When Madison Martin first started at CU Boulder as a freshman, her biggest worry wasn't whether she would know anyone. From her hometown just down the road in Erie, she attended Fairview High School in Boulder and many of her classmates were planning to attend CU Boulder, too.
“It was more about finding a place where I did belong, and trying to not stick with all of the people that I knew and branching out,” said Martin, a “journey leader” with the CU Boulder New Student & Family Programs.
She said that learning how to expand her horizons was a challenge and it took her some time to figure out how to work the things she wanted to do into her already packed schedule.
Martin started in a very intense major—molecular, cellular, and developmental biology—and between classes, labs and studying, she didn’t have much time to make meetings for student organizations. So, for her first year, she wasn’t able to get too involved outside of the classroom. She made it a point to take advantage of the small class sizes and labs to get to know the classmates she was spending so much time with.
“For the first year, it was all about talking with people in my classes,” Martin said. "It’s a very intimate size and you’re able to really get to know one another."
In her sophomore year, there was one club, YoungLife, she knew she wanted to join and she didn’t want to let her schedule get in the way. She started planning early to make sure that she would be able to join.
“I told myself I was going to make the time,” she said. “I actually planned my schedule around it so that I could join the club.”
Now entering her junior year, Martin's advice for incoming students—especially those who tend to spend most free minutes studying—is to learn to have some fun.
“Go play cards until 3 a.m. with your next door neighbor on a weekend,” she said. “Get to know people.”
And, Martin said, never underestimate the power of a good nap.
For more information about getting started at CU Boulder, visit the New Student & Family Programs website.