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First-Year Experience

As one of the newest members of Bruin Nation, you’ve got an exciting year ahead of you. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to get answers to your questions, meet new people and make some great memories.

Here are a few things to look forward to:

First-Year Residence Halls

Students in their residence hall

All first-year students living on campus will be housed in First-year Residence Halls. (Women in Gaston and men in Johnson)

Students may come in as academic sophomores but are considered First-year students unless they’ve completed 12 hours of college credit in residence (not online) after high school graduation.

The First-Year Residence Halls offer three benefits to students:

Caring leaders — Although it may sound like a dorm of just first-year students, there are more student leaders in these residence halls than in others. The First-year Residence Hall leaders apply and interview for this leadership position, and the First-year Experience office partners with the Student Life team to ensure that these student leaders desire to mentor new students and are an example of thriving as a student.

Shared experience — The shared experience of being with students taking the same courses and facing similar struggles builds community and confidence. We’ve found that the shared enthusiasm for college life helps them through some of the lows of the first year.

Intentional programming — The hall meetings and activities are designed to help new students adjust to college life by developing habits and attitudes that make their first year successful. We’ve found new students need lights-out time to get adequate rest and room jobs that help them learn consideration for others.


Students in First-Year Seminar

Throughout your first semester you’ll take Pathways. Pathways is a 3 credit course that helps you transition into college and helps you learn about all the resources available to help you succeed. It is customized for each group of students, so it’s a great place for you to ask questions as they come up during the year.

You’ll learn about the people and resources that are available to you and how to reach them. You’ll also pick up some great tips about things like life in the residence hall, involvement in the community, and special events that you won’t want to miss.

First-Year Advisor

Student with their advisor

Your first-year advisor is available throughout the year to answer your questions or help you figure out what you can do now to prepare for your future—whether you’re choosing a major, picking electives or searching for extracurricular activities to get involved in.

Additionally, you can take advantage of any of the other student support that’s available. There are many people on campus who want you to succeed at BJU and beyond. Feel free to go to them at any time for advice and direction—they are happy to help.

Please see for a complete list of student support.

Getting Involved

Students help with hurricane relief

Whether you’re looking for a church to get involved in or exploring Greenville for the best spots to hang out with friends, you can start the year off well through connecting with new people and serving others. You’ll have dozens of opportunities to get involved in community or ministry outreaches through your society or other student organizations.

Another great way to get involved is through society sports and Bruins events as a player or a spectator. Your student experience is largely what you make of it, so it’s a great idea to ask lots of questions, explore all the options and make the most of every opportunity!