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With Age Comes Wisdom: A Senior’s Survival Tips for a Freshman

Have you ever heard the expression “I wish I knew then what I know now?” As a graduating senior it becomes a more and more familiar quote pertaining to college. The first month of college as a freshman is over-whelming. Fortunately for you, I have experienced the same struggles, successes, failures, and delights as each and every freshman does.

Every stress, every nerve, and anxiety you ever had is heightened. I have grappled with the same questions that each and every one of you will be pondering during your first weeks as an undergrad. “What should I say as a fun fact?” I know this answer; do I raise my hand? “Where is my class?” I can’t ask some-one that is so embarrassing. I don’t want to be too overdressed, but I do not want to look like a bum. What is E-Campus? How do declining dollars’ work?

Only three years ago, I asked myself these same questions. The number one piece of advice I can give you as a senior is to relax and breathe. It will be okay, I promise. If you are late to class, if you don’t participate every class, it’s okay. If you just say “my favorite color is blue” as your fun fact, it is fine. Everyone is overthinking just as much as you are. They are all wondering what to say and what to wear. But there are several things you need to know when spreading your wings and learning to fly as a baby Hawk here at Monmouth University.

How do I get the best grade possible? For starters, the library is open until midnight every night, if not later on some occasions. You can always go there for that last minute print or cram session. Monmouth also provides writing and tutoring services in the Center for Student Success (lower level of the student center).

Lastly, the professors at Monmouth want you to succeed. Visit them during their office hours when they have the ability to offer you ample help and further clarification. Office hours allow you to build a stronger relationship with your professor, which may be beneficial in your upcoming years as a hawk.

Professor Sanford, a tenure associate communications professor and assistant chair believes that most freshman might be nervous to take advantage of their resources. “Some freshman are intimidated by their professors, but they are here to help you succeed.”

Where do I eat on campus? At Monmouth, there are numerous places to eat on campus. Not all of the places to dine on campus are ideal for a freshman. The two major areas of congregation for dining are the dining hall and stu-dent center. Breakfast and dinner are usually spent in the dining hall.  During the week, the dining hall is open from 7:30 am to 9:00 pm. As a freshman, the dining hall is where most of your friends will be. Now that the dining hall has been completely renovated I highly suggest dining there. There is a make your own- pasta, omelet and stir-fry sta-tion. The student center is perfect for in-between class breaks. Amanda Guarino, a senior education student says, “my favorite place on campus to eat personally is the student center. Mainly for the delicious burritos and of course Dunkin’ Donuts”.

How do I survive a whole year with my horrible roommate? The loud one: the type of roommate that always has the TV on, blasts music from their laptop, and are on the phone gossiping with friends until two in the morning. All these things can be frustrating to deal with. However, there are ways to deal with the issue and have your needs met. Set down quite hours. Talk to your roommate and agree on times where you two will both turned down the noise. Most of the time, your roommate won’t even know that the noise is bothering you. Simply asking them will help a lot. Buy headphones and if the problem just isn’t being solved, a good pair of noise-canceling head-phones is your best bet.

The slob: There are some people who are extremely organized and neat, like myself while others are not both-ered by having their week old shirts on the floor. If you’re dealing with one of the latter, things could get really messy very quickly. These tips will help you deal with the mess, literally. Keep your side of the room clean. While you can’t fix your roommate’s mess, you can make sure you don’t have to deal with a mess of your own. Offer to help him/her clean. A lot of times, people just need a helping hand to get their stuff together. Talk to your roommate about it. This probably wouldn’t get them to change to a neat freak, but they’ll start being cleaner if you discuss how it’s bothering you.

The party animal: College is the best time for party goers, and everyone knows that all work and no play makes you go crazy, so a little bit of partying is good. But some people just don’t know when to stop partying. If you’re stuck with a roommate that hits the parties hard and comes home drunk and still partying, here are ways to help deal with the situation. Talk to them about his/her problem. Maybe they can’t tell they have one and they would appreciate your concern, especially if their grades are being affected. Set boundaries. Let them know that what they do is fine, as long as when they get back to the dorm, it’s time to relax. Don’t get caught up in their mess. Partying too much during college could get you in serious trouble.

The borrower: Being kind and letting your roommate borrow some stuff is a good way to build a friendship between you two, but it could easily get out of hand. It could start being letting them borrow a fork or some money but could lead to them using your clothes without asking.

Here are suggestions for preventing that. Set down ground rules. Let them know what they can and cannot use and that they have to ask you to use stuff that’s rightfully yours. Catch them in the act. If they deny ever taking your things, catch them doing it so there’s no way they could lie about it. Go cold turkey. If they would stop using your things, stop them from using anything at all. Let them know all your stuff is now off limits. Tell the RA. If your roommate just won’t stop, bring it up with the RA. They are the higher authority in the dorms and they are trained to deal with situations like this. Noel Labb, a senior criminal justice student believes, “The best way to deal with horrible roommates is to set boundaries and if that doesn’t work then go cold turkey and just go separate ways.”

Freshman year is the best learning experience of your life, you are thrown out of the nest for the first time.  Soak it up, enjoy being the baby on campus, relish in this crazy, exciting, scary roller coaster of being a freshman.

Contact Information

CAMPUS LOCATION
The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication 
and Instructional Technology (CCIT) Room 260, 2nd floor

MAILING ADDRESS
The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey 07764

Phone:(732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu