Ten Things Freshmen Should Know

Ten Things Freshmen Should Know

Freshman communication majors Tristan Mikesell and Ashley Riddle look forward to surviving their first year of college.

Go to class, do your homework, study: this is advice all freshmen hear and only some follow. Sure, time management is a large part of college survival, but most students want more than to merely survive. Based on my personal experience and others like me, here are ten things freshmen need to know to get the most of their first year in college.

1.)   The Dollar General closes at 10 p.m.

It turns out that most businesses don’t accommodate late-night emergency Little Debbie cravings. It’s sad but true! College can seem overwhelming sometimes. If you plan to do anything at all besides study, more than likely you’ll be up late with a friend, a textbook or both.

Make sure you buy what you need before 10 p.m. or at least be prepared for a Wal-Mart trip.

2.)   Friends with cars are fun.

Stop the presses! You can’t go to Wal-Mart without a car. If you’re blessed with a car, more power to you. If not, I suggest you get to know someone who is. I’m not suggesting you become friends with people because of their cool stuff. I’m simply stating there’s a lot to see outside the Keene city limits. During the first few weeks of school you’ll be surrounded by new faces, but before long you’ll develop a group of close friends. Hopefully, at least one will have a car.

3.)   Quarters are your best friend.

In the basement of the men’s and women’s residence halls are rooms filled with white quarter-eating machines, also known as washers and dryers. Life would be so much easier if clothes just cleaned themselves!

Unless you want to take a washbasin to the duck pond (and I strongly advise you not to), then save up quarters for laundry. While you’re waiting for the rinse cycle, there are also snack machines to spend quarters on. It’s 75 cents for Pop Tarts and $1 to wash and dry your clothes.

4.)   Save that syllabus.

Believe it or not, the syllabus actually matters in college, but only if you enjoy being prepared for class. So go dig it out of your trashcan! Most teachers will let you know homework, quiz and test dates for the whole semester on the first day of class. Even more importantly, they will let you know when class is canceled.

Speaking from experience, you don’t want to be the only one attending a canceled class. Save your syllabus!

5.)   Professors are not the enemy.

Get to know your professors. When I know my professors, I get better grades. Better grades result in better scholarships. Better scholarships mean less money to cough up! Being a broke college student is more than a cliché. It’s a way of life. If you can find a way to get more money, do it.

Professors give you a grade. Get to know what makes them tick and what they want you to do. Also, if you’re friends with the teacher, the class can seem more enjoyable. So I say it again: get to know your professors.

6.)   Time is the enemy.

Friends tell you to make time to hang out. Professors tell you to make time for class. Bosses tell you to make time for work. The double chocolate cake you had at lunch tells you to make time for the gym. All this in 24 hours? Impossible! Time is unfortunately not on the college student’s side.

One of my lovely friends had her entire life planned out on her closet door with sticky notes. It was incredibly effective and a colorful alternative to stressing about getting stuff done. As I mentioned before, time management is a large part of getting through college. If you want to have time for fun without sacrificing school, plan ahead.

7.)   You can beat the Freshmen 15.

Who says you have to gain 15 pounds when you get to college? Take it as a challenge to stay fit and take care of your body. College is a new way of life. There are no parents to force feed three square meals down your throat! Don’t skip breakfast, don’t ignore vegetables and don’t snack on junk food at all hours.

It’s fine to indulge your sweet tooth now and then, as long as in the bigger picture you’re doing what’s right for your health. Also, exercise is important not only to how you look, but how you feel.

8.)   There’s life outside your room.

So many people complain that they hate college, but all they do is sit in their dorm room and go to class! Join a club. Take an art class. Sign up for student association. Attend outreach on Saturday. Find your own way to get involved with the school.

It’s in getting involved that you make your closest friends. Think about it, what better way is there to meet people like you than to go to places with people that like what you like?

9.)   Keene water won’t give you cancer.

There’s a rumor that Keene water will give you cancer. I’ve grown up drinking Keene water and am living proof that it won’t kill you.

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger? I guess Kelly Clarkson has never been to Keene. This stuff is nasty! Just because the water here is gross, doesn’t mean you don’t need it. If you won’t drink tap water, spend the cash for a filter or bottled water. You won’t regret it.

10.) Trust God.

You can forget all other nine points as long as you remember this last one. Trust God. God knows everything about you, including what will happen in the future. Don’t you think it’s worthwhile to see what He has to say?

  • Matthew 6:26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap; yet your heavenly father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
  • Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
  • 1 John 4:4 You are of God, little Children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
  • Philippians 4:6-7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Have a great freshmen year!


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