Department of Military Science & Leadership

Advice for Incoming Cal Poly Cadets

  • DO NOT stress.  The transition from high school to college can appear daunting at first but you'll get more out of the process if you take your time and keep things in perspective. It's an exciting time and you should enjoy it.
  • DO reference the 'Newly Admitted' page on the Cal Poly Admissions website for information, deadlines, and other university specific guidance.
  • DO NOT prioritize ROTC over your academics.  The most important piece of advice we can give to new and incoming students is to set yourself up for success personally and academically, before taking on additional extracurricular activities.  ROTC isn't going anywhere and we want our Cadets to have their legs planted firmly beneath them before they shoulder more time commitments and responsibilities.  People progress at different speeds.
  • DO take advantage of the New Student Orientation program and Week of Welcome activities. You may want to busy yourself with other things once you arrive but Cal Poly has built these programs to help integrate you into our community.  Be outgoing, the friends you make now will help shape your college experience.
  • DO utilize your degree specific academic advising center.  Students that actually take the time to plan out their coursework from freshman year to graduation have a much higher success rate.  Reference our Forms page for advising center contact information.
  • DO NOT assume that the amount of studying that was required of you for success in high school is going to directly translate to success in college.  Cal Poly recommends two (2) hours of studying per unit, per week. 
  • DO NOT be afraid to make mistakes or look 'stupid' in front of the other cadets or students.  Everyone was a first-time freshman or cadet at one point and everyone understands that it is part of the learning process.  We often learn just as much from our failures as we do from our successes. 
  • DO ask questions of upper classman and cadre.  They can provide worthwhile experience and guidance on a wide range of matters.  Click here for more information about the Cadet Mentorship Program.
  • DO contact Mr. Harris and let him know you intend to participate. 
  • DO set time aside everyday to be physically active.  Burning some energy (and fat) can relieve a ton of new-student stress and will help you focus your mind on what's important.  Also, attend ROTC PT three days a week. 
  • DO take advantage of the priority registration you will receive as a fully enrolled and participating cadet and plan your schedule around your ROTC requirements.
  • DO participate as much as possible within the program.  It will enhance your experience and provide you with the knowledge you'll need in order to make a smart decision about your future with the United States Army.

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Upcoming Events

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    Week of Welcome

    16-23 September 2018

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    Fall Joint FTX

    13-15 October

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    Ranger Challenge Competition

    27-29 October

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    Halloween Run

    30 October

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