J175 Students Create Campus Survival Guide for Incoming Freshmen

The banner image from the Campus Survival Guide blog, which includes a photo of Bascom Hall, a group of students studying, and students at sporting events with Bucky Badger.

If you could give your past self some advice about starting college, what would you say? Spend more time studying? Join that club you always wondered about? Set three alarms the day football tickets go on sale just in case?

While students in Journalism 175: Media Fluency for the Digital Age might not be able to give their younger selves this advice, they have been able to pass along their wisdom and experience to incoming freshmen through the “Campus Survival Guide” blog.

The class collaborated on the project throughout the early four-week summer term session to give advice to new college students, from learning strategies and study break ideas to “adulting” life hacks and student life tips, like:

  • “Prioritize your studies and then have fun once you finish,” says Luke McCourt in his post titled “Study Now Party Later.” “I promise there will be tons of opportunities to hang out with your friends.”
  • “Whether you’re a couch potato or an athlete, UW Rec & Wellbeing has group fitness classes for people of all interests,” suggests Jenni Foshey in her post “3 Ways to Make Memories Freshman Year.” “They’re super fun and they have so many options, so if you don’t enjoy one…try a different one next time!”
  • “Although going to events on campus with people from your dorm hall that you don’t know may seem awkward, that’s okay!” writes Mariah Broman in her post “Embracing the Awkwardness.” “It is awkward for everyone, but it gets better; and introducing yourself and getting to know those people can lead to lasting friendships that can make your college experience better.”

“It’s a great way to get some real-life advice from upper classmen who have ‘been there, done that’,” says J175 instructor Distinguished Faculty Associate Deb Pierce. “Students get to flex their digital writing skills for the blog and cross-promoting their posts to Facebook and Twitter.”

The course focuses on digital media’s role in students’ day-to-day lives, and the ramifications of the shifting media landscape for students as both producers and consumers of media. In J175, students build digital fluency skills by critically examining and analyzing how media is created and digested by various audiences across social, political and economic environments.

Offered exclusively online during summer term, J175 was designed to be taken virtually and has perfected its virtual course delivery. The curriculum is updated each year to include new and relevant topics, such as online privacy and new social media platforms like TikTok. The course also meets the communication A general education requirement and the “core” requirement for the Digital Studies Certificate.

Visit the Campus Survival Guide Blog