How to: Survive your freshman year

By Eliza Jordan|

Okay, Saints, let’s face it — St. Augustine isn’t your average college town. And for the next four years, this little historic town is your home. Here are a few tips in successfully and happily surviving your next few years, while enjoying all of your accompanying educational endeavors.

· Be aware of the dining hall’s acoustics: When sitting on either side of the infamously gorgeous dining hall, talk quietly. On the opposite side of wherever you’re sitting, someone (or perhaps a few people) will be listening to exactly what you have to say. Although not one student is completely certain as to how or why this happens, there are a few logical reasons — the combination of the shape of the arches and the wood allow for some effortless eavesdropping.

· Decide whether you believe in ghosts or not: It’s not a complete secret that St. Augustine is one of United States’ most haunted cities. Ever. And Ghost Hunters’ regularity in the city is no real shocker to most of the little town locals.

· Make friends: Everything closes at midnight. And to touch on the fact that there are approximately 2,400 students, that basically speaks for itself. To be involved and to get the most out of your college education, it is easier and much more enjoyable to share this with a friend — and possibly one that has a common interest, the same major, minor, or club affiliation.

· Develop a close relationship with your professors: Unlike bigger universities, Flagler’s professors are tightly knitted within their department. This simply means that the professors within your intended major or minor are most likely going to be your professors for the remainder of your undergrad education. To get the best advice, the most support and the most desirable information in regard to your field of study, you should invest some of your time with your favorite professor. And hey, did I mention this could double as a great mentor? Or a future letter of recommendation?

· Invest in a good pair of rain boots (and/or umbrella, poncho, kayak or canoe): OK, Flagler kids, now is your chance to learn of the flooding that may possibly (most definitely) happen in St. Augustine. Whether or not you live downtown, you must invest in a pair of rain boots. Your flip flops may or may not include the situation of natural disasters. With that said, go to any online superstore and order a definite pair now!

· If you live off campus and drive to school, study a road map and memorize the back roads: Let’s face it — this is the nation’s oldest city. There are horse carriages and city tour trollies flooding the cobblestone streets we have learned to call “home.” If you’re on your way to the campus’ best parking lot (which is secretly not-so-secret after the first week of school) and you see that you are going to be blocked off for the next 10 minutes by either a horse or a town trolley, it’s always great to be able to take a side street or a back road that those, ahem, other types of transportation do not maneuver through.

· Take advantage of all of the free and discounted “Flagler College students only” offers: The Lightner Museum located directly across from Flagler College — ever heard of it? Ever actually been in it? What about City Perks at the end of St. George Street? The Fountain of Youth or Ripley’s Museum?  And how about the Taco Shop? All of these businesses offer either a free entrance or a discount for Flagler College students only. You won’t be a Flagler-ite forever, so while you are, take advantage of these perks and make the best of your first kick-off year!

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