Take chances! Try new things. Be willing to stumble and grow. Here are some recommendations for success:
Get Involved Outside the Classroom
The UW brings in over a billion dollars in research funding each year. There is an astoundingly huge amount of research going on at all times. And many of those research projects rely on undergraduate research assistants to get the work done. Take advantage of one of the great resources the UW has to offer, and try your hand at research. For many students, doing the actual research of a discipline can be just the spark needed to light a passion. To find opportunities, connect with the Undergraduate Research Program and department advisers.
Jobs and Internships
There's sometimes no way to know if you like something until you do it. Work with department advisers, The Career Center, or the Carlson Leadership and Public Service Center to get some leads on jobs and internships.
The UW offers many opportunties to volunteer your time to serve your community. A good place to start is the Center for Experiential Learning, which houses (among other programs) The Carlson Leadership and Public Service Center, the Pipeline Project, and Jumpstart.
The UW offers opportunities to travel and learn around the U.S. through the National Student Exchange and around the world through International Programs and Exchanges. Many academic departments sponsor study abroad, so you might get a chance to travel the world while studying your favorite discipline!
Get Connected to Others
Work with Advisers
We encourage you to think of academic advisers as being a part of your educational team, which may also include faculty and other academic professionals. Advisers are tapped into most of what's going on at the UW, and in general just know how things work around here. Connect early and stay connected.
Talk with Faculty
Sure, they might sometimes be intimidating, but faculty are here at the UW because they love their discipline enough to spend their lives learning more about it and passing that knowledge onto students like you. Take advantage of their office hours, get involved in research, and get the most out of this tremendous resource.
Connect with the Community
The Carlson Leadership and Public Service Center supports community service and helps students receive academic credit for their work in the community in Service Learning courses. The Carlson Center also sponsors campus-wide service events and provides academic scholarships to reward community service. You can also connect with the community through Disability Resources for Students, the Pipeline Project, and the Foundation for International Understanding Through Students (FIUTS).
Join Student Groups
The Student Activities Office (SAO) encourages students to join a Registered Student Organization (RSO) or participate in student government, and take full advantage of opportunities to enrich the cultural, social, recreational and political life of campus. Currently, there are more than 700 RSOs available for students to get involved with.
Participate in Student Government
Be a leader! The Associated Students of the University of Washington (ASUW) represents student interests at the University and produces a variety of student activities and programs.
Keep Your Academics Strong
Get Help Early
It's a difficult transition to a whole new school, and one that's undoubtedly bigger than the one you came from. If you find yourself falling behind, don't deny it, get help early. The UW has a wealth of resources to make sure your academic skills are strong. Check out the Help! section of this site for more.
Work on Your Study Skills
The study skills that got you through high school may not work out quite as well here at the UW. It's very common for students to have to rethink studying and learn some new study skills. Check out the Study Skills section of this site for more.
Take Advantage of CLUE and Other Study Centers
The Center for Learning and Undergraduate Enrichment (CLUE) is a massive evening study center in Mary Gates Hall. Not only can you work with tutors for subjects like math, physics, and chemisty, attend special study sessions for some of UW's most popular classes, and get help from the writing center, but you can also meet other students and build study groups. And CLUE is just one of the many study centers and writing centers on campus.
Go to the Career Center
The Career Center offers counseling and workshops for students at every stage of career exploration. They assist students in developing a job or internship search plan, managing progress toward career goals, and learning the skills to successfully find a job and/or make a career transition. You can research job fields, learn to write a resume targeted at your intended field, and practice interviewing, and much more. Their website also has links to lots of great Internet resources.
Attend Career Fairs
The Career Center hosts several career fairs, and lots of other events, each quarter. Find out what employers are really looking for.
Connect with Employers
One of the best ways to find out if you'll like a career is to talk to someone who does it! Try job shadowing and informational interviewing; the counselors at The Career Center can help you out. Also, the UW Alumni Association career services program offers the Husky Career Network, an exclusive online network of more than 5,000 UW alumni worldwide who are willing to share information with students about a specific career field, company or geographical region.