One month into freshmen year, it’s clear there are some things the university forgot to mention. I’m going to address a few I would have liked to know now that the semester is about half over.
Transportation. Countless times I heard some variation of the line “freshmen don’t need cars.” You can get anywhere you need by foot or by bus. Yes, but it seems to me there was a small asterisk somewhere with even finer print that reads ‘in the most inconvenient, crowded, time-consuming way possible.’ Students need to be educated on how the bus operates.
Don’t get me wrong public transit is amazing, especially at no cost, but there are some things to be aware of before relying on the busing system.
You are responsible for your stop. It takes a while for freshmen to catch on but you need to pull the cord when your stop is coming up. A stop that most of the time, as a freshmen, you have never been to before and have no idea what it looks like.
Also, be prepared for the chance that the bus is full, late or out of service. Remember that any route that bus takes to get somewhere usually takes twice as long as driving time. Again, it’s a great resource but you need to plan carefully.
So yes, it’s true you don’t need a car, but to go anywhere not on the bus route or have a reliable mode of transportation you kind of do.
Recycling. Grand Valley State University prides itself on being one of the most sustainable campuses. However if you ask a group at random, most of us do not know which bin to place our trash in. I think this is something the student body should be educated about if sustainability is important to GVSU. We have the chance to become even more environmentally conscience, but if the majority of the people here are not becoming efforts due to ignorance, we are regressing. The transitions program would be a great opportunity to spread awareness about recycling.
Scheduling. It’s extremely stressful. Nobody cares what you were like in high school. If you were a morning person, odds are you probably won’t be in college. Friday classes, 8 a.m. classes and 6 to 9 classes should be avoided at all costs. Just because we survived 4 years of getting to school at 8 a.m. on a Friday morning doesn’t mean we can now.
Your schedule is going to be a lot different with a part time job, clubs, study time, etc. It’s something you need to be conscious of. Along those lines, don’t forget to schedule a lunch break. A lab from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. is not a good idea. You are now responsible for prioritizing and managing your own time.
With all of that being said, GVSU has a tremendous amount of opportunities to get involved. There’s always some kind of event happening. And despite this no longer being high school, GV has a genuine regard for its students. We just have to make the effort to be actively involved in our education.