Freshman Dos and Don’ts

Katelynn Groh—Can you believe that in just 36 days I will be back in Brockport starting my second year of RA training!? I certainly can’t! I miss all my friends and hanging out until 3am on the weekends…you could say I’m ready to be back 🙂

But today I wanted to write a blog similar to my post this time last year about things you do and don’t need for your dorm room (can be found here) but instead call it, “Freshmen Dos and Don’ts.” This is a guide to help you navigate through your first year at college successfully and hopefully make the transition a whole lot easier! Here we go.

1. DO go to the library! The summer before my first year at college a friend of mine told me this and naturally I shrugged it off as, “Yea. Whatever.” But he couldn’t have been more right. In your dorm you will find so many distractions and you’ll end up procrastinating and then pulling all-nighters just to get everything done. Take my advice and go to the library as much as possible! This last semester I just about lived at the library and found it so much easier to concentrate and get things done. I had more free time and I did great in my classes!

2. DO get involved & try new things! This is one of the key things to do in college. It allows you to broaden your horizons, make new friends, etc. Brockport literally has everything from sports to musics & dance. During your first week of classes BSG (Brockport Student Government) holds an event called Club Craze at the SERC where you get to check out all the clubs on campus! GO TO THIS!

3. DON’T take on more than you can handle! What I mean by this is don’t get involved in too many clubs or you’ll be running yourself thin and you’ll be stressed out. That being said…

4. DO take care of yourself! Make sure you’re eating healthy and getting some exercise. You do not want to get sick right when you have 3 exams in the same week…it SUCKS. I once had bronchitis a couple weeks before finals and thought I was going to die. Naturally, the day I was diagnosed with bronchitis I had to walk 3 miles from campus for my one lab. Talk about not being able to breathe.

5. DON’T buy school supplies until after you’ve sat through at least one lecture of each class you’re taking. I once bought a 5-subject notebook for my one class and never used it because the professor expected us to print out the lecture notes before each class. Complete waste of money. Also, if you’re tech savvy you might want to consider using an app to take notes such as Notability. It’s $2 or $3 in the app store and I have it on my iPad. I am currently using it for my research project and it’s amazing…I can’t wait to use it for my classes! You can import lecture notes into the app and take notes right on the powerpoint slides from there. And if you have crappy handwriting you can get a case that has a keyboard and you can type in your notes within the app. After you’re done with those notes you can save them in the app and you can back them up to Google Drive, Dropbox, etc. and access them on your computer at any time. I love the simplicity of it all. And if you’re like me, you’ll love being able to cut back on wasting paper!

6. DON’T slack off. The way classes work at Brockport is that you’ll usually have 3 exams throughout the semester (1/month) and then the final. My advice? Don’t slack off in the beginning. Say you’re taking this super easy class and don’t think you need to study. So you take the exam thinking you did fine and you get a grade in the 70s or 80s. Not bad. But if you want to bring up your average so you can get an A in the class you have to study your butt off the rest of the semester to make up for that first exam grade. One of my best friends is a genius, he gets 100s on almost every exam he takes. During finals week he figured out that he didn’t even have to show up to the final and he would still get an A in the class. I wish that was me!

7. DO become organized. My agenda is my lifeline…without it I wouldn’t be able to function because it literally has everything written down in it. Another good suggestion is to color code things for your classes, that way you’re not grabbing the wrong folder in the morning when you’re in a rush to get to class. I’ve found a lot of great blogs about organizing and such on Pinterest. Here’s a link to my college board on Pinterest! Check it out and hopefully you’ll find some things to help you tackle this semester!

8. DO take lots of pictures. I’m the picture-taker out of all my friends. No matter what we’re doing they know I’m going to take a picture. I love being able to look back and remember all the memories that were made that day. That being said, you don’t want to miss documenting your years of college and all the fun you had.

9. DON’T be afraid of/mean to your RAs. As an RA I had to sneak this in here. Our job is to make sure you’re safe. We’re not bad guys, really. I’m sure I could speak for all the RAs at Brockport, but just speaking for myself, I love being an RA. It’s easily the best decision I’ve ever made since I’ve been at school. I love being able to help people! Don’t be afraid to come to us with any problems or questions that you have. We’ve been through it too, we can help. Side note: use the bathrooms for their intended use. Meaning…don’t poop in the shower or spread poop on the walls. …gross.

10. DO have fun! College is supposed to be the best 4 years of your life. You have the power to determine if it is or not!

 

Well that’s all I can think of at the moment. I’ll see you guys in August! Oh, and if you live in McFarlane I’ll be one of your RAs and I’ll be helping you check in when you come to move in! 🙂

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