I’m just wrapping up my freshman year at WSU, and my two semesters here have taught me a few valuable lessons.
Lesson 1: The very first thing I noticed on day one was students were already wearing sweats. Coming straight from high school, I had laid out a week’s worth of uncomfortable outfits that made for aesthetically pleasing Instagram posts. However, they limited the amount of sitting positions I could choose from. The first lesson I learned my first year of college was comfort over looks.
Lesson 2: The second thing I learned in college was that every night general education class has a mom that is going back to school. She is your best friend. If you sit next to her and talk before class she will likely show you her kids and offer an occasional fruit snack. Also, you can keep track of how many times she mentions how different the school is compared to when she attended 20 years ago.
Lesson 3: Coming from an environment where classrooms held kids that you grew up with to a brand new campus populated by individuals from every possible background with different goals and varying ages, finding someone who clicks with you can be a challenge.
My advice: take a recreational class. Even if the class is only worth one credit, you will have a better chance to meet people with similar interests and you always have a topic to fall back on if conversation gets dry.
Lesson 4: Let’s talk online classes. I know some procrastinators have had bad experiences with classes that don’t involve face-to-face lectures and are completely dictated by self-control but, with some simple steps, we can avoid crushing a whole semester into a couple nights at the end of the term.
As long as you check Canvas and your email regularly, then you are halfway there. The other half is to avoid the worst sentence murmured by every college student: “I’ll do it tomorrow.” If you treat these as golden rules, then you will stay on top of that online class and be that much closer to your degree.
Lesson 5: Do you know who your academic adviser is? Do you know where your adviser’s office is? Do you know your adviser’s email address? If you can honestly say “yes” to all of these questions, then you are that much closer to having a stress-free freshman year. Your adviser’s job is to help you or to get you in contact with someone who can.
Lesson 6: Be aware of your printing options. I used the printer in the Union Building for almost my whole first year before I learned there is a printer in almost every building. Some printers are even programmed to work by connecting to your phone instead of a computer. Essentially, you can print anything just by emailing to a printer.
Lesson 7: The Writing Center in Elizabeth Hall is a place of refuge and grace. Taking any piece of writing to this sacred room is the closest thing you can get to a guaranteed better grade.
The only downside, if you can call it that, is that you have to call or make appointments in person. This cannot be done online, but they also accept walk-ins, schedules permitting. I would recommend setting an appointment unless you have an empty afternoon.
Lesson 8: You must treat your Wildcat card as if it were a VIP backstage pass because, basically, it is.
This powerful piece of plastic can get you library books, entrance to the gym and discounts to almost every local event.
This card is the proof that you are a poor college student, and, with it, you can successfully save two dollars at the entrance of any high school musical your sister is dragging you to see.
Lesson 9: I’m about to hit you with a little bit of hard truth: a parking pass does not guarantee a parking space.
Now, if you have a constant need to have your car as close to your person as physically possible at all times, then the parking lot above Lind Lecture is your best bet.
To claim a spot, however, you generally have to be there before 8:15. Or, if you are fine with leaving your auto baby a couple blocks away, then the shuttle might be calling your name. You can park in the Dee Event Center and pretend like you’re taking a mini limo with your closest friends that you’ve never met before.
Lesson 10: College kids are always tired, hungry and stressed, but never mean. If you have a question on where a building or a room is then don’t be afraid to ask. Students are generally incredibly kind and are willing to help.
One day I even found a note on my windshield that told me the air in one of my tires was low. Weber is known for its incredible staff but know the student body wants you to succeed just as much.