15 Things The College Freshman Needs to Know

15 Things The College Freshman Needs to Know

You're going to love it.
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The class of 2021 will come to campus this fall. Here are some words of sound advice for the little ones. Enjoy!

1) Go to office hours

This may not be relevant your freshman year, but if you do plan to continue with grad or law school, making the connections is necessary. Yes, going to office hours may seem awkward at first, but you leave with a good impression on your professor. Simply put, it shows that you care.

2) Get involved, but do not stress yourself out.

When you first get to campus, it can be overwhelming with the amount of things that you can get involved with. My freshman year, I was involved with one thing. And you know what? I was happy because I knew that I had school with a tad bit of socialization. Find a good balance that allows you to find yourself.

3) Your first semester friends may not last forever, but that is okay.

I barely talk to the people that I was best friends with my first semester. I do cherish them and the memories that we made together, but we all have different majors and career paths.

4) Dorm life may not be your favorite.

My cousins had implemented this perfect vision of a dorm and loved it. Me? Not so much. Living on campus is great for the convenience of it all, but you definitely do not have to love it.

5) Go to class.

This one is probably a "duh" for most, but it is easy to want to skip. If the professor does not take attendance, it is especially tempting, but go. You never know the stories or lessons that you may learn

6) Go to sporting events.

While vastly different from high school events, you get to see events for your school. Honestly, going to football games was one of the highlights of my freshman year and college. Find a sport, get some tickets, and be prepared for some fun.

7) Back up your files.

Dropbox will be your best friend freshman year. Upload all of your files to it or a jump drive. You definitely do not want to be the person crying because your computer malfunctions.

8) Learn how to communicate with your roommate.

Learning how to confront something that is bothering you will save you heartbreak in the long run. You do not want to have resentments build up. Not only is that not good for your health, but terrible for a roommate relationship.

9) Dining hall food sucks, but you don't have to eat there all of the time.

There is no getting around this one. I absolutely hated our dining hall my freshman year. However, since we have multiple fast food restaurants on campus, I was able to utilize my meal plan. Not only will this save you from eating in the dining hall, but it changes your diet just a bit.

10) Get a planner.

I think that I would have been lost my freshman year without my Lilly planner. you can get one from basically anywhere, and it does not have to be expensive. Trust me on this one.

11) Explore your campus.

When you first get there, it is easy to do, but your campus always has somewhere kind of secluded. At Southern Miss, I have found places that have become my spot by doing this.

12) You don't have to know what major you want your freshman year.

Please do not think that because you are in college that you know what you are doing with your life. It is okay to not have a clue your freshman year. College is all about exploration, so explore your interests and find something you're passionate about.

13) Going Greek is not essential.

While many of my friends joined sororities and love them, I opted out of the Greek experience and that is okay. You will still find friends and have a great social life if you decide not to wear letters across your chest.

14) Understand that freshman year is a time for growth.

Looking back on it, freshman year was one of the biggest times in my life where I grew. Not only did it happen with my morals, but also physically because hello freshman fifteen. You are a seed, and with the proper nutrients, you will grow.

15) Enjoy it.

I wish that I would have looked around and embraced each moment of my freshman year. Now, as I am about to be a junior, it seems like it was so long ago, and I wish that I could go back. Enjoy this time, and embrace your struggles. You have come so far and have so far to go.

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I Am A College Student, And I Think Free Tuition Is Unfair To Everyone Who's Already Paid For It

Stop expecting others to pay for you.

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I attend Fordham University, a private university in the Bronx.

I commute to school because I can't afford to take out more loans than I already do.

Granted, I've received scholarships because of my grades, but they don't cover my whole tuition. I am nineteen years old and I have already amassed the debt of a 40-year-old. I work part-time and the money I make covers the bills I have to pay. I come from a middle-class family, but my dad can't afford to pay off my college loans.

I'm not complaining because I want my dad to pay my loans off for me; rather I am complaining because while my dad can't pay my loans off (which, believe me, he wants too), he's about to start paying off someone else's.

During the election, Bernie frequently advocated for free college.

Now, if he knew enough about economics he would know it simply isn't feasible. Luckily for him, he is seeing his plan enacted by Cuomo in NY. Cuomo has just announced that in NY, state public college will be free.

