College: A Whole New World

College: A Whole New World

“Along with your newfound freedom … sh!t just got real.”

By Rachel Birdsell

I’m going to take a stab and say that for those of you who are college freshmen, you’ve spent the last few weeks waffling between being ecstatic and wanting to puke your guts up. It’s understandable. College is a big f’n deal. You’ve entered a whole new world, and you’re doing it on your own. Yes, the taste of freedom of living away from the ‘rents may be sweet, but don’t get too carried away. Along with your newfound freedom, you’re also going to face a long list of new responsibilities and will have to face the consequences of those decisions on your own. You are now responsible for the rest of your life. In other words, sh!t just got real.

I’ve put together a few tips that may help get you as you try to adjust to college life:

• Go to class. Unless you’re bleeding profusely from your eyeballs, you should be in every class, every day. You will have a much easier time of making the grade.

• Sleep. Sleep. Sleep. But try to make sure it’s at night and not in class.

• Try to eat decent meals as much as possible. Taco Bell seven days a week will catch up with you and will usually do so in the bathroom.

• Don’t be a jerk. No one cares about how popular in high school. Popularity won’t earn you a degree.

• Use protection. Condoms, shower shoes and an umbrella are all your friends. Use them liberally.

• Choose your human friends just as wisely. Often times, we end up becoming the people we surround ourselves with.

• Parties will abound on and off campus. Guess what? It’s not a written rule that you have to drink at any of them. If you aren’t comfortable drinking, don’t do it. But, if you decide to get your drink on, don’t drink and drive. If you don’t have a designated driver or have previous arrangements to make it home safely, stay home.

• If you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation, say no. You don’t have to make an explanation. Just say no and walk away.

• If you’re finding yourself less and less enthralled with your major, change it. It’s easier to do it sooner than later.

• Don’t be afraid to ask for help. RA’s, professors, librarians, etc., are there to help you. If you don’t ask for it when you need it, you’re the only one to blame when things go south.

• Make sure you try new things. It’s your time to grow and experience and learn. Do it with gusto! But…

• Don’t try and be someone you’re not. Remember the wise words of Dr. Seuss, “Today you are you; that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.” So, be the best you that you can be and make the world a little better for being in it. Have fun, stay safe and chin up. That feeling of wanting to puke will go away, at least until you hear the words “pop quiz”.

Rachel Birdsell is a freelance writer and artist. You can drop her a line at

Categories: Commentary