Opinion by Sarah Grossman
Photo by Baron Cao
Ok So you’re a freshman, or politically correct, a “first-year.” Welcome to the land of freedom and adventure where suddenly, everything becomes one big suggestion, and you are your own man or woman. Well, I’m here to provide 10 recommendations to guide you through the ride that is your first year.
First, get involved. I cannot stress this enough. The first few weeks are a whirlwind, and I honestly found it terrifying, but throw yourself into the storm. Try rushing social and academic fraternities. Join intramural sports teams. Anything. Just meet people ,and have some fun.
Second, find balance. Talk to lots of people, go out occasionally, but know your limits on fraternizing and find some quiet “you” time.
Third, college is fun. No, scratch that. College is an amazing playground with all kinds of excitement and distractions. I know you all saw this coming, but don’t forget why you’re here. Why you, your parents, your grandparents, the government or various organizations are paying approximately $40,000 a year. It is to earn a degree. So focus up. Play hard, but work hard. Make yourself stay-in occasionally and get a “head start” on that paper you’ve been putting off for weeks. Fourth, take care of yourself. GO TO BED, seriously. Shower every once in while. You will get sick this year, and when that happens try EmergenC — it’s a miracle worker. Really, any type of vitamin C supplement will help keep the germs at bay. Keeping yourself feeling great will help you to perform better — in school, sports, picking up the ladies, really all areas of life. So don’t ask questions or make excuses.
Fifth, the “freshman 15,” yeah, it’s real. I know Hubbell Dining Hall and Quad claim to have “healthy” options, but chicken melts — need I really say more? However, you’ll hate yourself later when it catches up to you, and believe me, it will. If you cannot forgo the pizza, understandable, the Underground is open, and the Bell Center has some amazing classes, which are fantastic and really do help to keep the pounds off.
Sixth, if you become known for something this year, please, I’m begging you, don’t be known as the person who passes out on the Stalnaker lawn or got a concussion from doing a backflip off a barstool. Don’t be that person — know your limits and be smart.
Seventh, explore Des Moines. It’s beautiful, fun and has a few hidden gems — don’t miss out!
Ninth, you’re a first-year. College is new and fun, but don’t let yourself be taken advantage of and do not be afraid to assert yourself. You have a voice — use it.
Tenth, college is a place of hook-ups and lots of “interaction.” You’ll probably see people of the opposite sex half dressed and/or naked — even ones you didn’t want to see in this state. For gosh sakes, use protection and if you don’t want to do something, don’t. Do what you personally feel comfortable with , and have self-respect.
You might cry a few times this year. You might fail a class. You might get your heart broken. But if you follow these recommendations, you can and will make it. Just remember to do your laundry and call home occasionally. It will all be just fine.
Grossman is a sophomore marketing and public relations double major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org