To the incoming freshmen

By Gena Anderson |

No one will believe for a second that your bong is a vase, so don’t even try pulling that one.

Every year, new freshmen come in and have to deal with the adjustment from high school to college. The following is a list I’ve complied to hopefully make the transition easier as well as to help you avoid some common mistakes:

1. Obey the major rules.
I would say obey them all, but then you probably wouldn’t listen. I have watched numerous new students get kicked out because of what they keep in their dorm room. Obviously, you want to be here or you wouldn’t be shelling out so much money, so do yourself a favor and don’t get sent home without a refund because someone told the R.A. you’re doing something illegal in the dorm rooms.

2. Keep your social networking clean.
We have a very intelligent faculty that is getting more and more tech savvy everyday. So don’t put up pictures of you drinking at parties, or in your room. Remember that no matter how private you think your Facebook is, someone one day might care enough to go around those security settings to see who you really are. You don’t want them to get the wrong impression of you.

3. Keep current on your current affairs.
Honestly, this is the best way I know how to give you instant conversation starters. Plus, we go to a small school. It’s easy to get sucked in and forget about the rest of the world. When something big happens in the world you want to know, right?

4. Procrastinate well.
If you are one of those people who knows they aren’t going to procrastinate- skip this one and feel free to say you’re superior to me. If you’re anything like me, you are going to seriously have to learn the balance of what can and can’t be put off until the last minute. Expect the weather to be wrong, technology to fail you, group members not to show up, and for an assignment not to be as easy as you thought– all of these things can and will happen. Spare yourself the agony and give yourself ample time to recover from the unknown attacks of the universe.

5. Be on time
If you’re anything like me, this one could also mean set as many alarms as you can. Being late often means being counted absent and Flagler takes its absence policy seriously. Don’t get dropped from a class because you over slept.

6. Consider the Dining Hall an experiment.
World’s pickiest eaters, fear not. When in doubt, look at the Dining Hall as a list of ingredients. If there is nothing on the menu that looks good, look at individual ingredients and see what you can make with your resources. Nachos were always one of my trusty fall backs. Be as creative or simple with this one as you want. Just, whatever you do, don’t limit your diet to omelets, french fries, and carrots. It takes its toll on you after awhile

7. Be nice to the people in charge.
Befriend the faculty as well as the Dining Hall, Security, and Maintenance crews. These people have more power than you do to fix things that may go awry. You never know when something as tragic as a toilet paper drought may strike, or when you will need to get into a class that is already full. Having previously built some kind of relationship with these people can make your life a lot easier. Plus, it gives you someone to talk to when the campus clears out.

8.Explore and Expand.
This town is full of interesting people and places. There are more groups on campus through which to participate than you will ever have time for. Go out and do something. Take up hobbies, explore your passions, and have fun. This is your college experience–enjoy it. Don’t tell my mom, but some of the most important things I have learned here haven’t been inside a classroom.

9. Talk to people
Make as many friends as you want, but make at least twice the number of acquaintances. The more people you know, the better. Save your contacts. Sometimes really fun adventures and invites come from places you would never expect. Increasing your pool of friends increases your chances of being able to do more things.

10. Keep moving
There will come a time when you feel bogged down. There may even come a time when you feel that all hope is lost. That’s fine. We all get overwhelmed. Ask anyone. The best thing to do is keep moving. Do what you have to do and keep your eyes on the light at end of the tunnel. Just don’t get hit by the train. Make you sure you save constantly and keep multiple back ups of your work. This is survival practice.

So, welcome to Flagler, Class of 2015. Enjoy your time here and make the most of it. I think, overall, you will like it here.

Seriously though, don’t keep your bong in your dorm. That never ends well.

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