Dear UMASS Dartmouth Freshmen,
I know that some of you might have read my first "Dear UMD Freshmen" article, but this is part two. Part one was about what to expect and some of the small things that you should know as an incoming freshman. Now, having been on campus for quite a few weeks, part two is all about some of the things that you should have picked up on about life at our beloved concrete prison.
First of all, I wasn't lying when I told you that the freshman dorms were the worst. Sure, they're livable, and they are what you make of them, but they're not great. And freshman roommates are never good either. Hopefully you've prepared yourself for all of the stories that you'll be able to tell in a year's time, like that time that I came home from class to my bedroom door being covered floor to ceiling in peanut butter, or that time when I woke up the next morning and the entire bathroom ceiling was covered in peanut butter. I know one thing's for sure- I do not miss sharing a bathroom with fourteen other people. Also, I'm not sure if you've heard, but freshman aren't allowed to complain about parking. Y'all have two huge parking lots and even though the distance from the building isn't really ideal (nothing's ideal, you're a freshman), you never have to wonder if you'll get a parking spot. Maybe you've noticed, but the apartments have god awful parking. However, I get my own bathroom, my own bedroom, and a full kitchen with a dishwasher, so I'm pretty sure it's a fair trade. Next, you inevitably have the platinum meal plan. This means that you get unlimited meal swipes at res (I told you no one calls it "the marketplace"), but can eat almost nowhere else. Res isn't that good either, but we've all done our time and now it's your turn. You'll always be safe with pizza, french fries, and ice cream, but I'd proceed with caution towards the chef's special of the day. You've probably also figured out by now that every single teacher you had in high school that was like, "I'm not taking it easy on you because your college professors aren't going to do it" were all compulsive liars. I've had professors cancel an entire semester's worth of homework just because we asked her to, and I've had professors who don't tell us they're cancelling class because it would be "too much work" to send out an email. College is literally just one big guessing game where you wander around lost and confused until you find scrap food to eat and pray that it doesn't give you food poisoning. Getting involved with student clubs and organizations is such a good idea. Odds are, you don't know that many people on campus. The best way to make friends and get the most out of your college experience is to put yourself out there and try new things. You'll never know what you like unless you try it, so get going. Yes, there are parties on campus. Yes, they happen in multiple different locations multiple nights a week. No, you're more than likely not invited. It's not that they don't like you, but let's be real- who wants to let a bunch of randoms into their home and then clean up after them when they wake up hungover the next morning? Yeah, no one. It's not lame to take advantage of tutoring sessions, teachers assistants or office hours. You're literally paying to be here. Professors will help you if you ask for it, but they've already gotten paid. It's up to you to make sure you're keeping up. This is college. You can do whatever you want. Live off of chicken fingers. Wear nothing but sweatpants for the next four years. Wear a snuggie and ride your razor scooter to class. It'll only make you fit in more.