Listen up, freshman

Regine Meridy, Staff

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As a former freshman, I feel that it is my duty to guide you through your first year of college. So listen up, newcomers! Pay attention to the jewels of wisdom that I’m about to drop.

First and foremost: GO. TO. CLASS. I have seen countless greenhorns go wild with their first taste of freedom and sleep in, thinking class is an option, then flunk out. Don’t be foolish; the truth is that college is not all that difficult if you make school a genuine priority.

The second jewel of wisdom I shall bestow is that you can re-make yourself in college. Nobody on this campus has to know who you were or what you did in high school. Were you the quiet kid in high school? Congratulations, you can now become the loud, party animal! Were you super social, always throwing a party or rushing to a meeting for one of the 50 clubs you were in? Great, you can take a backseat and relax for a while. Who you were does not have to dictate who you will be.

Get involved on campus! Don’t write off Greek Life just because you’ve heard bad things or seen movies where it’s non-stop partying. Give it a fair shot, I have so many friends that are glad they’re in Greek Life that started their time at UNO with absolutely no interest in it. Even if it’s not a sorority or fraternity, find at least one club or organization to dedicate your time to; you’ll be glad you did.

Also, when scheduling for your spring semester, pay careful attention to which professor is teaching the class. The professor is everything! The professor can teach you how to think, how to debate, and how to challenge yourself daily. Or he or she can just show up, do the bare minimum, and collect a paycheck. Remember, a difficult professor is not the same as a bad professor, so be wary when your friends complain about a class!

Look online for books before getting them from the bookstore. And make sure to hold off on purchasing that book until you’ve been to at least one class. Nine times out of 10 you can find the textbook you need for the intro-level classes cheaper online, and sometimes the professor will say the book is optional.

Don’t forget that your health is important. For a lot of freshmen, this is going to be the first time he or she is away from health-conscious mom and dad. You don’t have to go on a diet, but eating nothing but junk food is going to make your energy levels soar briefly and then crash hard, so please try to fit healthy food into your meals!

Also, I can’t count the number of times I’ve overheard freshmen trying to one-up each other about how little sleep they got the previous night. It’s not cool to be sleep deprived, no one wants to hear about how you pulled an all nighter to write a paper that probably could have been done in under two hours.

The truth is, no matter how much you prepare or how much advice you listen to, you’re going to make mistakes your first year. And I sincerely encourage you to make those mistakes because there really is no better way to learn than to fail. Don’t stress out about it. You’re only a freshman once.