This post is by a former student of mine, Aleana Branigan, who was my awesome yearbook editor during that interesting year I ran the yearbook, and she is currently a student at Ball State University. I asked her to share her thoughts on finishing her freshman year. She writes this guest post she affectionately titled “5 Tips to Avoid Being Fresh Meat” with advice for the incoming college student.
5 tips to avoid being fresh meat
By Aleana BraniganCollege is going to be rough; your first month there you’ll consider dropping out if you don’t get involved in things and why waste your time if the plan is to hole yourself up in a dorm room? I guess I’ll help out some defenseless freshmen from the scary world of college campuses.Let me also begin by stating the optimistic view that all college experiences are different and my tips may be based on the fact that I went to parochial schools for 12 years of my life before I found myself enrolled at a public institution! I hope you find these beneficial and don’t think I’m too corny in my writing, mostly because I write the way I talk.
1. Live in the Dorms if Possible
Stay in the dorms freshman year, be a socialite! Some colleges require that freshman stay in the dorm, best thing they do. If I hadn’t of stayed in a dorm then I probably never would have made friends. I promise that I’m not over exaggerating either! Within the first month of living in the dorms, I constantly found myself hanging out with new people and also making a weekly trip to the buffet on campus. While I might regret the weekly trip to the buffet, at least I did it with friends who only lightly made fun of me when I would spill potatoes on my lap.
2. Get involved!
They aren’t kidding at orientation when they say get involved! Now I personally missed out on being involved with clubs because I chose to get a job on campus rather than joining a club, I just couldn’t stand doing nothing. But, I do regret not joining a club because I did have a bit of spare time when I wasn’t crying over my rude roommate (this story is for a different time) or panicking over assignments which I saved for the last minute. Even if I had just attended a few meetings, it would’ve been better than binge-watching The Fosters.
3. But staying in is fun too
It’s okay to stay in and watch movies with your dudes. While it’s fun to go out and meet random people in weird houses, it’s also really relaxing to sit in the dorm and order with food with some of your closest friends. If you split up the cost of food, you each could spend around $5 to have a movie night. Along with this, join rewards programs for restaurants if you notice you’re going more than once a week. Honestly, I’m in the Papa John’s rewards program and I get free things every few visits! It might contribute to your freshman 15, but the recreation cost is included in your random fees.
4. Reach out to profs
Your professors could make great resources or friends. Despite my wording for this one, I mean it. Respect your professors but also get cozy with them. Not teen sit-com cozy, but go to office hours and learn more about them. This is a huge one for the professors who are in your department; they can be the person you call when you’re stuck on an advanced level course. I’ve had professors share their numbers in case we ever needed picked up from a sketchy situation. Get to know them and don’t hate them automatically, some are even are relaxed enough to let you call them by their first name.
5. DO NOT ASK TO GO TO BATHROOM, JUST GO
Self-explanatory for this last one. High schools are basically a prison in comparison to college, there’s less rules and there’s no need to let someone else determine whether or not you’re allowed to pee. Thank the heaven above, there is a Lord!