Session Description: You've arrived in Portland and picked up your name badge. What do you do next? Attending the ESA annual meeting as a student may be both daunting and thrilling, especially if you don't know anyone. The goal of this special session is to welcome students and give them the resources they require to make the most of their ESA experience. The first part of this session will be devoted to a presentation covering: (a) how the ESA Annual Meeting is structured (e.g., the different types of talks, poster sessions, and social events), (b) strategies for identifying sessions most relevant to students’ scientific interests, (c) sessions and events particularly of interest to students, (d) effective and responsible uses of social media during the meeting, and (e) strategies for avoiding burnout by the end of the meeting. The second part of this session will be devoted to networking with other students in order to create connections and encourage future cooperation. We go to the meeting as students to present our work, get feedback, and hang out with some really cool, seasoned ecologists. Making connections with a variety of people and building ties with other students are essential to having a fruitful meeting experience. We'll offer a few succinct pointers on how to strike up and maintain discussions and allow time for hands-on student networking activities. Although this event is geared toward first-timers, students of all levels and recent graduates who can benefit from the guidance and networking opportunities are encouraged to attend.