By: Rose Mannas
Campus Sherpa Staff Writer, The University of San Francisco
Buying Textbooks Before Class Starts
I get it. You want to be fully prepared for the first week of classes and not have to dread waiting hours in the bookstore line. I did this too, and dropped almost $300 on books I virtually never using. Don’t kid yourself— if you want it just for ‘reference’, you’re going to Google it before you lug down a textbook from the top of your closet.
Adding Everyone on Facebook
I know this feels like a good idea, but you need to think about the future. When you and that person make eye contact in the cafeteria, are you going to say something or just smile and look away? They get that odd feeling that you stalked their profile and now… here you are. How creepy is that?
Overusing the Class Facebook Page
One of my greatest pastimes as an upperclassman is scrolling through those painful posts before freshman year of those seeking to find a roommate. It is almost like reading a bad Craigslist dating ad. Serial commenters say, “Messaged!” and “I love X music, too!!”. Don’t be one of those people we look back on and laugh about in a few years.
Wearing Your ID on a Lanyard
Everyone. Yes. EVERYONE. Everyone on campus will know that you are an eager freshman who is just oh-so scared about losing your ID. I know there are lots of important reasons not to lose your ID, but we don’t keep everything we value around our neck. Keep it with your other essentials in a purse, backpack, or wallet.
Packing Clothes You Don’t Even Wear at Home
“What if there is a costume party?” or “What if I get to school and wish I brought it?” are questions that you will be asking yourself staring at your American flag leggings. Listen honey, you are only going to wear the clothes you wear at home while you are at school. Excluding the slim chance you will have a 180 degree change in style, it is best to leave those “Seniors 2016” overalls at home.
Sucking Up to Your RA
It may never feel like it, but your RA is most likely only one or two years older than you. It can feel like there are an important authority figure, but in the end they are just a student like you who enjoys having their room and board covered by the University in exchange for watching over you, baby ducklings. Go for a more friendly approach, not the ‘please approve me’ tactic. They want to have a relaxed and enjoyable year just like you.
Suffocating Your Roommate
Living with a complete stranger is a thrilling and scary experience. Messaging your roommate all summer can help you ease the anxiety of perhaps sleeping next to a serial killer (she won’t be, I promise). However, expecting to hear from your roommate from June 1st until your mid-August move in day is unreasonable. Getting to know someone is so much more meaningful in person. Handle the essentials of who is bringing the microwave and just look forward to loving them in August.
Overachieving the First Week of Class
Feeling prepared puts anxiety at ease. But being the person with the syllabus printed, each textbook in their backpack, and questions about a project due in 3 months makes everyone uncomfortable. Sit back and let the professor do the work. He or she will give you good vibe or how intensely you need to work. For the rest of the semester, your classmates will remember you as the guy sitting front row with the first three chapters read in July.
Giving Out False Advice
No matter how many blogs you read, you are never going to truly understand the freshman experience before you live it. I saw someone on my freshman class letting someone know which books to buy for a class… when they have not even started school at the University yet. Get comfortable with not knowing! Your professors understand that you need guidance and will give it. Don’t take educational advice from someone who hasn’t started school either!
Pretending to be Someone You Are Not
The worst mistake you can make as a freshman is wanting to change your identity. By senior year, you know yourself well. Putting on a front in college is not going to last you all four years. Be genuine! If you are not the party type, don’t try to be it freshman year. The most important item you can pack for college is you.