5 Things to do your first week of College
Some of you are 18 (I envy your youth) and if you were able to fill out your college applications right, without misspelling your name or listing your favourite vodkas in alphabetical order, chances are you ‘re heading to some sort of ivy covered institution this week (are ITT tech or the University of Phoenix online covered in ivy? I guess you can drape ivy over your computer monitor). As a grizzled (re: ugly) veteran of both the Canadian university and college systems I have created this list of five things you should do/keep in mind during your first week of unbridled freedom from the tyranny of those old people that let you live in their house. They are called “parents” in some circles.
Meet as many people as possible
The beautiful part about being a freshman is that everyone is working with a blank slate. No one really knows anyone and people are eager to make friends. The fear of crippling loneliness is stronger than the urge to be selective on who you think is cool. Your status in high school is meaningless. I’m looking at you prom queen, at this point you are no better than the girl with 17 inhalers or the guy who ate paste until he was 17. This gives you an opportunity to meet people with different tastes, interests and personalities. You can cultivate a diverse group of friends, instead of the clique of inclusive clones that defined you in high school (I’m not saying ditch your old friends, I’m saying make a ton of new ones and be open to meeting different people).
Try anything and everything
This title is a little misleading; you don’t need to try absolutely everything. Don’t become addicted to heroin and high end “call girls” (or even low end “hookers); just be open to leaving your comfort zone a little. There are a ton of intramural sports and clubs essentially covering anything you can think of. Ever try Frisbee golf? You don’t even have to be a “bro”. Not familiar with foreign films? I’m sure there are at least 37 clubs worshipping the works of Godard and Fellini. Try as much as you can, you don’t have to like everything. But maybe you’ll find a brand new passion (even if it is for tertiary characters killed in Star Wars…probably a real club somewhere).
Don’t get too hammered
I understand that college is fun, and in any given college town, at any given time, someone is doing a record setting keg stand or absolutely crushing his 12th beer bong. Animal House is a great flick, but you my friend, are not Bluto. This can be you, in moderation. Sure you can go out and have a great time, you can even enjoy an alcoholic beverine or two, just don’t get so obliterated that your entire first week feels like a blur or a memory placed in your head by the team from inception. You don’t want to be the person who got drunk, pissed themselves and was saddled with the nicknames “Leaky spigot” and “baby bladder”. First impressions are key; don’t allow yours to be destroyed by puking in everyone’s shoes while you take a dump in the communal showers (while the entire floor watches). It’s ok to have a drink but play it cool; you have 4 whole years to destroy your liver.
Actually go to class
I know frosh week is essentially “Syllabus week” but either you, or you long suffering parents are paying a king’s ransom for you to take that “intro to children’s literature” class (way to reach for those stars!), so you may as well get your money’s worth. Plus, going to class allows you to scope out the professor or any other comely young freshmen/women (freshperson?) that may serve as a future sexual conquest (at least in your mind… while you are alone…with your thoughts…and a crate of Kleenex your mom got you from Costco).
Most of all have fun. These will be the best 4 years (5 for you victory lappers) of your life. After this, you get a job and maybe have a family. Your life is essentially over.