Sup freshmen. Unless you write for The Signal or happen upon me during your cross-campus travails, you’ll probably never meet me. This makes my advice all the more worth listening to. Don’t you love taking advice from strangers? No? Well, then — first rule of college: Unlearn everything you know. That’s not actually my advice; Ralph Nader said that when he appeared on campus last year. Below, you’ll find a couple words I didn’t steal from a beleagured third-party presidential candidate.
Though my hunched stance and grizzly demeanor may suggest otherwise, I was once a freshman. These are the lessons I took from the FYE, which I pass on to you now:
1. RESIST THE URGE TO BANG YOUR NEIGHBOR. It’s called “floorcest,” and it can result in some messy situations.
2. OPEN YOUR MIND. It’s college. And it’s also the motto of WTSR. What’s WTSR? There’s your first mind-opening mission – go find out.
3. DO SHIT. Although it’s never safe to make assumptions in journalism, I’m going to ignore that rule of thumb and assume that since you’re in college, you have done shit at least once in your life. Continue to do so here. “Get involved,” yadda yadda — but really.
4. TALK. Find out fun facts about your new friends. What are they all about? What languages do they speak? Do they like to color? Do they have any communicable diseases? (This could also be useful information if you choose to ignore No. 1.)
5. DON’T JUDGE TCNJ BY YOUR WELCOME WEEK T-SHIRTS. Self-explanatory.
6. EXPLORE CAMPUS. Swim in the fountain. (You didn’t hear it from me.) Climb a tree by the lake. Sneer at Centennial Hall. Heck, swim in the freakin’ lake. (Actually, don’t do that one.)
7. ENJOY YOURSELF. You’re not in high school anymore! Even if things feel strange at first, cling to that golden nugget of truth and you’ll be fine. Freshman year is a wonderful, weird time. Everything’s up in the air, everyone (well, almost everyone) is hot and tan and right now, and the world is under your 17- to 19- year old thumb. Go do something about it.
PS: WRITE FOR THE SIGNAL! (Shameless plug, but I had to.)