BY NEIGHAN WHITE
It is finally here. Your freshman year of college. You are in store for the best year of your academic life!
It is a whole new world for you. Independence from your parents, new friends and experiences. You are finally the only one you have to look to for your decisions. You are the only one responsible for you.
That may sound a little scary as well as exhilarating. Your feelings about this step are probably all over the place. But the one thing that is sure, you will come out of this with life lessons that are priceless.
- Let it flow
There are going to be freshman parties galore, and you have to put on some tough skin to go with the flow. Be careful who you choose as your friends, everyone is not a friend.
Nobody cares about what happened the day before in college. Your peers care that finally they are on their own and can do what they want, within reason.
Those keg parties are going to happen and if you are not a drinker, it’s okay to get yourself a red cup and put some water in it. Who knew? Young ladies, and some young males need to watch their cup.
You don’t want to be a victim of roofies (it is slang for a drug that knocks you out) the brand name is Rohypnol and it is used by frats to render their victims helpless to rape them.
- You own chores
You are about to learn how to do your own laundry, and if you don’t want crappy dorm food all of the time, you are going to have to cook. This is a time to reflect on just how much your mom and dad did for you. Call them, tell them how much you miss them, they will be floored by your consideration. But hey, you are growing up.
The best thing about your laundry is that if you don’t want to wash your jeans, you will not come back to the dorm and find that your mom has washed them and have them smelling like flowers.
- Be true to yourself
There is nothing like a fake person trying to be something they are not. You can see straight through them. College is not the place to act like you are in high school, it is time to find out who you are and what your belief system consists of.
This time of your life is about you. Focus on finding your voice in everything. Debate everything. Disagree with folks that you would normally not disagree with, like the cute girl or the buff guy.
Get in their asses about what you think is right or wrong. If they start acting like bullies, ask them, “What? You think this is high school?” It is the one question that halts a college bully in their tracks.
They know themselves that this is a growing period and they don’t want to seem like little kids. Although, some college students take longer to get to this point than others.
- Respect your RA
If you are like most freshmen, you live in a dorm. At first this may seem like a dream come true. Here you have this big building housing up to 300-400 students at a time that are milling around the halls looking for the next party. After a few hangovers this will get old.
There on the property is your residential advisor. This is the person that polices the building to make sure you are all safe, and acting within normal limits of college students.
She/or he may let some parties develop and give you space to have fun. But when they show up and say it is over. It is over. You could lose your place in the dorm if your disrespect the one person that has your wellbeing in mind.
They may be the one that saves your butt when you are late with a paper or need an aspirin or some good advice.
- College Parties and Late Papers
There is no denying it, you will be partying a few times in your freshman year, and with that comes late work. If you find yourself in this dilemma, it is okay to get help from other college students (preferably the elder ones) to help you get your work done. Don’t make it a habit, but it is good to know they can help you.
This is only a few of the fun times that you can look forward to in your freshman year, and if you are just finishing up and going into your sophomore year, take the lessons learned with you and share them with your incoming freshies.
About the author:
Neighthan White is a writer and an undergraduate specialist in education sciences. In his late twenties, he is a regular member of Montessori techniques for children under 10 seminars, a blog editor at Mastergrades.com, a volunteer at Education without Borders and LDS, a startup inventor, a language learner, a writer and a happy husband.