Photo by Monica Linzmeier
Photo by Monica Linzmeier

The freshmen 15: Advice from a senior to all freshmen

1. Actually go to the planned events for your floor and residence hall, as well as Aztec Nights festivities.  They may seem awkward at first, but they’re the best way to meet fellow freshmen.

2. Just because a meal plan gives you the freedom to buy Cheetos and Twix bars everyday doesn’t mean you should. It’s called the “freshman 15” for a reason.

3. Don’t automatically buy all your textbooks from the bookstore. Look at other stores, both in the area and online. Trust me when I say that cheaper prices do exist.

4. Learn to cook some basic meals because eventually the sight of Top Ramen will make you gag. Not only will grandma be flattered to teach you how to make her secret recipe, but you won’t contract scurvy because of inadequate nutrition.

5. Don’t sign up for 8 a.m. classes, unless you truly are a morning person.

6. Keep up on the readings. In high school, it was easy to use Sparknotes for important information, but college professors will expect you to know the material covered in the textbook. Surprises are not fun on test day.

7. Money doesn’t grow on trees, so when you’re looking to pay for the semester, research loans and their interest rates. But remember, you are borrowing that money, and it’ll be expected back one day with interest.

8. Have fun, but pace yourself. You have four years to attend beverage-heavy social events, so try not to go full force out of the gate. Your stomach, head, liver and grades will thank you later.

9. Don’t be too focused. Get your general education classes done but still leave time to explore while still an undergraduate. A random art or psychology class could actually lead you to your life’s calling.

10. You are not Superwoman or Superman.  Taking 15 units, working 35 hours and playing a sport, while still maintaining a social life will lead to total burnout in no time. It’s great to stay busy, but you’ll need some downtime every week to recharge.

11. The point of college is to one day graduate to find a steady income. Social circles are great for college, but keep in mind that they are not everything. Connecting with the right professionals to develop future opportunities during these four years is essential.

12. Don’t pretend like you’re too cool to interact with the professor and other students in your classes.  Answer your professors’ questions and even ask some of your own. Your professor will remember this when putting in grades at the end of the semester.

13. Wow, how convenient! You have met the love of your life in just your first week of college. Just remember not to ostracize yourself from the rest of the world in order to be with this person 24 hours a day. Remember to balance your social life between your significant other and friends.

14. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself. The journey that is college never happens as seamlessly as one plans. Take the ups and downs as they come because they will eventually push you toward your end goal.

15. Remember to breathe. It will fly by much faster than you think, so enjoy the ride.

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The freshmen 15: Advice from a senior to all freshmen