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Top Tips for New Students

Students make their way inside and around Talley on the first day of classes, 2023

New and exciting yet also demanding.

That’s the push and pull of starting college as an incoming or transfer student. From meeting new people to choosing classes, the transition to college can be a big change.

So, we reached out to those who’ve walked the path before and asked them to offer some advice about this transformational life chapter.

Seven upperclassmen, some also transfer students, share tips with the newest members of the Wolfpack community on how to make the most of their NC State experience.

Tips include practicing time management, connecting with professors, challenging your definition of success and more. All are intended to welcome new students to NC State and help them build a solid foundation for academic and personal success during their time with the Pack.

McKenna Edgerton

McKenna Edgerton

McKenna Edgerton is a senior majoring in political science with minors in history and criminology. She plans to attend law school.

  • Join Clubs: Use the Get Involved website to find clubs that appeal to you. Clubs are a great way to make long-lasting friendships and find your community within the Wolfpack.
  • Explore Your Interests: If you’re interested in a certain field or industry, use your time at State to explore that field! College is a great time to find what you want to do with your career and what you DON’T want to do! Participate in a little bit of everything until you find what interests you!

Caitlin Laye

Caitlyn Laye

Caitlin Laye is a senior majoring in history with a pre-law concentration and minors in English and Arabic. She plans to attend law school.

  • Conquer the Day: Freshman year can be hard. Crowded gyms, packed libraries, dorm living, hour-long Starbucks lines, etc. Even when surrounded by fear and anxiety, push through! Talk to that new girl in class, compliment someone’s outfit and go to Carmichael at 5 p.m.
  • Know Yourself: Trying to follow the path of someone else’s life is like cheating on a test just to find out everyone is taking a different exam. Your college timeline may not look like your roommate’s or peer’s — and that’s okay! Everyone’s path is different and everyone’s timeline is different. Don’t fight that fact; embrace it!

Richard McNeill Jr.

Richard McNeill Jr.

Richard McNeill is a senior majoring in psychology with a minor in sociology. He plans to attend graduate school.

  • Ask Questions: Don’t be afraid to ask questions! It’s better to ask than to remain confused. Stay current on assignments and exams with a planner or calendar. Attend office hours if possible. Acknowledge your personhood and continue striving for greatness. Please make the most of your time as an undergrad because it flies by.
  • Find Balance: Get enough sleep! Talk to your classmates. They make great study buddies and even better friends. Know that you belong and that you’re terrific. Get involved in something that you’re passionate about outside of academics. Balance is key. Have fun.

Ashley Pulley

Ashley Pulley

Ashley Pulley is a senior majoring in media communication with a minor in business administration. Her future plans include attending graduate school for an MBA in marketing.

  • Utilize Resources: Take advantage of all the resources that NC State provides, including office hours, counseling centers, tutors and many more. They are here to help support and enhance your learning experience.
  • Savor The Experience: Enjoy every moment and push yourself to do things out of your comfort zone because being an undergrad is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and you will be graduating before you know it. 

Alex Soto

Alex Soto

Alex Soto is a senior double majoring in sociology and anthropology with a minor in forensic science. He plans to attend graduate school for a master’s degree in sociology and perhaps later a doctorate. Ultimately, he hopes to work for a federal law enforcement agency like the FBI.

  • Get Involved: There are so many ways to be an active member of the Wolfpack. In turn, you’ll meet great people, do something you enjoy, learn new things and create memories that will last a lifetime.
  • Attend Sporting Events: Even if you don’t know anything about sports go to sporting events. I didn’t know anything about football (though I eventually learned the rules). But being in Carter-Finley with 50k Wolfpack members felt amazing as did everything from the tailgate to the end of the game. 

Ashley Telli  

Ashley Telli

Ashley Telli is a senior majoring in social work with minors in health, medicine and human values. She plans to attend graduate school for a master’s degree in social work and hopefully also a doctorate.

  • Challenge Your Definition of Success: Coming into college I had a mindset that success was graduating with high accolades. However, being a senior, I have challenged that definition to allow it to span over a variety of things, including success within relationships and how I give back to the community.
  • Connect With Faculty: Make connections with the faculty. I have grown my relationships with faculty through attending office hours and participating in extracurricular activities led by both faculty and students. I promise the faculty is there to help you and they will be receptive to your efforts. 


Anna Thomasson

Anna Thomasson is a junior majoring in communication with a concentration in public relations and a minor in business entrepreneurship. She plans to work with nonprofit startups and ultimately start a nonprofit that focuses on mental health on college campuses.

  • Emphasize Community: Your classrooms are an incredible opportunity to build relationships, a place to encourage and be encouraged. CHASS is a community – take advantage of it!
  • Practice Time Management: Manage your time well! This is the secret to enjoying your classes. Forgetting assignments is a sure way to dislike a course. However, time management gives you the time to invest in yourself and truly have fun with schoolwork!