Dear Freshmen in college,
I saw you this week. Excited about classes, walking with all the friends you made in your residence halls. You passed me on the way to class and said ‘hello.’ You didn’t know I was a junior. You probably thought I was another freshman that was walking alone like yourself. Thanks for saying hello. Thanks for your warm smiles, excitement, and friendliness.
I also saw you out this weekend, searing for parties. I heard you say, “I guess I’ll get another beer now since I can’t find any drugs.” I saw you throw up on yourself.
I’ve been there. I found that this year, my junior year, people are finally starting to understand who they are and what they want in life. Up until now, I’ve watched them be pushed in directions they didn’t know they wanted to go in and struggle to find themselves. So as someone that has been a freshman, indulge me, and let me give you some words of advice.
- Don’t go to parties alone and don’t leave alone. You need friends to make sure that you’re not being drugged, fed drinks, making decisions you’re not capable of making, or being followed home. It actually happens. Don’t roll your eyes.
- Know what alcohol poisoning looks like. When in doubt call for help. If you’re unsure, ask several upperclassmen what they think. If they say thinks like “man up” or anything along the lines of man up, find other people. The people throwing the party will almost always say your friend is fine. Look for someone that is genuinely concerned. Call for help if you think you need it, even if other people don’t think you do.
- Don’t drink on an empty stomach. If you’re worried about calories, don’t drink as much. Most of your weight gain will come from alcohol.
- Use condoms.
- You can get STD’s from blow jobs.
- You never have to say yes to things.
- Know who you can talk to about sexual assault and what to do. It’s never your fault.
- Don’t be passive aggressive with your roommate. Be open and honest.
- If you feel like you need help: emotional, physical, or academic, there are services to help you. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of those services.
- If you’re worried about being cool, this isn’t high school. Be you and screw the haters.
- Start assignments a week in advance at least.
- Do the readings and practice problems for class, even if your teacher doesn’t check.
- Don’t skip class.
- Day drinks are a guaranteed way of throwing up all day or being hungover by 5. Stay hydrated.
- Go to office hours. It will give you better grades because you will know exactly what the teacher wants, and they will see that you are trying.
- Don’t stress about friends. You may not find your niche right away, but you will. Hang in there.
- Join clubs and don't be afraid to leave them either.
- Have fun. If anyone makes fun of you for being a freshman, they were there once. I wish I could be there again.