, Moncrief said she realized that her improved grades correlated with her improved attendance which in turn correlated with her making more friends in class. 

After this epiphany, the university became more than just a bunch of classrooms and textbooks. For her, UWT suddenly became a place to have some fun on top of being a place of learning.

“Having people you feel comfortable around in class makes you want to go to class a bit more because you have something to look forward to,” she said, “You guys can even help each other after class on anything you’re confused about.”

Senior Hamza Hanfi Dilawer had similar advice. As an Arabic student who moved to the US in 2012, he felt that he had trouble fitting in compared to the average student. So he isolated himself, which only ended up making things worse.

“I didn’t feel like I could relate to anyone so I just cut myself off [from the community],” Dilawer said, “I started to hate going to school and blamed my boredom on the school’s lack of diversity.”

Dilawer said this all changed when he was required to meet up with his classmates for a group project after class. Although he was somewhat apprehensive at first working with people of different cultural backgrounds, he slowly began to realize that there was no point in shutting yourself down from others due to cultural or national differences.

“I’m glad our teacher forced us to work together because I saw that there [were] more benefits in [networking] with people who are different from you than there are [drawbacks],” he said, 

“Now, with my last year here, I’ve made lots of friends here and it’s helped me in a lot of ways. We helped each other study, I learned more about American culture and the Tacoma area. I even got an internship from a friend’s recommendation.”

Dilawer strongly recommended everyone do the same. As he noted that the few minutes of awkwardness can lead to better grades, a lifetime of friendships, new learning experiences and maybe even job or internship opportunities

“I know it’s scary. Because a lot of people are shyer because of the quarantines. But coming from someone who’s from a completely different culture, I promise you it’s worth it. In the real world, networking is everything. So college is the perfect time to start,” he said.

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