Friendly Advice for Incoming Freshmen
So you’ve just been admitted to a university and you’re stoked. Sure, you’re leaving home for the first time and won’t see your family and friends again for months but hey, you get to party all night and do whatever you want, right? That’s the attitude I went into college with for the first few months and luckily I wasn’t one of the crazy ones. Those kids are all dropouts now or have GPAs so low that their diploma won’t be worth the paper it’s printed on considering they ever graduate. With those kids in mind I bring you some pointers on how to survive and succeed ass a freshman next semester.
Go to class often and try to participate.
As much as we all love to stay up late watching netflix with our friends it’s important to not forget why we’re here. College is your entrance into the world and although it’s a time we spend partying and trying new things, attendance is a huge party of continuing your stay at a university. Plus it doesn’t hurt to at least hear what your professors have to say occasionally. Participation is just as important, the easiest way to make sure that you comprehend a subject is to talk about it and ask questions. Office hours are a great way to add on to your participation by showing professors that you have a drive to succeed and learn the material, and they might even like you enough to sway your grade or even write you a recommendation in the future.
There will always be another party.
The weekend is always something to look forward to. You’ve got no class, there’s most likely something going on somewhere on campus, and you can wake up whenever you feel like getting out of bed. However, you don’t have to go out EVERY weekend. The struggle to stay in and be productive will always be there. You sometimes might feel like you’re missing out on something crazy or you might be distracted by the sounds of fun outside while you’re stuck in academic purgatory. It’s alright though, just remember that there are 52 weeks in the year each with their own weekend which means that if you stay in one or two there’s a lot more to come. You’re here to learn, the partying is purely recreational.
The library can be not only your friend but your sanctuary.
The dorms can be a rowdy place between not-so-sneaky pregames, yelling sports fans, blasting music, television volumes that make you question whether your neighbors are deaf, and Call of Duty gunshots. If you’re like me these things don’t only distract you from studying but also draw you towards the noise like some sort of socialite detective. This is why I started hitting the library. At first it may seem intimidating or even overhyped but the library is definitely a good place to sit, focus, and bang out assignments in time for the weekend’s leisure activities. If I’ve learned anything in my years in college it’s that libraries can and do save lives.
Stick close to your friends.
In the beginning of the year you will most likely make acquaintances that will become your friends for years to come, even if at first it seems unlikely. The best part about friends is, if chosen wisely, they can keep you out of trouble. NEVER go out alone. Not only is that slightly depressing but you never know what will happen to you at parties or clubs or whatever. Friends will have your back; go where they go, and make sure not to get left behind. It’s a big world out there and not everyone is out for fun at night.
I entered college with a girlfriend before swapping her for another one halfway through freshman year. From first hand experience it ruined my college career. I have friends who dated someone all or most of the way through college and they’re miserable. I’m not saying “relationships are bad”, but what I’m saying is that there is a time and place for everything. In the future you don’t want to regret spending your prime on someone who you jumped into something with before you actually saw more of the world. Besides, you don’t want to see your significant other running through your new friends after the break up, leaving you with no one to trust.
Find a bouncer friend.
You know that big kid from your dorm that works the door at the local club? Make him your buddy! Start off just hanging with him and talking to him about work, then smoothly mention the possibility of future wristbands. If the bar isn’t that strict he might hook you up and with friends like that who needs fake IDs? Pull this off and you’ll be that kid every other freshman comes to for drinks, and with that power you can become a powerhouse in the underaged social circle.
Know when it’s time to go home.
Long nights are typically the best nights, but sometimes you’ve got to know when it’s been long enough. There’s nothing more pathetic than lingering freshman at the end of a party after all the drinks run out and the crowd dwindles down to just the friends of the house. If you really want to be treated like a respectable student instead of constantly being mocked by upperclassmen, simply be aware of your situation. Take a step back to see how you look from an outside perspective and if you find yourself as that annoying freshman make adjustments to your behavior. Also, remember that you’re in someone else’s home and that you are a (sometimes uninvited) guest.