Let’s face it, freshman are idiots. Yes, we were all once at that stage in our lives, and yes, we were all that dumb. Freshman are the defenseless antelope running in herds away from the cheetahs we call upperclassmen. That wide-eyed look of stupidity and fear is endearing, but annoying to anyone who has already experienced a year or more of the college lifestyle. Luckily for any newcomers, I have a complete survival manual for making it through your first year of college with your dignity in tact, and embarrassment at a minimum.
1.) Wearing a Lanyard Around your Neck:
Wearing your school’s lanyard with your ID attached around your neck is the universal sign of the freshman. On each college campus across the country, lanyards around the neck of students create the easiest game of “Where’s Waldo: Freshman Version” ever. We believe you, you’re a college student. You have a major and live in a dorm and drink alcohol. There is no need to wear your free lanyard that the college sent 500 different people as proof. Keep it in your pocket or in your backpack. Last year I told a freshman how stupid wearing a lanyard around your neck looks. That freshman is now my roommate, and she owes me her life because of my solid advice.
2.) Wearing Heels at a House Party:
There is no sight more defeating than a group of girls walking on the dirty, gravel streets at 3 in the morning with their heels in their hand. Heels at a house party are a disaster waiting to happen. If you’re a freshman, more than likely you can’t handle your alcohol yet. You will definitely be stumbling and have difficulty walking. Avoid the inevitable broken ankle and throw on a pair of flats. House parties are not a fancy occasion, and by walking down a stranger’s dirty basement stairs in heels, you’re essentially telling the male college population that you haven’t been to many parties yet and are seen as prey. Be practical when you’re out and wear some shoes that you can actually keep on at the end of the night.
3.) Mentally Remaining in High School:
I hope that everyone had an enjoyable four years of high school. However, you are now at a new place in your life, and it’s time to enjoy it. Going home every weekend or staying in to Skype with your significant other constantly will make it difficult to make friends. Step out of your comfort zone and expand your horizons. Making new friends in college is not a death sentence to your relationships from high school. It’s completely realistic to maintain friendships from both stages of your life. Keeping your mind in your high school era will hinder you from truly experiencing all of what college has to offer, and from having an enjoyable time.
4.) Knowing your Limits:
Joking and annoyance aside, this is the most important thing to keep in mind as a freshman. If you want to go out to parties and drink, learn your limits. Most freshman don’t know how alcohol will affect their body, because it affects everyone differently. Learn how much you can handle and don’t feel pressured to drink anybody under the table. It’s more embarrassing and damaging to drink so much that you black out, than to drink a small amount but still be in control. As a new college student, it is essential to be guarded when it comes to drinking, and not knowing how much your body can handle is dangerous physically, mentally, and socially.
Freshman, you have a lot to learn.
Even my own personal guidebook doesn’t contain all of the information to fully prevent full blown freshman syndrome. Upperclassmen, like myself, may give you a hard time, but we remember how excited and nervous we were our first year. By learning from our mistakes and passing on our knowledge, we can work together to ensure that the cycle of embarrassing freshman will eventually come to a halt.