Senior-to-Freshman advice for a new year

Christine Colleran

You did it. You have reached college – the Plymouth Rock of adulthood. You deserve congratulations – there are many who don’t make it this far. This new world, as I am sure you have realized on your own, is quite lacking in the rule department compared to your former lives. However, this freedom is not without its follies, and as fresh meat (I mean…freshmen), you have much to learn.

I’m Christine Colleran, one of your Lanthorn columnists here to provide you with insight, thoughts on current events, and plenty of not-so-objective opinions all year long. Now that we have the basics out of the way, its time to pass on some senior-to-freshman wisdom in hopes that you guys do a better job of navigating the new, freedom-filled waters of college than I did.

To begin, we start with the obvious: 8 a.m. classes. Avoid them at all costs. You are not a morning person, and class just isn’t the place to start your day. Believe it or not, you don’t retain much information when you spend the entire hour doing the old nod-off-and-jerk-awake while simultaneously willing the caffeine you’re downing to enter your bloodstream.

Continuing with classes, we must discuss skipping them. There is something to be said about the art of a good skip, but they should be few and far between. Think of it this way, a full-time student taking four classes pays approximately $1,800 in tuition per class. If there are 31 classes (Tuesday/Thursday) or so in a semester, then each skipped class is around $58 of knowledge missed. So, before you play hooky, ask yourself- is watching this hot dog eating competition on ESPN really worth it?

Finally, it’s time to bring up a little issue we have in Allendale: Minor In Possession charges. Around here MIPs are fairly commonplace and similar to battle wounds, they hurt when acquired but students reminisce on them with pride and exaggerated tales of showing the Ottawa County Police who’s boss.

Now, like the Beastie Boys, I believe that we need to fight for our right to party – just not with jail time. You laugh, but there exists a fun-sucking Judge in Ottawa County (whose name I won’t use but whose initials are Kenneth Post), and he doesn’t hesitate to hand out harsh punishments for too many indiscretions. My point, don’t get reckless with your social gatherings.

Alas, it has come the time to start another year. To our freshmen, these next few years have potential to be the best of your life. College is a liberating experience, so take advantage of your new freedom and don’t sweat the small mistakes. I leave you with the words my father said to me when I went off to university: “remember, you have two jobs at school; have fun and work hard – not necessarily in that order.”

In my opinion, as long as you are doing them both right, that order is just fine.

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