Tips for First Year Engineers

Hi there!

Are you a first-year student? If so, welcome to CSU! We’re so happy to welcome you to the RAMily and to the Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering! Read on for some handy tips for first-year engineering students. 

12 tips for first year engineers:

1. Get to know your professors and advisors

CSU staff are amazing, and no one knows more about your major than them! Don’t be afraid to attend your professor’s office hours just to ask about their academic path or to stop by your advisor’s office to say hello. Find out who your advisor is here.

Two students take a selfie with the deans of engineering
2. Leave your iClicker in your backpack

Just pick a pocket and leave it there after every time you use it. Trust me, this will save you for any class that consistently uses iClicker (looking at you, Chem-111). 

3. Check out the ground floor of Academic Village - Engineering

Seriously, this is the hub of all first-year engineering study sessions. There’s sure to be someone working there any hour of any day, plus free printing and tutoring Sunday-Thursday in the evening! (Also, Ram’s Horn is just across the plaza in case you need a study snack) 

Students studying in AV engineering
4. Attend office hours 

Go early and go often! It’ll pay off.

5. Find a study spot that works for you

There are a ton of awesome spots to sit down and study, both on campus and off. Go exploring to find one that works best for you. Check out this blog post for some awesome advice about study tips for engineers and this blog post for some great study spots both on and off campus.

Adventure time meme
6. Know your resources 

There are so many resources available for students! To start, check out TiLTAV TutoringMental Health Services, and the Engineering Success Center.  

7. Get in the habit of coming to class 

Yes, even the 8ams! Once you get behind it can be hard to catch back up, so make it a habit to come to class. Try grabbing some tasty breakfast at a dining hall before your first class to fuel your day! 

Gif of man drinking coffee
8. Ask questions
9. No computer? No problem. 

Morgan Library and Engineering Technology Services have you covered. Plus, every engineering building on campus comes with an engineering design studio, complete with all software you’ll ever need for any engineering class at CSU. 

A corgi types on a laptop
10. Attend the Engineering Career Fair

Even if you’re not currently looking for a job or internship, attending the Engineering Career Fair can be a great way to find out both what you’re interested in and what companies are doing! You can check it out here. 

11. Get involved in an engineering organization

There are societies for every engineering major on campus, plus a whole host of diversity programs in engineering. Check them out here. 

SWE members
12. Take a deep breath and realize you’ll be okay!

Engineering is hard, but it’s a little easier with the amazing community we have here at CSU. Know that failure is okay, and that it’s a natural part of learning. We’ve all been there and survived, and now we’re here as resources for you. Check out this blog on balancing life as an engineer. If you have any questions, you can contact the engineering student ambassadors at! 

Engineering team cheering

Check out our sister blog about Tips for Your First Year on Campus for some more fun, non-engineering advice for first years! 

Pug dressed in a ram costume


Kate Boyd, Engineering Student Ambassador

Author: Kate Boyd

Kate is a third-year student studying Chemical and Biological Engineering with minors in Spanish and Environmental Engineering. She is a committed Engineering Student Ambassador and member of the Honors program, and hails from Boulder, Colorado.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to the engineering ambassador team at!