Welcome back to school! And first year students… welcome to college! College can be an amazing place to make new friends, learn more about yourself, and discover what you’d like to do with your life! It is also an amazing place to change your major 30 times, cry, and take naps in public. Whether it’s your first year or your last year, I’m rooting for you. I hope you’re rooting for me too.
This year for The Concordian, I want to write an advice column. Now, while I would love to meet you and hear about your issues, I can’t promise a response or useful advice. I cannot promise that with this column either, but I would like to try.
So, here we go! Here is a list of 10 tips and tricks on how to survive your first year of college. Enjoy!
- Practice the open-door policy. If you are living on campus, try leaving your door open. It’s a great way to meet new people on your floor and in your building. Some of the best conversations I’ve had, and best Cards Against Humanity games I’ve played came from the interactions I had in my residence hall.
- Try to get to know your Residence Assistant (RA). I was an RA last year and it was amazing. It was also exhausting, and we really are trying our best. Be nice to your RA. Remember they are people too, and chances are, they’re super cool… like me!
- Go to class. This is a big one, but also the hardest one to practice. Classes are important, and they are way too expensive to sleep through. If you have to, set 5 alarms for your 8:00 a.m., and get your butt out of bed. Then, don’t register for an 8:00 a.m. class in the spring.
- Don’t be afraid to decorate your room! Fairy lights, tapestries, and pillows are your friend. Having a comfortable, cozy, and cool room to go home to will help you transition into your own space. Just make sure to talk with your roommate about your aesthetic choices.
- Join at least one club or activity. If you haven’t signed up for anything yet, reach out to your classmates, friends, and teachers for a club you can join. Participate in a sport or a music ensemble, audition for a play, or learn a new language. You can be a part of a Narrative 4 exchange, go on a Justice Journey, or apply to be an orientation leader.
- Remember to take care of yourself. If you’re anything like me, you have way too many things on your plate and there isn’t enough time in the day. BUT! Remember to take at least a few minutes every day to take care of you.
- Practice safe sex. This is a taboo topic, but it’s important to mention to everyone. Whether or not you are engaging in any sort of sexual activity, remember that consent is necessary, and that condoms or other protection are our friends.
- Explore the Fargo-Moorhead area! This is something I wish I would have done more my first year because this area is a beautiful place, and there is so much to see. Even if you don’t have a car (or a friend with a car), hop on the bus and explore downtown! Find your favorite bagel shop or boutique, and then invite me to hang out with you.
- Genuinely try to make new friends. It’s really easy to get stuck with the same group or hide in your dorm room. Try making a friend in every class, even if it means you have to go through another icebreaker.
- Don’t be afraid to be yourself! College is a great time for change and experimentation. You don’t have to be who you always were, and you have full ownership of your own person. You could be like me and shave your head! Or not.. but either way, remember it’s okay to be yourself.
I hope this helps! Keep your head high and great ready to buckle in for an awesome year. Remember to read next week for more tips and tricks from yours truly.