Welcome freshmen! Usually I will be your sex and relationship columnist, but for right now, consider me your freshman year tourguide. I am here to offer you the do’s and don’ts of freshman year. Follow them as closely as you can, because when you’re my age and look back, you’ll regret not listening. Trust me.
Do go to all orientation activities. It is the easiest way to make friends and learn your way around campus.
Don’t hook up with anyone the first week of school. People will hear about it. You want people to know you for you, not who you’ve been with.
Do be yourself. Your friends should like you for you, not for who you’re pretending to be.
Do get to know your roommate and hallmates. Living around people you get along with is a beautiful thing.
Don’t only get to know your roommate and hallmates. There is a whole campus of people waiting to meet you.
Don’t try to move out if your living situation isn’t great the first few weeks. Tough it out.
Don’t try to out-drink your limit. Drinking too much can land you in the hospital.
Do be careful about who you choose to have sex with. Keep in mind it’s a small school…
Do have safe sex if you’re going to have sex. Safe sex is smart sex. Condoms are free in Health Services and no one will judge you for taking them.
Don’t walk of shame. It happens to the best of us, but try to avoid it.
Do have self-respect. Choose what you do and who you do it with carefully.
You only have one reputation.
Don’t be afraid of the upperclassmen. Not all of us are scary. Most of us are really excited to talk to you, so please talk to us!
Do get to know your professors and advisors. They are an important relationship to have in your college career.
Do seek a balance-There is enough time for academics, clubs, jobs, relationships, and going out. It is all about time management
Do get involved. There are so many great clubs and organizations to join.
Do make time for yourself. Keeping up with your mental health is just as important as your physical health and your school work.
Do eat right. It is the best way to keep the freshman 15 away. The dining hall offers healthy options at every meal.
Do stay on campus as much as possible. As tempting as going home is, this is your new home. Hang out with your fellow students.
Do ask for help. It’s okay. No one will think you’re stupid. It’s actually stupid not to ask for help if you’re struggling.
Don’t do something just because your friends are doing it. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.
Do take risks. Sign up for clubs that are out of your comfort zone, go to a lecture about something you’ve never heard of. Talk to the cutie in your class. Explore, learn. It’s worth it.
Do take lots of pictures. It is the best feeling to look back at pictures and laugh.
Don’t rely on your parents for everything. Try your best to find a solution to your problem before calling home.
Do make mistakes. Not all mistakes are bad; some can lead to great discoveries.
Do be the person you’re supposed to be. To quote Janis Joplin, “Don’t compromise yourself. You are all you’ve got.” Smart lady.
And most importantly…..
Do enjoy freshman year. Go out. Stay up late talking to your roommate.
Splurge on occasion. Don’t stress so much. Before you know it, you’ll be a senior reminiscing on all the fun times and wishing you could go back more than anything.
Kristen is a junior clinical psychology and drama major. She welcomes any reader-submitted sex or relationship related questions. They can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.