What’s the best way to meet people as a freshman?

Kevin: For the most part it depends on your living situation. If you’re going to be living in a dorm, you won’t have any problems. Athletes usually stick together, you can rock the Greek life if you’re into that or you can just hit up any random party or social event.

Andrea: I think the best way to meet people is to literally just walk up to people and say, “Hey where are you from?” From there a thousand conversations can be started. I say just be outgoing! It’s so fun meeting new people on a campus with 40,000 different personalities and stories!

Josh: Living in the dorms is the best way to meet people. Everyone in the dorms (especially the first week) is very friendly and open, and it is by far the easiest way to meet new people.

Lindsay: My first day moving into my dorm was very nerve-wracking, but I could tell everyone around me was just as nervous. So instead of hanging out with my parents and crying as they left, I went around knocking on people’s doors, introducing myself to everyone, making jokes, helping others move in and asking people to grab dinner at the cafeteria. I met some of my best friends on the first day, and I truly feel it is important to be friends with your dormmates.

Jordan: Just bum around the dorm. All my best friends live in my dorm. Who knows, maybe I just got lucky, but I think that you can find a core group of friends in the dorms no matter where you live.

How do you find out about social parties?

Kevin: This was an interesting one for me because I didn’t know any upper classmen when I first showed up. In my experience, the first couple of weeks are pretty hectic. One person on a dorm floor with an older sibling usually develops a habit of inviting their entire floor. Usually the school does these little “get to know people” events you’re forced to go to, but you actually do end up meeting people. And of course, Facebook is always an option. I’m not a huge fan of it, but word of parties spreads through that Web site like freakin’ wild fire.

Andrea: Word of mouth or sometimes Facebook invites. There are so many parties to choose from on any given night that it is really not hard to find one that you would be welcome at ... especially if you are a girl. Girls usually have an easier time getting into random parties than guys do.

Josh: Best way to find out about parties as a freshman is go to older kids from your high school that go to your college and ask them. When you become a sophomore usually one of your friends will have a party or they’ll have a friend who is having a party. It’s very word of mouth when you get older.

Lindsay: As my mother would tell me, “Parties will always be there, but an education will not.” I have found this to be a very wise quote. When I go out, my friends and I have to decide what parties we want to go to: I would say each of us knows about three parties. So if you are feeling lonely or feel like you cannot find a party, you are just doing it in a wrong way. Walk around and ask people in your dorm, join student organizations, be a part of a sorority or fraternity or if worst comes to worst, call an older sibling!

Jordan: Girls. Find the cute freshmen girls that all the upper classmen invite to their parties and follow them around. Older siblings or friends from your hometown are great connections too.

Any do’s and don’ts for first-year students?

Kevin: When it comes to do’s, the sky is the limit. Try it all. See what works best for you. As for don’ts, there are some rules you’ll find out very quickly. When inviting people to parties, make sure there’s an equal male to female ratio. No one likes a party where it’s a bunch of dudes or just girls (unless of course you’re one of few lucky minorities in the bunch). If you decide to participate in the party scene, there are a few rules you should follow. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. You never want to get yourself in a situation where you get sick or in trouble with the law. Be responsible and make sure you have a buddy to take care of you if the situation gets out of hand.

Andrea: Know who you are before you get to college. I know it sounds totally cliché, but if you don’t know who you are and what you stand for before you get here there are going to be a thousand people pulling you around trying to mold you into the person they want you to be. Also do not keep junk food in your dorm room. I am typically a very healthy eater, but when there are Oreos or popcorn available at any time it’s really hard not to partake. Finally, do not check your Facebook when you are trying to study or write a paper, no matter how good you think you might be; it is impossible to multitask with Facebook and all the people to talk to on there.

Josh: Do meet everyone you can and accept all kinds of people as your friends, go out don’t stay in every weekend Don’t drink every day of the week just to try to be cool.

Lindsay: Do have fun – in moderation. Study and get good grades – they will pay off later. Make friends – and lots of them. Keep close to friends and family at home – they will always be there for you. Exercise – you don’t want to gain the “Freshman 15.” Get involved – it not only looks great on resumes but you meet people too!

