Aug 122010
Authors: Robyn Scherer

As you enter into college, there are many things you need to think about. You are in a new environment, with new friends and no parental supervision.

Excited? You should be.

However, there are a couple of things that you need to keep in mind with this newfound freedom. The biggest thing you need to remember is to enjoy life but to do things in moderation.

For example, you now have access to a lot of food for many hours of the day. It’s very easy to over-eat and before you know it, you haven’t gained just the freshman fifteen, but the freshman fifty.

There are ways to overcome this, like by using the Recreation Center and learning to say no to your fork. For most of you, college is a great chance to find your new boyfriend or girlfriend, and usually weight-gain does not help your chances.

Another thing to be mindful of is alcohol. Now the majority of you will not be of age at first, but I know that doesn’t mean you won’t drink. The main thing you need to remember: If you are going to drink, do it safely. Don’t drink and drive no matter what, and go out with people you know, in case of an emergency.

The next piece of advice relates to actual school, which is, of course, the reason you are here. It is not to party, contrary to what some of your friends might think.

You need to go to class. Trust me, I’ve been in those freshman classes where you feel like you can pass the class in your sleep, but sometimes that comes back to bite you. Even those where it’s easy to ditch — and usually your attendance isn’t mandatory — going to class is a must.

When it comes to balancing your schoolwork and social life, make sure you spend time in both. If you only focus on your schoolwork, you may end up with a perfect GPA when you graduate, but you also may not have any friends.

If you do the opposite, you may not be in school for very long. Keep this in mind. Life is a balancing act, and college is your first big appearance on so big a stage.

The next thing that I would advise is to take chances. When I think back to when I was a freshman, I remember how scared I was to do new things.

It’s a new place, and if you are from a small town like I am, it can be intimidating. But don’t be afraid to say hello to that person down the hall, go out for intramural sports or try a new hobby. You might find your next new love or a hidden talent.

There are a lot of clubs on campus, so get involved. It helps you fit in and realize that campus isn’t so big. You can also find others who have the same interests as you, helping you build lifelong friendships.

If you see someone you think you might be interested in, ask him or her out. You never know whether that person could be your next spouse of just a passing friend. But if you don’t try, you will never know.

Good luck in the next four years and remember to have fun. College really is the best time of your life and something that you will miss once you enter the real world.

Robyn Scherer is a graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in integrated resource management. Her column appears Fridays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to

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