By Jake Pereira

To our new members of the Pack,

Congratulations on making one of the best decisions of your life. By making the choice to become a part of the Wolf Pack you have opened yourself up to endless possibility. This experience will be as remarkable as you choose to make it. Almost four years ago I too made the choice to join the Wolf Pack.

I moved to Reno from Northern Idaho to pursue my business degree. At 18 I packed up my life and drove 15 hours alone to embark on this journey. I was filled with so many emotions and uncertainty as I began my new life at the University of Nevada. I came here seeking an education, but what I found was so much more. Looking back on my experience there were a few things that I wish I would have known right off the bat:

Surround yourself with a strong support group.

College is a roller coaster. There are going to be times where you are on top of the world, wondering how you could ever enjoy life so much. However, there will be times in which you will be challenged with adversity. Having a strong support group of friends, professors, professionals and people who genuinely care for your well-being is invaluable. As Christopher McCandless says, “Happiness is only real when shared,” and as I have come to learn adversity is no match for those with strong support. How can you build this network?

It’s easier than you think. The University of Nevada, Reno offers countless chances to get involved. One of the easiest ways is to join one of our over 200 clubs and organizations. There is something for everyone, and if you don’t find something you like, it’s easy to start your own.

Getting involved in something you are passionate about will make your college experience. If you need help on where to begin stop by the third floor of the Joe, the ASUN offices always are full of people willing to help!

You are here to get an education

With all that Reno and this university have to offer, it is easy to forget that you are a student. Time management is key in this arena. Regardless of what you have heard, it is possible to have a great social life, get good grades and even sleep, if you manage your time properly. Take advantage of the academic resources such as the tutoring centers on campus. Get to know your professors. Our university is full of brilliant people that want you to succeed; seek them out and allow them to help you.

Don’t forget that your education here at the university spans beyond the classroom; be a student in all areas of your life. Some of the most important lessons you will learn at Nevada will take place outside the classroom. Be a student in all areas of your life.

Take advantage of Nevada and the surrounding area

One of my favorite things about attending this university is the vast number of opportunities that exist within a short walk or drive from campus. One of the best things you can do is immerse yourself in all this area has to offer. Explore, Explore, Explore! Downtown Reno is full of dining options and entertainment that offer a great way to get away from the stress of college life. Check out West Street Market or the booming Midtown district full of restaurants and coffee shops that won’t disappoint. My personal favorite is our close proximity to Lake Tahoe. A short car ride will get you to the outdoor “adventure mecca” and one of the most beautiful places in the world. With world class skiing and snowboarding in the winter, countless summer beach get a ways, hiking and limitless potential for adventure, Tahoe is a paradise right in our back yard. (Go to T’s Mesquite Rotisserie, you won’t be disappointed).

Don’t stop at Tahoe! Reno is central to places like Yosemite National Park, San Francisco and other world-class destinations. Taking advantage of what Reno/Tahoe and its surrounding area have to offer will enhance your experience beyond your expectations.

Be the architect of your own experience

Your college years truly are your own. Your choices through these years you will shape and build your experience.

Make mistakes and take risks.

There is no better place to fail than college. Learn from each of these failures and draw from your experiences to constantly improve your being at this university. Before you lies an opportunity to make this an experience you will never forget. If you have any questions about how to maximize your experience I would love to help. Email me at president@asun.unr.edu.

Welcome to the Pack!

ASUN President Jake Pereira studies business. He can be reached at president@asun.unr.