San Francisco Bay Area
They Don't Tell You in the Brochures
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- Relationships and Romance
College is a giant fishbowl. Some are guppies,
some are sharks, and some are the kin of Jaws (usually
basketball players). What I mean is that keeping
your high school sweetie safe from all these predators
is a tough task and not everyone can do it. Most
pre-college relationships are challenged during
that first year, so you'll have to work hard to
keep your special someone by your side.
- Long Distance and Long Lectures
Cell phones, the ultimate way to stay in touch.
Personally, I want a cell phone, but then again
I also want to pay for my groceries - always a toss
up. Regardless, watch out for that long distance
bill. Most likely you'll miss your friends from
high school and want to stay in touch. No problem,
just learn how to use email. Most likely you already
have an account with your college or university
and it's free. Cell phones, contrary to most freshmen
beliefs, are not. And when Professor Whatchamakalit
gets extremely boring, try some origami, it doesn't
cost a thing and you won't be working at the Waffle
House to pay your bills.
- Study Habits for the Mildly Social
Study groups are the best way to help yourself
and others. The idea is to get together with a small
group of people so that many minds can tackle difficult
subjects. Make sure you don't pick Jimmy Ray Illiterate
or Suzie Speaksalot as your group members, but just
study with people like you. Odds are, this will
help you meet people and form a productive study
environment. And if a study group is not your thing,
seek out a nice, peaceful, somber place where you
can talk to yourself and no one will hear. Then
at least you can scream out loud when calculus becomes
- Greek Life
Because your only impression of Greek Life probably
came from the movie Animal House, let me
present an alternative view. Joining a sorority
or fraternity when you are a freshman can kind of
be like joining the newcomer's club. It's a great
way to meet people and take part in a philanthropic
organization for the purpose of social activities.
Sound like a lot? Basically Greek groups are a bunch
of "brothers" or "sisters" who hang out all the
time and welcome new people. You have to pay some
dues (usually for clothing and intramurals) and
participate in some rituals. It's a place where
you'll make lifelong friends, and, even better,
a place to learn a lot about life.
- Magellan Probably Got Lost
The biggest freshman scare, at least for me, was
if I could find my classes that first day. Actually,
this is nothing to fear at all! Unless you are taking
a satellite forestry class at Bob's Christmas tree
farm 20 miles from campus, there are ample amounts
of data with which to navigate. Most often, you'll
move in a few days before classes begin, so instead
of sleeping until 2 pm., take advantage of this
time and find out where your classes are. You won't
look like an idiot because other freshmen are doing
the same thing!
- Ramen Noodles and Easy Mac
The two staples of any dorm-confined college freshman
are Ramen noodles and Easy Mac. Never heard of them?
Don't worry, a lot of people who eat real food haven't.
Basically they are incredibly easy-to-make pasta
dishes that come in little packages. Add hot water
and both become, to some degree, food. Their advantage
is cost and disadvantage is nutrition. But who cares,
right? You'll never be subjected to the Freshman
15. Or will you?
- Grades and Guardians
Probably what worries you most about the college
scene is that darned G.P.A. Yes, your grade point
average. What will make or break your college career,
right? Well, not so right and not so wrong. College
is about expanding your mind on a given area of
study. But that expansion includes having fun and
learning outside of the lecture hall. Put simply,
it means a lot more than JUST your G.P.A. But let
me also stress that your G.P.A. is very important.
After all, you can't even be in school without a
certain average and you certainly limit yourself
to employers with a 1.1 versus a 4.0.
- Inspiring Words: Have Fun!
When I was a freshman, I had a history class on
my first day. It was a discussion section (kind
of like where the whole class gets together to review
the lecture) and led by a very inspirational T.A.
(teaching assistant), whose name I won't mention.
Here is the gist of what he said: "For you freshman
out there·welcome to college. This place has all
the privileges of being an adult minus all the negatives.
·You guys need to remember to study hard and have
fun, because these are the best years of your lives.
These four, five, and maybe six years will be over
before you know it and then you'll have to get a
real job. So good luck and have fun." It was short,
sweet, and to the point. Although every person perceives
college differently, most people leave happy. So
enjoy it, have fun, call your parents often and
get some sleep!
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