College Life: Tips & tricks for RIT Croatia Freshmen students

By Angela Madjer, Croatian gal from Chicago and RIT Croatia alumna (Class of 2018)

Dear Class of 2022,

You've probably heard from your parents, older friends and family members that college is going to be the best time of your life; that you should cherish every moment and make the best out of every opportunity and experience that you are given. Well, I am also here to say exactly that! The people that you meet in the next four years, the valuable lessons that you learn and the academic achievement that you will earn, will be the foundation of your future. From an individual lecture that you attend to someone that you pass by in the hall, these are little scenarios that will help you build a better and brighter future. So why not make the best out of the next four years at RIT Croatia with these simple tips & tricks?

1. Get to know your fellow classmates. Remember they’re on the same journey as you are! 

Be there for each other and grow strong relationships with your colleagues. Networking is one of the most important things I can emphasize on. You never know where you’ll end up after college and who you’ll run into that you may have already met and made an impression on!

Tip: Always remember, once a tiger, always a tiger. There is a strong alumni association that is always at your disposal. That reminds me, if you see a large orange tiger in the halls or at school events, don’t be alarmed and introduce yourself to RIT’s mascot!

2. Enjoy every minute from the beginning.

These next four years will be the best but also the quickest of your life. They’re not lying when they say, "time flies when you’re having fun”! Make sure that you let nothing pass you by and be sure to take part in all the fun events that RIT provides its students.

Tip: RIT Croatia’s student government does a great job with planning a lot of events and activities on and off campus to entice students to get to know their fellow classmates and faculty. The RIT community is diverse and friendly. Open your horizons and meet people with interesting cultural backgrounds!

3. Go to office hours and get to know the staff! RIT Croatia professors and staff are friendly and there to help as much as they can.

RIT Croatia faculty is here to help as much as possible. Like they may have said before, there is no such thing as a stupid question, so be sure to check in with your professors about deadlines and grades or just to stop by their office and introduce yourself. It also will definitely make your academic year much easier to visit your academic advisor, career advisor or student services for any questions that you may have. The support doesn’t stop there! Make sure to get to know your peer mentor and be sure to ask them any questions that you may have 

Tip: It is highly recommended that when you get grades back from professors to visit them during their office hours to see what you got wrong and how you can prepare yourself better the next time around and for the final exam. Having trouble organizing your schedule for the next academic semester, be sure to visit your academic advisor to see what requirements you need to fill.

4. Procrastination bad: Preparation good

Be aware of the overall opportunity cost of your time. Be sure to achieve all your academic goals throughout the next four years and do this by really taking advantage of the quality facilities and resources that your university provides!

Tip: Procrastination leads to long and endless nights, and cuts down on your beauty sleep. Make sure to start studying for exams on time!

5. To be on time is to be late – Class, class, class

The most valuable information that you could learn and that will stay with you the longest is the information that your professor presents during lectures. Be sure to be early to class, and attentive during every single lecture. In many cases, the examples and information that your professor uses during their lectures are ones that aren’t written in your textbook and online, and will likely appear on your exams.

Tip: Try to arrive at least 5 minutes early to your lectures. This gives you time to prepare yourself for class.

6. Freshman 15 Fear

The legendary myth of the "freshman 15” isn’t a myth at all. Be sure to stay active and not to fall for yummy junk food that is perfect for munching on when you have a lot on your plate or are in pinch for time!

Tip: RIT Croatia provides its students with pristine gym facilities on both campuses. Be sure to make it a part of your busy schedule. Even a little time in the gym can be refreshing stress relieving!

7. RIT is known for its career-oriented education. Start early!

RIT makes it mandatory to complete 800 – 1,200 hours of co-ops related to your field of study. Take early action and see what interests you the most and what field you would like to try out and speak to your Career Advisers to learn more! There is no better feeling than to complete a co-op and be able to incorporate everything you learned into assignments and projects.

Tip: Don’t wait until the last minute to decide where you’ll complete your co-op. Career education day, RIT Croatia’s career fair organized for its students exclusively, is a perfect place to network and introduce yourself to companies that you potentially see yourself working at!

8. Time flies when you’re having fun. How to optimize your academic schedule to fit in a job on campus!

There are many opportunities to work on campus to fill up your day and make it as productive as possible. Be sure to check out what open opportunities there are at your campus for a chance to be able to cover some of your living expenses!

Tip: Working on campus is fun and it gives students the opportunity to get to know the university better and to meet more fellow students.

9. Only you know where your comfortable place is – where are you the most efficient?

There is no such thing as an "easy A”. Find a relaxing and peaceful place that you can really put in 100% effort into whatever it may be that you are studying.

Tip: RIT Croatia campuses provide their students with studying spaces around campus to motivate and assist students with proper facilities. Use them before and after class, and of course if you have a good gap between classes.

10. My personal planner was my best friend throughout the past four years!

Whether you decide to have a physical personal planner or electronic planner in your phone or laptop, the first thing that every incoming freshman should do is, add all deadlines and exam dates from your syllabus! There are going to be so many new things that you are going to want to try and be a part of, get organized and remember time management is one of the biggest lessons you’ll learn as a college student.

Tip: Now that you’re a college student and are considered a responsible adult, make sure to keep track of all deadlines that approach you; know when assignment and projects are due, as well as when your next quiz or exam is.

11. Me time – As much fun as it is to study, take time for yourself and don’t forget to keep in touch!

Academics are important and should be one of your top priorities, but don’t forget about your "me” time! Enjoy your college journey with friends, family and remember to take care of yourself. Always be in touch with your family and let them know how your college experience is, I bet they can’t wait to hear all about it!

Tip: Whether it be grabbing coffee with the new friends you’ve made, video chatting with your family or taking an afternoon nap, make sure that you have things in your daily schedule that makes you happy and let you decompress!


Enjoy your first semester and don’t forget to use as many tips and tricks as possible. Being an RIT Tiger is an amazing ride, but don’t feel afraid to accept help wherever it is offered. The most important tip for me personally was knowing that the RIT staff, fellow colleagues and alumni were by my side throughout my 4 years and even to this day!

RIT Croatia. Different from Day 1.

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