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Opinion

Volume 84 (Fall 2012 - Spring 2013)

A First Year Student’s Guide to College

opinion_classroomWhy can’t the time period for back to school have more glamour, some more glitz? Everything can be cured with a little glitter. Glitter just isn’t for holidays, you know. It also doesn’t help that Billy Madison isn’t singing to us about going back to school, with our lunches packed up and our boots tied tight (I’m not ashamed that I know the lyrics). Whether we like it or not, it is time to get back on that academic grind.

But what if you are a freshman, new to the whole college experience? Well, being that I survived my first year of college, I’m pretty familiar with this song and dance. However, for the new froshies that are now on campus, there are quite a few things that people do not tell you for your first year in college:

Let us address the “Freshmen 15.” The whole concept, which everyone knows, is that the first year in college is when students are more prone to gain an extra 15 pounds; that, my new Monmouth loving newbies is NOT true. The “Freshmen 15” can happen during your sophomore, junior, and senior year. Just because you are a freshman, does not mean you gain an automatic 15 pounds. Unless you are eating insane amounts of mozzarella sticks (which will be spoken of later on) at 3:00 am, you probably won’t be gaining 15 pounds any time soon. Is it very easy to verge toward unhealthier food? Only if you surround yourself by it. So be smart with what you eat and drink (wink).

Taking time out to venture by yourself or with friends is a great way to get to know the campus. Do not be afraid to explore and discover things on your own. Getting involved is another great way to meet people and make friends. Take advantage of the involvement fair and sign up for as many things as you want. The fair has everything from A to Z. Thanks to the involvement fair, I got involved with so many different organizations, and it allowed me to expand my horizons on campus. Being a part of clubs is always going to give you something to do and something to look forward to doing.

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Starting School Right

Three years ago, I was lugging my belongings up two flights of stairs into Willow Hall. I was about to begin my long-anticipated adventure of college life. It has been so much more than an adventure. My college years have seen me enter as an immature young girl and leave as a mature, young lady. As a senior, I am able to look back on each of those years at the University and view things in 20/20 v ision. All of my habits, good and bad. My decisions, right and wrong. My expectations, high and low. I have one final year to prove that all of those mistakes, decisions, and expectations were worth making. I also have this year to create new stories to tell in my many years that follow graduation.

As I recollect my memories of my previous fall semesters, I have one simple phrase of advice to offer not only to myself but also to fellow seniors and underclassmen: start your semester on good terms. It is so simple to wander down new paths and get lost in a world of new faces, new schedules, and new drama. Trust me, I would know. It is exhilarating to be on your own, to do anything you please when and where you want. However, there is no time in your college career more important than the beginning.

Those of us who have experienced the first few weeks at the University know the temptations that lie ahead. Skipping class for the beach. Having a tad too many beverages on a Tuesday night. The list is endless, but you can still enjoy these endearing pleasures while keeping yourself on track for a successful start to the semester. Here are my top five tips for upper and underclassmen.

Tip # 1: Go to class. For Pete’s sake, the semester just started! The class may not have anything to do with your major, but neither will you if you flunk out due to absence.

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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