A Letter to College Freshmen

Dear Freshmen,

It seems as though you’ve just got dropped off by your parents at summer camp. Classes are just about to start, but that hasn’t occupied your mind as much as figuring out the best room configuration for you and your roommate. You don’t remember having this much stuff when you were living at home, but now you’ve got to find a way to make it all fit. You’ve also got to decide whether your room will be the place to watch movies with everyone or if you’ll be traveling to another person’s dorm room. (It’s a big commitment to make, but all superheroes don’t wear capes. Edna Mode taught us best.) With a new journey about to begin and a lot on your mind, I’m here to give you some helpful tips that I wish I had known going into my freshman year of college.

1.) Go to as much of the freshmen events as you can.

I know this is probably the same information that your RA told you as well, but honestly, you really should go. While the people in your hall have already been cracking jokes about not going or saying that it’ll be lame, I encourage you to take the leap of faith that is tie-dying shirts in the courtyard. During my freshman year of college at UW-Eau Claire, we had this freshmen only event that was Battleship, but with people in canoes in the campus pool. Not only was this something that the nerdy person that I am dreamed about back in the day, but it also gave me an opportunity to try something new with people that I never met before. Again, while these events may get a lot of flack initially, they are a perfect opportunity for you to form a social circle with people in and outside of your residence hall.

2.) Just go to class.

You’re on your own for the first time and it’s going to be so tempting to want to skip class to watch “The Office” in your dorm room. Just go to class. It’ll save you a lot of time thinking about what you missed and trying to get notes from a classmate. Professor’s absence policies will vary, but they usually give you at least one excused day with no questions asked. Save that skip day for when it’s snowing, freezing cold, and you’re trying to binge watch Friends before it’s taken off of Netflix at the end of December. Trust me on this one.

3.) Join an intramural team.

Not all of us can be playing sports at the college level and that’s where intramurals come into play. While some people may treat intramurals like they’re being scouted by professional sports teams, most people just like being on a team with people they like hanging out with. It’s a great excuse to stay active and avoid the “Freshmen 15” that finds even the most health conscious individuals in college. Plus, if your team wins, you’ll get a cup and t-shirt that you can pull down from the cupboard from time to time when you’re older. I know it sounds strange, but you’ll want to tell your grandkids about the time you caught a game winning touchdown pass to propel you and your witty team name to victory.

4.) Take advantage of your meal plan.

Whether you have a limited number of meals you can get per day or you have an unlimited plan; take advantage of the meals available to you. Not only is “the caf” a good excuse to be social with people in your hall, it also is the one time in college where you don’t have to do your dishes or make a meal. When you move off campus one day, you may not miss the overall food quality that your college cafeteria has to offer, but you’ll sure as heck miss the convenience. Also, I shouldn’t have to tell you this, but be sure to treat the cafeteria staff with respect. Many of the workers there are college students just