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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    ‘Don’t be an asshole’ in college

    1. On the first day of class, talk to the person next to you.

    The auditorium-style classes can be a bit intimidating, but remember: Everyone is in the same boat. Try to get a phone number or two – it will come in handy if you ever sleep in and miss class. You might also make a new friend.

    2. Go to your professors’ office hours.

    The first couple of weeks can be a bit chaotic, but once things calm down, it would be wise to put a face behind your name on the teacher’s roster. Go to their office hours, and just say “”Hi.”” Don’t worry about not having anything to say. Just show up, introduce yourself, and they’ll take care of the rest. It goes a long way.

    3. Ask questions.

    Need help with anything? There are plenty of UA staff members whose job it is to help you, but they won’t come to you. If you’re having a problem of any sort or need advice, ask for help. When in doubt, call the UA switchboard (520-621-2211), and they will put you in touch with the appropriate department.

    4. Don’t be an asshole.

    Seriously, don’t be a jerk. Pretty self-explanatory.

    5. Set goals for your college experience.

    College is also a time to develop your future. What are you here for? Is it to get a degree? To network? To party? To get a job? Whatever it may be, try to be aware of your purpose for being here, and make the most of it. Have a plan and stick to it. If you’re still working on creating a goal, don’t worry – it will come.

    6. Study abroad.

    If you think you might want to study abroad, contact the study abroad office (520-626-9211) and start looking into it. College flies by, and often what people plan to do “”next year”” never happens. Studying abroad has been one of my best experiences in college, and I feel like a better, worldlier person for having done so. If everyone did it, the world would be a better place.

    7. Find a balance.

    Don’t be a perfectionist or a party animal. Try not to freak out about class, but don’t spend too much time with a beer bong or someone else’s tongue in your mouth either. Often the biggest problems I’ve seen with freshmen is the struggle to find a balance between school and socializing.

    8. Start a résumé.

    Keep track of your experiences and accomplishments. Hopefully they will start to accumulate. Don’t wait until you graduate or start looking for internships to collect everything together on paper. Don’t worry about the format either – just jot things down on a file in your computer.

    9. Have an open mind.

    Let go of your predispositions about college right now. Don’t hold yourself back by what you think you know and expect. This isn’t a book or movie about college; it’s the real deal. If you think you know about an experience before going into it, you might feed into your stereotypes, and you risk missing out on new opportunities. Go your own way.

    10. Be physically active and eat well.

    Whether you choose to work out at the Student Recreation Center, organize a weekly game of basketball with friends or toss around a Frisbee on the Mall, it’s important to stay active. It will help you with your studies. Eating well is equally important. Try to stay away from fast food – it’s quick and easy but makes the body and mind sluggish.

    11. Stay away from credit cards.

    Credit card companies prey on college students. Don’t dig yourself into a financial hole.

    12. If you like to party, be smart.

    Watch out for UAPD. They like to hand out minor-in-possession tickets. Reading the Arizona Daily Wildcat’s Police Beat, it seems that almost daily someone gets busted for being drunk and rowdy or puffing weed in the dorms. If you like to party, just be smart about it.

    13. Keep your eyes open for opportunities.

    The UA has so much to offer. Join a club. Tour a museum. Attend a lecture by a world-renowned scientist or best-selling author. Take part in a seminar. Go to a job fair. Make sure you read the Wildcat ::cough:: shameless plug ::cough:: and keep yourself up to date with campus happenings.

    14. Maintain a good grade point average.

    Down the road, having a good GPA will leave you open to a world of opportunity. Whether an internship, grad school, or study abroad, you will be thankful for leaving your options open. Don’t close any doors by slacking off freshman year.

    15. Practice safe bedroom policies.

    I’m not your seventh grade sex-ed teacher, but just be smart. Also, see tip number 4.

    16. Remember: It’s college, not a race.

    There’s the old expression that finishing in four years is like leaving the party at 10:30. If you need an extra year, or two, or three, more power to you.

    17. Relax.

    I think the most important thing you can do on your first day of class, and before exams, is to take a few deep breaths. Try to be present, stay centered and keep your head straight. Remember, it’s just college.

    Welcome, freshman. I wish you the best of luck as you begin your college experience.

    – Evan Pellegrino is a seventh-year journalism senior. He can be reached at

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