To An Incoming Freshman, From A Soon-To-Be Sophomore

To An Incoming Freshman, From A Soon-To-Be Sophomore

Oh, what I'd do to turn back time.
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First things first:

Congratulations.

You are about to embark on an adventure that is truly incomparable to anything you've ever experienced. That in itself is pretty awesome. You worked your ass off senior year to get to this point. Applications. Standardized tests. Essays. All are now things of your past (that is, until grad school opportunities come around in four years or so). It is now time to celebrate what is in the very near future: your freshman year of college.

If I’m being honest, how this year turns out is solely up to you.

A positive attitude and desire to do well both go a long way, even if you don’t love school at first. Yes, it’s possible that you could have second thoughts about where you end up, even if you attend your top-choice school. And that’s OK. There will be a whirlwind of emotions during your first semester, as you are making a major life transition. It will get better. I cannot promise that it’ll get better fast enough, but you will eventually find your way through the twists and turns that come with freshman year.

In the meantime, prepare yourself for what is about to be a wild ride. It’s not going to be easy.

You will soon understand why college is such a daunting experience for many, and it will likely hit you all at once. Please, take care of yourself. Nothing is more important than your physical, mental, and overall health. As selfish as that may sound, your well-being will dictate how your experience turns out. Below are a few takeaways that I’d like to share -- I really wish I had known these things before my freshman year.

Don’t give into what others are doing if it’s not your style, because those decisions will come back to haunt you. Understand that not everyone will be your best friend. You win some, you lose some -- and that’s OK. Speaking of ‘win some, lose some’, college kids suck sometimes.

Do not go into this thinking you’ll be committed to someone from the get go. You’ll figure that aspect of your life eventually, and it doesn’t need to be at age 18. Be the life of the party -- enjoy your weekends away from home while you can. Study, study, study. You’re paying crazy money for this opportunity-- degrees are not handed out like free candy. Save your money! You’ll be glad when you can treat yourself to a new pair of shoes mid-semester. Lastly, get some sleep… seriously. Staying up till 2 AM every night due to binge-drinking caffeine is not good for your health.

There is so much more that I could say, but most importantly:

Enjoy it.

You only get to be a freshman once.

Cover Image Credit: Surripui

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14 Fraternity Guy Gifts Ideas, Since He Already Has Enough Beer

Frat boys are a species of their own and here are some exciting gifts they will be ecstatic to receive!

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What more do frat boys love than alcohol, partying, and just acting stupid? Here are some gifts that help fulfill all of those needs for the frat boy in your life!

1. Beer holster belt

Whats better than one beer? Six beers! This fashionable camouflage accessory can be used for tailgates, beach days, formals and everything in between.

Price: $8.49

2. Phone juul holder 

You know those cardholders everyone sticks on the back of their phones? Well, now a Juul holder for your phone is on the market! This will save your favorite frat boy from ever again losing his Juul!

Price: $10.98

3. Animal house poster 

This Animal House poster is a classic staple for any frat boy. This poster will compliment any frat house decor or lack thereof.

Price: $1.95

4. The American Fraternity book

Does the frat boy in your life need a good read for Thanksgiving or winter break? Look no farther, this will certainly keep his attention and give him a history lesson on American fraternity heritage and tradition.

Price: $28.46

5. Beer pong socks 

These snazzy socks featuring beer pong will be loved by any frat boy. As for the way to any frat boy's heart may, in fact, be beer pong.

Price: $12.00

6. Condom case

This condom carrying case will not only protect condoms from damage but also make frat boys more inclined to practice safe sex, which is a win-win situation!

Price: $9.99

7. Frat house candle

Ahhh yes, who does not like the smell of stale beer in a dark, musty frat house basement? Frat boys can make their apartment or bedroom back home smell like their favorite place with the help of this candle.

Price: $16.99

8. "Frat" sticker

Frat boys always need to make sure everyone around them knows just how "fratty" they are. This versatile stick can go on a laptop, car, water bottle, or practically anywhere their little hearts desire.

Price: $6.50

9. Natty Light t-shirt 

Even I will admit that this shirt is pretty cool. The frat boy in your life will wear this shirt at every possible moment, it is just that cool!

Price: $38.76-$41.11

10. Natty light fanny pack 

This fanny pack can absolutely be rocked by any frat boy. The built-in koozie adds a nice touch.

Price: $21.85

11. Bud Light Neon Beer Sign 

A neon beer sign will be the perfect addition to any frat boys bedroom.

Price: $79.99

12. Beer Opener

Although most frat boys' go to beers come in cans, this bottle opener will be useful for those special occasions when they buy nicer bottled beers.

Price: $7.99

13. Frat House Dr. Sign

Price: $13.99

Forget stealing random street signs, with this gift frat boys no longer have to do so.

14. Beer Lights 

Lights are an essential for any party and these will surely light up even the lamest parties.

Price: $17.19

Please note that prices are accurate and items in stock as of the time of publication. As an Amazon Associate, Odyssey may earn a portion of qualifying sales.

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I Don’t Want To Admit It, But Math IS Important

Liberal Arts majors, this one is for you.

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I hate math with a passion. But I think it's necessary.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not talking about confusing trigonometry or calculus. I'm talking about basic algebra, geometry, and other everyday math functions.

I was never an A+ math student. My dad used to be a high school math teacher, so luckily for me, if I was struggling in my math classes, I would just come home and ask Dad to "tutor" me or prep me for my tests. I feel bad for anyone who had/has a hard time with math and doesn't have such a resourceful person in their life, because I don't think I would've passed my classes without him.

Now, I haven't taken a math class in at least three or four years, but I know that being out in the workforce requires at least basic math skills. How come they teach us how to divide square roots and not applicable things like how to calculate a good tip (shameless plug - always tip your waiters at least 20%) or discounts?

There are so many necessary skills you'll use for your entire life that are not taught in schools.

Long ago when I was in 3rd grade, one of my teachers read us a book called "A Day Without Math." The book basically went through a school day where there was no math. People couldn't see what speed their car was going, cash registers didn't work, clocks were nonexistent...basically, the entire world shut down. Whenever I was frustrated and angry about my math class or a certain problem, I tried to remember that book. As much as I despised going to a math class only to leave in frustration, I knew it was for my own good.

Because when you think about it, our world really wouldn't function without math!

I wish math classes would've focused on the usefulness and practicality of their teachings instead of what was written in the textbook. Having a dad who worked in the school system, I understood that the teachers had to follow a certain curriculum, so in a way, their hands were tied. But then the issue simply gets passed higher and higher up until you reach the people creating the textbooks and curriculum school systems buy and use.

Maybe there's something we can do, whether it's petitioning for more teaching kids more usable math skills or continuously asking your teachers why you're learning what you're learning. Advocate for yourself and for future generations to learn the skills necessary to survive in our modern world, but at the same time remember that the problem doesn't necessarily stem from teachers but the curriculum being decided at levels far above their pay grade.

Moral of the story - even though I know a good majority of us (especially us liberal arts majors) are not fans of mathematics, let's work on learning and remembering the basics so our world can keep on turning.

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