Dos and Don’ts of Freshman Year

My little brother graduated high school the same weekend I graduated from KU, and he’s headed up to Lawrence in the fall. Sometimes, when I don’t come across as lame as I actually am, he asks me for advice about things in Jayhawk land. Sometimes he completely ignores my advice, and most of the time that’s a good idea. But on the off chance that one of my theories pans out, I just throw everything at him in hopes that something will stick.

Do get involved on campus. I didn’t really start looking for things to join or places to meet people until the beginning of my Junior year when I kind of accidentally joined the Lied Center Students Association, and it ended up being a really awesome experience that introduced me to some awesome people. Check out the list of student groups on the KU website, but also ask around. Upperclassmen know which clubs would be the best fit for your personality

Don’t join every single club on campus in hopes that it will expand your “networking.” I truly believe that being too involved  is a very real thing. If you don’t have time to sit down and do nothing for at least one hour a day, it’s time to let something go.

Do go to the rec. It’s such a great facility and a good place to get some studying done if you bring flashcards for the elliptical. Check out the “free climb” times when you can climb the rock wall, and take the class to get belay certified. It’s quick and easy and then you can go with your friends instead of having to trust some random stranger with your life. Will belayed me one time and when I got 10 feet away from the top and wanted to come down, he yelled at me until I knew I could do it.

Don’t be afraid to try new things. This includes foods you’ve never eaten, Bands you didn’t think you’d like, and people who don’t act just like your high school friends.

Do put the phone numbers for all of the late night food delivery places in your phone, preferably with one unifying emoji next to the name so that they can all be easily accessed (I recommend one that looks like a moon). Because when it’s 2:30 and you need a Chicken Caesar Pita, you don’t want to waste time google-ing the number (Pita Pit: 785.856.2500).

Don’t forget to pick-up your basketball tickets. After you buy the sports pass, they will be released in groups of 4 or 5 games. The first pick-up is typically the biggest one. You already paid for them, you might as well go. I can’t tell you how many of my friends missed the pickup dates and couldn’t go to really awesome games. Go here and click on “Tickets” on the yellow bar, then “Student Tickets.” Look up the three pick-up dates and PUT THEM ON YOUR CALENDAR. Set an alarm to go off all day, because you will forget.

Do set your alarms on your phone before you go out at night, or better yet set them to repeat every week at the same time.

Don’t let anything stop you from having the time of your life. That includes people who have a different set of priorities. Set your own personal set of rules and live by it. More people will respect you for sticking to your guns than for adopting someone else’s.

Do fall in love with our campus. You won’t realize until you go somewhere else just how lucky we are to have such a huge amazingly beautiful place to learn. It’s filled with different types of architecture and loads of secret spots that are fun to explore. Take a look around, and don’t be one of those people who misses out on things until after they come back as an alumni.

In the end it doesn’t really matter what rules I lay down, because there’s so much to discover your first year that you’ll end up with your own list of things you tried and failed, or tried and turned out to be the best thing you could have imagined. The important thing is to remember that Freshman year is all about trial and error. The best thing you can do for yourself is to fix the errors and turn them into your biggest accomplishments.


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