Before we go any further, it's important to understand what 'free' means.

Nothing is free; every single government program is paid for by the taxpayers. If you don't make enough to have to pay taxes, then something like this doesn't bother you. If you live off welfare and don't pay taxes, then something like this doesn't bother you. When someone offers someone something free, it's easy to take it, like it, and advocate for it, simply because you are not the one paying for it.

Cuomo's free college plan will cost $163,000,000 in the first year (Did that take your breath away too?). Now, in order to pay for this, NY state will increase their spending on higher education to cover these costs. Putting two and two together, if the state decides to raise their budget, they need money. If they need money they look to the taxpayers. The taxpayers are now forced to foot the bill for this program.

I think education is extremely important and useful.

However, my feelings on the importance of education does not mean that I think it should be free. Is college expensive? Yes -- but more so for private universities. Public universities like SUNY Cortland cost around $6,470 per year for in-state residents. That is still significantly less than one of my loans for one semester.

I've been told that maybe I shouldn't have picked a private university, but like I said, I believe education is important. I want to take advantage of the education this country offers, and so I am going to choose the best university I could, which is how I ended up at Fordham. I am not knocking public universities, they are fine institutions, they are just not for me.

My problems with this new legislation lie in the following: Nowhere are there any provisions that force the student receiving aid to have a part-time job.

I work part-time, my sister works part-time, and plenty of my friends work part-time. Working and going to school is stressful, but I do it because I need money. I need money to pay my loans off and buy my textbooks, among other things. The reason I need money is because my parents can't afford to pay off my loans and textbooks as well as both of my sisters'. There is absolutely no reason why every student who will be receiving aid is not forced to have a part-time job, whether it be working in the school library or waitressing.

We are setting up these young adults up for failure, allowing them to think someone else will always be there to foot their bills. It's ridiculous. What bothers me the most, though, is that my dad has to pay for this. Not only my dad, but plenty of senior citizens who don't even have kids, among everyone else.

The cost of living is only going up, yet paychecks rarely do the same. Further taxation is not a solution. The point of free college is to help young adults join the workforce and better our economy; however, people my parents' age are also needed to help better our economy. How are they supposed to do so when they can't spend their money because they are too busy paying taxes?

Free college is not free, the same way free healthcare isn't free.

There is only so much more the taxpayers can take. So to all the students about to get free college: get a part-time job, take personal responsibility, and take out a loan — just like the rest of us do. The world isn't going to coddle you much longer, so start acting like an adult.

Cover Image Credit: https://timedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/free-college-new-york-state.jpg?quality=85

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Writing Saved My Sanity

Write it all down when you can't talk to anyone.

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I love writing.

I have since elementary school, and I've dreamed of becoming a published author. I started off writing stupid plays in elementary school, then it grew it almost writing a full-blown novel in middle school. I have no idea where that thing went to. It was all notebook paper and bad writing. In high school, my writing was kinda pushed to the side so I could focus on school. When I entered college, I started writing small poems about my now ex-boyfriend.

I was scared to express myself to him sometimes, the intensity of my feelings for him scared me. So instead of telling him, I wrote them down. When I tried to share them with him, he hated it. He thought writing down feelings was weird and creepy. So I didn't share anything else with him. When we finally broke up for good, everything just poured out of me. What I couldn't express verbally, I wrote or typed out.

I always have ideas flowing through my head. They never cease and I wouldn't want them to. Writing gives me an escape, from stress, work, school, or fights. It gives me a place to vent and to be open with everything. This is a reason I love writing for Odyssey, not only has this place brought me amazing friends but revived my love for writing. I'm never without my notebook anymore, I'd get distracted in class by an idea and have to write I think then and there.

I love sharing my more personal writing with close friends, especially my poems as of late. I found that I have a voice for young women who find themselves in a toxic relationship much like mine was. I want to speak out and show them that you can grow from the bullshit. It may take some time, but you will be better.

Writing saved my sanity. It allows me to express myself without having to use my actual voice. Anyone who knows me, knows I hate public speaking. I tend to psych myself out leading up to it. My current projects include writing for Odyssey every week, I'm in the process of trying to continue my short stories, and I'm excited to announce that I'm currently working on my very first poetry book!

Writing has given me so much, and I'm so looking forward to making a career out of something I love so much.

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