1) Be generous with your friendship but stingy with your trust. The friends you have back home didn’t get to be your friends overnight. Some of the people you meet in your first few weeks may turn out to be the best friends of your life but every class has its gems and its criminals (I’m not kidding, some of them are actually criminals). Which ones are which will come clear over the next few months. Wait until you get to know them before you loan them your car or share your deepest secrets.
2) For the first few weeks… live like a monk. Monks take vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience.
- Chastity: College may be the place where you meet the love of you life but you probably won’t know that in the first week of school, especially on Friday night after a couple of drinks. Take some time to get used to your new surroundings before adding a boyfriend/girlfriend to the mix or hooking up with someone who may turn out to be a jerk. RA & Hall Director, Fordham, Zahrah Ektefaei — Watch out for the campus “player.” Every campus has a guy who is notorious for hitting on the incoming freshmen. This guy shows up to all the freshman events, will say all the right things, but be smart and be safe. I’ve known a number of freshmen who beat themselves up for things they did with that guy (or girl).
- Poverty: Don’t blow all your money your first weekend. Companies love to give new college students credit cards. JUST SAY NO! It’s way too easy to get in over your head.
- Obedience: GO TO CLASS! Seems obvious, it IS why you’re at college but you wouldn’t believe how many freshmen skip their way out of school. Do a little math and figure how much it costs for you to have your butt in that chair per hour. You’ll be less willing to blow one off. Save your absences for the end of the semester when you’ve got mono and three papers due in the same week. Dr. Amir Hussain, Loyola Marymount-Contact your professor when you first have a problem. If you wait until it is too late, then it is too late!
3) Help! I’m Drowning! There are lots of helpful people on campus ready to throw you a life preserver — health services, counseling, academic advisors, campus ministry and your RA — to name just a few. The transition to college life can be a rocky one. If you find yourself behaving in ways that are contrary to your values or you feel like you’re in the bottom of an emotional pit and can’t get out — get help!
4) Stay Safe — Your Stuff and Your Self. Especially when you’re new on campus, choose caution over courage. Is it brave to walk home alone at 3:00 am through an unfamiliar part of campus? Maybe, but most experienced students would tell you it’s just stupid ALWAYS LOCK: your door, your car, your bike, your locker DON’T LET OUT OF YOUR SIGHT: your cell, your laptop, your iPod, your backpack/purse.
5) Be yourself! Don’t forget who you are just because you’re in a new place. You’re still you and it’s gotten you this far! Your values, your likes and dislikes, the things you’re good at haven’t changed, hang onto those things, especially while you’re getting used to this new environment. Charles L. Currie, S.J., of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities suggests, “Once a week, step back and say to yourself “What’s going on? What choices have I made? Have they been good ones or bad ones?”
For the rest click Busted Halo Freshman Survival Guide 2009 - Busted Halo or the PDF... 2009 Freshman Survival Guide here.