making the most of division I

It’s your first year of college. You’re going to class. You’re getting involved. You may even have started planning for next semester. You know what you need to do to complete Division I, but are you making the most of your Div I experience?

On Monday, October 15, the office of new student programs invited Division I students to explore this question with a panel of Division II students from 4-5PM in the Merrill Living Room. Couldn’t make it? Read on for details about what you missed!

What Happened:
Three current students, all of whom are in their second or third year at Hampshire, shared stories of their Division I experiences with program attendees. Each brought a different perspective on their successes and struggles during their first year at Hampshire, and attendees had the opportunity to ask questions about how each student navigated their unique Division I experience. From stories of discovering interests in the least likely of academic fields, to the importance of asking for help, to understanding campus life resources, Division I students received plenty of insight on how to make the most of their first year at Hampshire.

Advice from the Panel:

  • Whatever you do, make sure to communicate with your faculty. Keep professors and teaching assistants in the loop, and make an effort to get to know them. By building relationships with professors from the very beginning, it will be easier for you to communicate your needs and academic plans to them later on. They want to hear from you! Need help? Check out our post on how to approach faculty.
  • If you haven’t already, start saving all of your work. You’ll need it when it’s time to create your Division I portfolio, so make a habit of keeping things all in one place until it’s time to get started on the Division I passing process.
  • Be mindful of the four cumulative skills that accompany the Division I distribution requirements. You’ll need to demonstrate proficiency in each of these areas, so be thinking about them as you move through Division I.
  • Don’t wait until the last minute to start the CEL-1 requirement. Make sure to give it the time that it deserves — you’ll have a more meaningful and less stressful experience overall (and you’ll be more likely to pass Division I at the end of your first year)!
  • Find things you love to do outside of class (student groups, activities, programs, etc.). They can influence and enhance your academics and also keep you centered when things get difficult.
  • Keep an open mind. Division I offers an unique opportunity for you to explore different areas of study, meet faculty, and figure out what you really like. The thing you don’t think you’re interested in now might become the basis for your Division II or Division III work. Anything can happen!

Use These Resources:
Don’t be afraid to ask for help! There are tons of resources at your disposal, so don’t hesitate to take advantage of as many of them as possible.

  • Need help with your writing? Contact the Writing Center to learn more about how they can help you improve.
  • Looking for research help? Visit the Johnson Library, and stop by the Infobar near the Circulation Desk for information on resources, special programs, and to ask questions.
  • Have questions about the academic program? Visit the Center for Academic Support and Advising (CASA) in the Lemelson Building, or stop by the Peer Academic Resource Center (PARC), located at the Infobar by the circulation desk in the library.
  • Looking to get involved on campus? Stop by the campus leadership and activities office (CLA), or browse the list of student groups. Subscribe to campus mailing lists to keep yourself informed about what’s happening on campus.
  • Have you started your CEL-1 yet? Learn more about the CEL-1 on their website, read the FAQ, and browse open opportunities. Still have questions? Send an e-mail to, or come to CEL-What? on Tuesday, October 23 at 4PM in the Dakin Living Room. You bring questions, we’ll bring snacks!

That’s all for now! Have questions, comments, or concerns? E-mail us at

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