The Shoulders of Giants: Advice for First Years

By Vincent de Ruiter
Staff Writer  

Sir Isaac Newton, alchemist and pioneer of physics, once said that, “If I have seen further [scientific discoveries] it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” By that, Newton meant that we are always learning from others. In the next few weeks, first years will find themselves standing on the shoulders of their professors’ knowledge for their courses and their tutors’ knowledge for managing academic planning. For those looking for knowledge of student life, they may stand on these shoulders of the second and third year students.

“Tuesday night gatherings by PartyCo, can provide much needed mental relief… but all would be party goers should ‘beware’ of Wednesday mornings!”

– Halyna Aleksandrovych, second year

“Don’t waste your free time on 9-gag and Youtube, enjoy your fellow UCR students.”
– Danielle Sol, second year

“Contrary to popular belief, if you start your assignments and learning on time, it is very possible to be successful at UCR without ever doing an ‘All-Nighter’.”
– Raisa van der Knaap, third year

“A large part of university is meeting new people and making new friends, you don’t need to be a social butterfly, but you won’t regret leaving your room/the library from time to time to socialize.”
– Remco Asberg, second year

“Statistics gets a bad rap, but really if you work at it, it’s just another course.”
– Maria Verwoerd, third year

One’s first few weeks of UCR can be difficult, regardless of a person’s background, be they from near or far. Assignments will not be easy to complete, teachers with distinguished backgrounds may seem intimidating, and for some students, this may be the first time living alone.

The most important thing for a first year to know, in my humble opinion, is to remember that every other first year is going through similar experiences and experiences of stress or anxiety are not unique. Nervous first years should relax, start their assignments on time, meet new friends, and above all get eight hours a sleep per night.

Vincent de Ruiter, class of 2015, is a Politics major from Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States.

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