11 Things All Freshman in College Should Do

11 Things All Freshman in College Should Do

College can be stressful, but follow these 11 tips to have a successful freshman year of school.

College can be stressful, from the list of readings and being away from home for the first time. Here is a list of the 11 things every college freshman should do before their first year of college to ensure that they will have the best four years of their life.

1. Make new friends

Friends in college will help you through the next four years. Get to know the people living on your floor, who you sit next to in class, and anyone else you think you would be good friends with. Most people are looking for friends too, so they will be happy you talked to them first.

2. Explore the campus

You never know what the campus has to offer unless you explore it. Does your campus have an incredible coffee shop, a movie theater, or a museum? Walk around and find out.

3. Join a club or organization (or multiple)

Most colleges have clubs and organization fairs. This is a great place to sign up for clubs that are tied to your major, or you can venture out and sign up for a club you never thought you would join.

4. Find the perfect place to study

Not everyone is able to study in loud residents halls, so explore the library, local coffee houses, a picnic table outside, and other nooks around the area to find the perfect place for you to get work done.

5. Start making good habits

It's a lot easier to start making good habits from the beginning of your college career than trying to play catch up towards the end. Go to class, turn in your assignments, get out of your dorm room, and stay healthy. Now is the time to start over and break any bad habits you may have carried over since high school. Do not let yourself fall into your old ways of skipping class and eating pizza every single night.

6. Go to on-campus events

Campuses usually bring in comedians, magicians, or fun events that are free to students. Take advantage of these opportunities and have some fun after your homework is finished.

7. Learn a new sport or hobby

College is a great time to pick up a new hobby. Join an intramural sports team, pick up a new hobby, or learn a new game. Be open to new ideas to broaden your horizons.

8. Go to sporting events

Sporting events are usually free for students, so take advantage of this perk and cheer on your team!

9. Explore the community

Take your friends and visit small, local restaurants, the farmer's market, and shops downtown. You never know what you will find when exploring local places, and they might even offer a student discount!

10. Take every opportunity

Whether it is an opportunity for a summer internship, or just an invitation to get ice cream with friends on a Tuesday night, take every chance you get to make memories.

11. Don't forget to call home

Your parents and family back home will still want to hear from you. You can tell them about all the friends you're making, the clubs you joined, and all about your new favorite restaurant in town.

Cover Image Credit: SMSU

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To The Teacher Who Was So Much More

Thank you for everything

I think it's fair to say that most people remember at least one teacher who had a lasting impact on them. I have been incredibly lucky to have several teachers who I will never forget, but one individual takes the cake. So here's to you: thank you for all you have done.

Thank you for teaching me lessons not just in the textbook.

Although you taught a great lecture, class was never just limited to the contents of the course. Debates and somewhat heated conversations would arise between classmates over politics and course material, and you always encouraged open discussion. You embraced the idea of always having an opinion, and always making it be heard, because why waste your voice? You taught me to fight for things I believed in, and to hold my ground in an argument. You taught me to always think of others before doing and speaking. You showed me the power of kindness. Thank you for all the important lessons that may not have been included in the curriculum.

Thank you for believing in me.

Especially in my senior year, you believed in me when other teachers didn't. You showed me just what I could accomplish with a positive and strong attitude. Your unwavering support kept me going, especially when I melted into a puddle of tears weekly in your office. You listened to my stupid complaints, understood my overwhelming stress-induced breakdowns, and told me it was going to be okay. Thank you for always being there for me.

Thank you for inspiring me.

You are the epitome of a role model. Not only are you intelligent and respected, but you have a heart of gold and emit beautiful light where ever you go. You showed me that service to others should not be looked at as a chore, but something to enjoy and find yourself in. And I have found myself in giving back to people, thanks to your spark. Thank you for showing me, and so many students, just how incredible one person can be.

Thank you for changing my life.

Without you, I truly would not be where I am today. As cliche as it sounds, you had such a remarkable impact on me and my outlook on life. Just about a year has passed since my graduation, and I'm grateful to still keep in touch. I hope you understand the impact you have made on me, and on so many other students. You are amazing, and I thank you for all you have done.

Cover Image Credit: Amy Aroune

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3 Things i learned at pride in NYC

The people, the flags, and the glitter are even more magical in person.


On Sunday, June 24th, my girlfriend, my best friend and I, all hopped on a train to the World Trade Center in New York City. After a short subway ride, we arrived at 16th Street, where the parade festivities began. Dressed in our decked out rainbow attire, we entered a vibrant crowd of flag wielding, self-loving having, beautiful people. Pride is something the LGBTQIA+ community knows how to celebrate well. Lesbihonest, I think its safe to say that the LGBTQ+ community essentially created loving yourself, along with embracing those around you, whether you know them or not. While at Pride, I learned a few things about myself, about how to love others, and what it means to be apart of a community.

1. Love thy neighbor


Because pride is such an important event to the LGBTQIA+ community, the number of people that attend each year is increasing by the thousands. There were an expected 48,000 people this year and when you're amerced in such a large crowd keeping your cool is super important. I learned that in most cases, giving love will result in receiving it, especially in 84-degree weather. So when I was making my way through energetic crowds, I used my p's and q's and was met with the same energy from strangers.

2. At pride, the dress code is no dress code


If you're in the mood to wear your birthday suit, glitter, or witty t-shirt and celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community as a member or as an ally, pride is the place to be! The extravagant outfits and expression of self-pride through clothes and even lack of clothes made me feel extremely comfortable in my own outfit. I think we all have had our share of being uncomfortable in our skin or clothes, but being around thousands of people dressed in whatever made them most comfortable that day was a beautiful experience.

3. Pride is not solely about the LGBTIA+ community


Heritage of Pride, the nonprofit organization that organizes New York City's LGBT pride events each year, strives to work towards creating a future that consists of equal rights for all under the law. The march is an annual civil rights demonstration that brings awareness to the fight against aids, the Black Lives Matter movement and memorializes those who have lost their lives to illness, violence and neglect. This year over 450 different organizations participated in the march and about 110 floats were shown, each float bringing awareness to different organizations.

As an Afro-Latina, lesbian, I felt very represented and extremely grateful to participate in a civil rights event such as pride. The opportunity to educate myself and even feel more comfortable in my own skin, and enjoy myself with the people I love most, is something I will truly cherish. Hopefully, my experiences and knowledge will expand next year at the 2019 NYC pride!

Cover Image Credit:

Em Goss

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