Freshman Year: Lessons Learned, Uncensored

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You don’t get as naïve as I did when it comes to freshman year. I read every Freshman 101 article and listened to every testimony from upperclassmen.

I mean…I got the basics down. Don’t sport any attire given from orientation that screams “freshman.” Freshman 15 isn’t a myth. Befriend your floormates. Don’t travel in packs on the first weekend. But, what about…you know, the other stuff? Should girls carry around condoms? What should I do about the 2 a.m. munchies? Which clubs should I get involved in? Here are some tips you should really take to heart.

Take advantage of the free condoms given out on campus.

By the time teens turn 19, seven out of 10 have had sex. Chances are, you’re getting it in. However, always make sure you’re comfortable when it comes to being sexually active. If you’re not ready, that’s totally fine. Never put yourself in uncomfortable or dangerous situations. If you don’t want to go to that frat party or hook up with that guy, don’t be pressured into doing so. Just in case, always keep a condom at hand. Girls, it’s not slutty; it’s better to stay safe than risk doing it unprotected.

Eat BEFORE you drink, not after.

Yeah, we all have the 2 a.m. munchies as we walk back from the party. Pizza and honey-barbeque wings are calling out our names. In addition to the calories obtained from drinking, you will inevitably trek on the path to the freshman 15. So, instead of saving the appetite, consider having a hearty supper before pre-gaming. Not only will it suppress late night “snacking,” you won’t be drinking on an empty stomach.

Don’t make Thirsty Thursday-Saturday a weekly occurrence.                

Going out for three nights straight is fine on occasion. If you’re the lucky few who don’t have any Friday classes, this might be an exception. Set some limits though, and remind yourself why you’re in college. If you become familiar with wasted Wednesday…then I seriously recommend you to sort out your priorities.

Upperclassmen WILL take advantage of you in extracurricular activities.

Be open-minded at the extracurricular fairs and attend the interest meetings, but only stick with ones that you can commit to. Don’t be surprised when you’re suddenly bumped up to a position as an assistant editor or director by the middle of first semester. Sure, the title is nice, but be prepared for the responsibility. The upperclassmen expect 100 percent effort from you, and that might require hours of your time.

Friends might not last forever.

We all get excited when we meet new people and seemingly lifelong friends at orientation and on our floors. We do everything together: walk to class, pull all-nighters, pregame, go out and skip class. Not to burst your bubble, but don’t be surprised when drama spreads like wildfire. “Wait, I thought you were eating lunch with me.” “You hooked up with her? Dude, you know I like her.” “You gave me the wrong answer to that problem.” Yes, some college kids still act like they’re back in high school. Just be prepared.

Sophomore > Magazine Journalism and Art History > Syracuse University

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