The challenge of adjusting to college life can seem daunting, and it’s not made any easier by parents and professors telling you the key to succeeding freshman year is going to class or keeping your grades up.
To really thrive here at Auburn, you’re going to need some more practical advice.
Exchange names with everyone you meet.
The first semester of your freshman year is the last time you’ll have a free pass for striking up casual conversations with strangers, so capitalize on it. Make sure you exchange names at some point in the conversation. There will come a time when you see your new acquaintance approaching on the concourse, and you find yourself faced with two options.
One: You know you recognize them but you’re not confident enough about what their name is to say hello. In your quest to remember who they are, you sustain eye contact for so long that you start to look vaguely threatening and at the last minute opt to avert your gaze and study a particularly interesting cloud formation while you pass them.
Or two: You remember their name, exchange a pleasant hello and continue on your way.
Avoid on-campus dining after hours.
I’m a girl who regrets nothing, except every meal I’ve ever eaten on campus after 8 p.m.. This is a snare that’s all too easy for new folks to stumble into. It’s after 8 and you haven’t gotten dinner yet (or you made the mistake of only buying one taco at the taco truck instead of a dozen). You step outside the dorm to assess your options. A tumbleweed rolls by. The Denny’s sign flickers menacingly in the distance. I’ve spent too many lonely nights weeping silently into a platter of Waffleinis to let you make the same mistake.
Give up the quest for an ‘interesting fact.’
During your first week of class, every one of your professors will subject you to the ruthless ritual of class-wide introduction. Their favorite tactic is to ask you to come up with an ‘interesting fact’ and then, I assume, watch with sadistic pleasure as you spiral into an existential crisis. Up until this point, you thought you led a fairly interesting life. Now you can’t seem to remember a single anecdote or personal quirk. High-pressure situations like this have often caused me to reflexively lie to my entire class (“I play club soccer,” “I can tie a cherry stem with my tongue,” “I was originally the third head of TLC’s conjoined twins Abby and Brittany,” etc.,) but then you have to worry about keeping up the facade for the rest of the semester. My advice is to admit defeat, share your favorite flavor of ice cream and melt quietly into the background until this merciless charade comes to an end.
Read more:The Auburn Plainsman – Freshman Read on