10/03/2016 By Douglas Esser One of the things students should do before they put on backpack at the University of Washington Bothell is to unpack any misconceptions. A lot of unpacking went on Monday, Sept. 26, at the UWBasics: Mythbusters Edition program sponsored by the Student Success Center. The message: Students can feel better learning what the University is all about by knowing what it’s not about. In the opening session at the North Creek Events Center and at later breakout sessions, current and past UW Bothell students, faculty and staff told the class of 2020: Professors care about you; you’re not just a student number. Changing majors is not a sign of failure. GPA isn’t everything. You don’t have to be stressed all the time, pulling all-nighters. You don’t have to run up a massive student debt. Dorothy Baumgartner, director of the Student Success Center, told students they should expect a learning experience in which they engage with community partners, examine topics from multiple disciplines and connect with other people. One first year student, Seffir Wendm, says he welcomed the opportunity to learn the basics. “College is scary, right, like how to manage money, class time, sleep. I don’t get enough sleep to begin with,” he said. For another first year student, Ifeyinwa Acholono who is already planning a career in medicine, the basics program was an opportunity to jump into college life. “I want to start college comfortably,” she said. “I’m ready for college. I want to get involved, be active, branch out.” The annual UWBasics event is designed as the first step in a transition from a “checklist of requirements” mentality that students might have had in high school to a more self-directed learning mindset, Baumgartner said. The mindset and a sense of belonging are critical components to student success, she says. Baumgartner hopes students become more self-directed and learn that they have a choice in how they react even when a class is not going well. “Everything is a learning opportunity,” she says. A primary site for connected learning is the Student Success Center, located on the first floor of UW1. You’ll find academic advising, resources for veterans and disabled students, scholarships and career advice, and opportunities for study abroad and research projects. Here's something that new students should pack: a belief that you’re not alone, that you can make connections, meet friends in class and find success at UW Bothell and beyond. See more UW Basics photos in flickr gallery.