Freshmen dos and (please) don’ts

The countdown is over and the awaited moment has finally arrived: move-in day. Moms, dads, brothers and sisters help hustle luggage up the stairs of the crowded residence halls. Awkward introductions are made among you and your new roommate(s). A quick lunch uptown and a tearful goodbye later, and the parents have left, leaving you twiddling your thumbs wondering what to do next.

That’s where I come in. I’m here to give you the advice I wish someone had given me as a baby Bobkitten.

DOS

Join some clubs.

Getting involved is one of the most important aspects of your college career. It boosts your résumé and connects you socially to other students you might not meet otherwise. Go to the Student Involvement Fair Sunday on College Green and sign up for as many clubs as you want. That way, if one club doesn’t work out, you have more to fall back on.

Take a class that doesn’t pertain to your major, and I don’t mean Psych 101.

One of my favorite classes I have ever taken at OU was History of Rock and Roll. Not only did it broaden my horizons musically, but I also learned massive amounts of genuinely interesting information. Plus, taking a different type of class will spice up your schedule. You can even take a physical education course like jogging, basketball, broomball or bowling.

Hang out with people you wouldn’t normally hang out with.

No matter your major, college is all about meeting new types of people. Don’t be afraid to branch out socially and talk to people you would avoid in high school. I’m not saying hang out with crack dealers and serial killers on the weekends, but open up. You never know where your connections will take you.

Get a job.

Besides making Mom and Dad extremely happy, having a job teaches time management and responsibility. Trust me, it’s not hard to be a full-time student and also make a little bit of money on the side. There are plenty of job opportunities in Athens, whether a dining hall or a shop uptown. And honestly, I would have about two friends if it weren’t for my job at the Boyd Market.

DON’TS

Buy a lanyard.

Using a lanyard is a dead giveaway that you’re a freshman, and there is nothing worse than being heckled for something you can’t control (but hey, everyone has to go through it). Instead, put your dorms keys on a ring inside your wallet/purse/book bag/whatever you carry around with you.

Buy your books from the bookstore:

Unless you want to be even poorer than the average college student, which is about dirt poor, don’t buy your books from the bookstore. That place is where I go to buy a cool T-shirt, not a $150 textbook I will sell back at the end of the semester for 25 cents. Instead, check out Chegg or Amazon and spend less money.

Judge your roommate (right away):

I am not joking when I tell you that my random roommate had a picture of her shooting a gun as her Facebook profile picture when we met. Turns out she was a pretty cool chick and is now one of my best friends. Moral of the story: don’t judge your roommate. Give it time to foster your new friendship. But if you wake up in the middle of the night to your roommate perched over your bed staring at you, it’s okay to ask your RA for a room transfer.

Go home every weekend:

Honestly, Athens is such an awesome place that I can’t imagine why you would ever want to leave, but in case you get homesick, force yourself if necessary to stay in Athens. Going home a lot only makes the transition into college more difficult. Once you find your niche at OU you will dread ever having to leave.

Above all else, appreciate your time as a Bobcat. I think every senior would do just about anything to swap places with you. Athens is truly an amazing place unlike any other, so appreciate the culture, the people and the university while you can.

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