As soon as you step foot on campus your freshman year, you will realize that you are not in Kansas anymore, Dorothy. By following these insider tips from someone who has survived university for four years, you will be living like the upperclassmen in no time.
Surviving Freshman Year Tip # 1: Run Away from the Fast Food Joints
You have probably heard of the “freshman fifteen” by now, meaning every freshman gains fifteen pounds. It won’t be fifteen if you don’t watch yourself- it will become the freshman thirty. With full class loads, after- school jobs, and widespread fast food places, it is nearly impossible to maintain your weight at university, but it is doable. Try as much as possible to forget the fast food and if you do have to grab a quick bite, get some hummus and pita bread, or a salad- anything but pizza, burgers, or fries! Nearly every freshman gains weight. It is some weird, alternate- university universe anomaly. You can keep the weight gain at a minimum, however, if you watch what you are stuffing into your mouth during those late night study sessions.
Surviving Freshman Year Tip # 2: You Will Need a Sturdy Backpack
Get a Jan sport book bag- period. University students have yet to have found a book bag that can haul all of their gear (remember, no lockers in college), except a Jan sport. I went through four book bags before someone let me in on this secret. A Jan sport will last until you graduate from college. They are well worth the thirty bucks you will probably have to pay for one.
Surviving Freshman Year Tip # 3: Parking
University campuses are notorious for lack of parking space. Most universities have a parking garage, so get a parking permit for the parking garage. A lot of freshman students don’t want to shell out the $200 or more for a parking permit, thinking they will save more money at the meters. They are wrong. Parking meters add up everyday and if they expire, so do the parking tickets. If you think it is funny to have a glove compartment full of parking tickets, think again. On many campuses, unpaid parking tickets will get you a hold on your records, so you will not be able to register for classes, or get your grades, until you pay them. Get a parking permit.
Surviving Freshman Year Tip # 4: It’s Dr. John Doe, not Mr. John Doe
This is probably the most notorious mistakes freshman make their first year in classes. For the most part, your class professor probably has a PhD.D, which means their title is Dr.- not Mr., Mrs., or Ms. In order to get this correct, check out the class schedule, which is called a syllabus, your instructor gives you. They will have their name at the top, so learn immediately whether they have a PhD.D or not. I know this sounds trivial, but if you went to graduate school for an additional four years on top of your undergraduate degree, you would want the same recognition, as well. They work extremely hard for that degree, and consequently, that title, so get it right, or else you will insult them from the very beginning.
All of the tips upperclassmen can give you still cannot fully prepare you for everything you will encounter during your freshman year at university. The truth is college is a different ballgame, but the journey is more fun than the destination ( trust me and enjoy these four years). As a small freshman fish in the big university pond, you just have to sink or swim.