Do's and don'ts for freshmen

Sami Rapp photo: Freshmen are encouraged not to wear lanyards around their necks or shoulders, unless they want to stand out.Sami Rapp photo: Freshmen are encouraged not to wear lanyards around their necks or shoulders, unless they want to stand out.

With the start of a new year, an incoming class of freshmen arrives at the Mercyhurst campus ready to begin the four-year adventure that will kickstart their careers.

But, not all of them will make the most out of the four years, and the next thing they know, they’re picking up a diploma, wondering where their college years went. Here’s how to avoid that.

Involve yourself in campus activities. Not only is it a great resume builder, but it also helps you meet people that share interests. There are a variety of clubs around campus, so it is unlikely to not find a club that revolves around at least one of your interests. There are also major-specific clubs, which allow you to meet people who will be taking one or more classes with you in the course of the following four years and serve as a great networking activity.

One of the most important tools for the classes you will be taking is going to them. People will tell you not to, but the best way to succeed in your college courses is by actually attending classes. Plus, it saves you time on studying for tests since you already know what was covered in class.

Don’t give in to peer pressure. College is a time of experimentation and self-exploration, but it should always remain clear that you should not do something if you do not feel comfortable.

Most importantly, don’t do anything just because someone tells you you should or “it’s cool.” Not only could you get in trouble, but it could have a negative impact on your life. There’s nothing wrong with saying “no;” people will understand and it won’t tarnish your reputation in any way, shape or form.

Don’t carry a full backpack on weekend nights when you’re not going to the library or any other place to study.

Don’t feel the necessity to travel in large groups anywhere. Whether you’re going to Egan for dinner or to the park for some healthy fun, it’s unnecessary and it clutters pathways.

It’s perfectly fine to get food from the dining halls by yourself. It allows you to relax, think about stuff or do your classwork and it removes the whole social expectation from the eating process.

Try your hardest to make friends. Your college years are allegedly the best years of your life and they allow you to meet people from all walks of life and all places from the world. Making friends helps you broaden your perspective, gives you a support system and makes it convenient for those lazy days where you just want to watch movies with someone.

Last, but not least, don’t let these four years go to waste. Enjoy your life to the fullest. Have fun. Get an A in every class if you wish. Just make sure that when you graduate, your memories of college are filled with great memories instead of “what-ifs.”