Don’t go out and party more than you and your academics can handle. Eat at the cafeteria every couple hours just because it is like a buffet – you will gain weight. Flock toward the athletes – you will be called a “jersey chaser”. Drive your bike or moped if you have been drinking – you will get a DUI. Lose touch with yourself and who you are!

Jordan: Don’t schedule classes for Friday mornings. Do party hard Thursday nights.

What are some of the best and worst things about being new to a campus?

Kevin: The best thing is you have a clean slate to start. Anything that went on in high school is out the door. I was a total jock in high school, and now I hang out with a much more diverse group of people. Some of the tough things are finding a new group of friends, finding what social scene you want to participate in and getting used to your new academic schedule. Trust me; you will study more in college. I had a really tough time getting used to studying for hours at a time. You’re sleeping and eating schedules at times also go out the door. At times it’s normal to be going to bed at four after the library and waking up at one in the afternoon for breakfast.

Andrea: It is an exciting new adventure when you get here and realize how enormous your new playground is, but be prepared to miss home after some of the glitter wears off.

Josh: Best, all the new people, new start, new girls. Worst, honestly only bad thing is moving away from old friends whom you’re close with.

Lindsay: Best, everything seems new and exciting. This is an opportunity for you to be who you want to be – new chapter in your life. You are actually excited to be at school. Every face is a new face, which means a lot of people to meet. Worst, getting lost trying to find a class and walking in 15 minutes late as the whole lecture hall stares. Being sick and not knowing where to see a doctor. Admitting you are a freshman.

Jordan: The best thing is that people tend to give freshmen a break because we’re not well versed in the ways of college yet. The worst thing is that the large majority of people on campus are older than you. Be careful whom you hit on, she could be your chem TA next semester.


How do you find out what classes are good to take?

Kevin: It’s usually up to your major, but finding the right professors is a constant struggle. You can check out different Web sites that rate professors, but the best way is to ask older kids because most of your freshman classes are generals. Ask around and try to find the easier professor, and also see if anyone saved notes from the class. When it comes to buying books, look through the used ones that were owned by a studious female. They usually take better notes and have a funny habit of color coordinating their highlighting of the chapters.

Andrea: I took what I wanted to take in the beginning, but once you’re on campus people start exchanging advice on what professor is really great, or what class is an easy A, etc.

Josh: There are many Internet sites for help with what’s good and what’s not good like ratemyprofessor.com, also talking to older kids when you’re about to pick classes. There are many people ready to help you and for some it’s their job to help you, so basically talk to them and don’t be shy or scared.

Lindsay: Fortunately, I have many valuable resources who have helped me decide what classes are good to take: my older brother and my mentor that I have through an organization called Badger Business Buddies. They have either taken a class or have heard from friends what the class is like.

Jordan: Upper classmen. Most of the courses I’ve taken so far have been based on suggestions from some of my older friends.

Any specific rules for dating?

Andrea: Get to know as many people as possible when you are young. I am not saying sleep around, but don’t become exclusive as soon as you meet a nice person. Give it some time. We are young, and we are meant to have fun and date a lot of people. Ladies: PLEASE realize that you are princesses and should be treated as nothing less. I feel like college guys sometimes think they can get away with being a lot less than gentlemen, but it’s the ladies’ job to remind them of how to treat us.

Josh: Do not do a long-distance relationship, and be open to meeting new people. If you find a girl in college right away go for it. I don’t think there are really any specific rules. Just do what you feel is best for you.

Lindsay: I am the worst person to ask about dating! But my advice is to just go with your gut. If you are at a party and see a guy creeping on you, walk away – he is not what you are looking for. If you meet a guy in your dorm and start to like him, see where it goes – study and then take a break and watch a movie or grab some food at the cafeteria. If you have a long-term boyfriend, be understanding and give him some space to experience college as well. It will happen if it is meant to be, and you will appreciate each other more.

Jordan: No woman, no cry.

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