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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Five things I wish someone had told me as a freshman

In college, there is no cool — and that’s a good thing. You can all breathe a sigh of relief, class of 2014. The politicking, the trying too hard, the “”I knew you when you were 3 and sucked your thumb, and I’m going to use it against you because I grew breasts/biceps first”” — it’s all over. You go to school with tens of thousands of perfect strangers whom you’ll probably never know and who will almost certainly never stuff you in a locker or haze you into friendship. So just relax and find your niche, because by now, it’s time to let nasty social politics become a thing of the past. You’re free!

Register now, drop later. The powers that be have made this a little more difficult recently by imposing a $25 fee for each class dropped after the first week of the semester, but the advice stands. If you’re looking to take just 12 or 15 units — a reasonable course load while you adjust to college life — sign up for the maximum number your department allows, and attend all the classes for a week. That way, you can review syllabi, get a feel for professors and teaching assistants, and decide which classes best suit you.

Choose your meal plan wisely. Orientation leaders and campus dining representatives will encourage you to purchase one of the “”plus”” meal plans, touting the 4, 6 or 10 percent you’ll save on food. But that money doesn’t roll over year to year, so unless you plan on spending at least $2,000 a year on food you’ll be sick of after a month, the commuter meal plan might be your best bet. You can load money onto the plan as you need it without a minimum balance, and any extra funds roll over from year to year. You’ll still save 9.1 percent by being exempt from the Arizona sales tax. The savings on the other meal plans are enticing, but campus food is overpriced enough that you’re better off learning to cook for yourself.

Sweatpants and t-shirts do not an outfit make. Living on campus can give you the impression that the whole university is your living room. It’s not. When you wear sweats to class, you invariably look like you intend to sleep through your pricey college education, in addition to looking like kind of an asshole. Make an effort and take some pride in your appearance; your peers and professors will respect you more and you’ll be more inclined to take yourself seriously. FYI, ladies, the same goes for super-revealing clothes. No one in class is there to buy you a drink, no matter how much of your lady-parts are hanging out the bottom of your dress. Have a little decorum, please.

Branch out. I don’t mean to sound like Dr. Seuss, but, “”You have brains in your head, you have feet in your shoes, you can steer yourself any direction you choose.”” College is supposed to be difficult, terrifying, new, exhilarating and above all, a lot of fun. Away from home and immersed in this exciting new environment, there are nearly infinite ways to redefine yourself. Take opportunities when they present themselves, and do so with gusto.

You’ll rarely regret it.

­— Heather Price-Wright is a creative writing senior and can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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