Straight Outta Undergrad

Ask Us Anything: Leading up to fall orientation TMP will respond to your questions. First years, what do you want to know? Submit your questions here! We’ll post your questions and our answers throughout the summer.

It seems like I’m one of the few first years who has just graduated from undergrad and will be joining the SIPA class of 2021. I’m super nervous because everyone else in my class seems much more experienced and well-versed in life. What advice do you have for me so I don’t make a fool of my 22-year-old self?

SIPA has a number of students who have joined straight from their undergrad and let’s just say that there’s absolutely no need to feel intimidated. First off, no one at SIPA can tell whether you have years of experience or just graduated from undergrad unless you say so. Secondly, people aren’t really what they “seem”. Nevertheless, there are students just like you that have gone on to be teaching assistants and readers in their second year and have taken on various leadership and academic roles. Some of them are so extremely mature for their age that you would actually believe they are those “well-versed” and “experienced” people you mentioned. In a way, you might actually have an advantage since you are continuing your studies, you might find going to class and coping with school work much easier than those experienced folks who have been out of school for so long and have lost their academic groove.

Just remember that the playing field is even and that the starting point is the same for everyone irrespective of their background or experience. It is really up to you to make an impression and make the best use of your time here at SIPA. Just be yourself, be confident, work hard and make as many memories as you can. Your focus should not only revolve around grades and academics but on things like meeting new people, making connections, exploring campus and the city, attending events and making the most of this opportunity. It doesn’t matter what experience you started off with but the experience you will gain during your time at SIPA that ultimately matters.