A Welcome to all the Freshmen (and Sophomores)

By Peter Ly ’23.

From all of the seniors and juniors who have by now all been on campus for an extended period of time, we would like to welcome all the freshmen and sophomores to our beautiful campus. Bellarmine is a place where you can explore your interests, learn about the world around oneself, and grow academically, morally, and spiritually. In short, Bellarmine is the place that will guide you to learn more about yourself by not only teaching you in the classroom but also by providing a platform to extend your non-academic interests.

But, there are a few things that all of the incoming Bells should know about our campus, and I’ll provide a few things that I think in this article.

  1. You should quickly find people in your classes who you can talk to. Building a friend group at the beginning is crucial for you to not feel lonely while walking from one building to another during passing periods; moreover, these friends can help you study or keep you company during your off periods.
  2. Remember to keep track of your work on Canvas. I strongly reccommend, even though some disagree with me, to change your Canvas view to list view instead of card view because it clearly shows all of your assignments in chronological order. List view also creates a check-list of both announcements and assignments that were made that day, and list view highlights these announcements, that may announce a project or deadline, that you can check off once you’re done reading them.
  3. PowerSchool may seem uneccessary at the beginning of the year because you don’t see any grades in them, but it is necessary to check it later on to see your correct and updated grades.
  4. Go to Club Day, and check out the Bell Online, as well as other time-sensitive informational sessions for larger extracurriculars such as Speech and Debate to join activities that intrigue you. In fact, most of my own friends come from my extracurriculars because you can consistently meet up with them — often times, you won’t have that same friend in your schedule next year.
  5. Check the tabs on the side of each Canvas course to see the different files or modules that your teachers have been put in place. This is the easiest way to see PowerPoints or other class materials.
  6. This is probably the most important thing, but please learn about file types. Often time, especially because of the pandemic, teachers will ask for digital worksheets rather than paper worksheets. As a result of this, you should always submit your work as a .docx, .pptx, or in other file types that are typical of a Microsoft app. One important thing is knowing how to export a file as a pdf from OneNote. You should go to File > Export > PDF. Please make sure that you do not submit the page as a .one file. When you submit a .one file, the teacher has to download the file and open it to see it; on the other hand, a teacher can see a PDF in Canvas without having to download anything. And trust me, grading online is extremely difficult and time consuming. It is by far one of the most frustrating things that a teacher has to do because of the long wait times, so please make sure to know this.
  7. Make use of your stylus and make sure to write things down in class. Although you think that typing up notes is a good idea, its easy to type down a presentation but to still have the content blow by your head. Writing it down on paper is a much better strategy.
  8. Now, we’re going to move onto things on campus. Firstly, the best water fountain is by the library because it’s always cool. The best restroom, in my opinion, is in Lokey or Sobrato.
  9. Another thing that all students should know is that Carney, the science building, was recently remodeled, so it now has a fresh look.
  10. Remember that you can no longer eat in the cafeteria but you have to eat outside.
  11. Go to office hours if you need help because they allow you to relearn the material while also connecting with your teacher and learning more about things that you weren’t even aware of.
  12. Use the Microsoft and Adobe apps that Bellarmine bought as a subscription.
  13. Also, your Surface has finite space. Don’t spend that hard drive space on games that can eat up some gigabytes. A quick tip is that OneNote takes up a lot of space backing up — downloading WinDirStat allows you to see what’s on your Surface and you can clear up files that are clearly taking up a lot of space. HOWEVER, PLEASE DON’T DELETE ANY SYSTEM FILES because it’ll break Windows.
  14. Use Outlook over the Mail app. I just feel it’s better.
  15. There’ll be a lot of events during the first few weeks at school, so take advantage of those to meet your classmates.
  16. Don’t just make friends with people in your own grade level. Upperclassmen are nice as well. However, it is a very sad goodbye once they graduate.
  17. Write in a planner or a Word doc your assignments since not all of your assignments will be on Canvas — it could just be reviewing vocabular for foreign language.
  18. You should join the Bell Online.

I hope you all have a good year and all the freshmen, sophomores, and juniors have a great first full year on campus. And to the seniors, I wish you luck during this fall semester where you have to write essays.

Go Bells!