How to Survive Freshman Year: 6 Do’s and Dont’s


Photo: Jeff Liciardello

Paige Scott, Staff Writer

Lane Library
The Lane Library is a popular spot for students seeking a quiet area to study. (PR Photo)

By now you’re probably overwhelmed by all the advice everyone you know has tried to give you about starting your first year of college: go to class, study, and don’t party every night. Well lucky for you, I’ve been through it all. With my college career coming to an end, I can’t help but think back on what I wish I would’ve known when I came to Armstrong.

DON’T: Be loud on the second floor of Lane Library

A big thing I wish I would’ve known during the first few weeks of my freshman year at Armstrong is that the second floor of the library is the Quiet Floor. It is designated for students to be able to study and do homework without any distractions. This is a great place to hunker down and get work done. The first floor is a little less serious, with several computers and tables for group study sessions, but both floors also have study rooms available for reservation. *TIP: Bring a sweater or jacket because it’s always freezing in there!

DON’T: Be afraid of your professors

One of the best things about Armstrong is our amazing professors. Every one of your professors is there to help you, and would be happy to do so. They all are experts in their field, so ask questions in class, e-mail them, or take advantage of their office hours. Don’t be afraid to speak up. Building relationships with your professors can be beneficial later in your academic career in case you need a recommendation for a job or graduate school.

DON’T: Expect everything to work out perfectly

No one is perfect. You’re going to miss a quiz, forget an assignment, and fail a paper. You’ll lock yourself out of your room and fight with your roommate. There will be times when it seems like everything is falling apart, but know that it will be okay.  Every student has been in this position and you will see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Within the first year you tend to learn a number of things and make the most friends. Once you get through this semester, the next few will go by in the blink of an eye. So, enjoy the good times and the bad.

DO: Use your designated printing money!!

At the beginning of every semester, Armstrong gives every student $8.00 worth of printing money to be used at WEPA print stations around campus via PirateCard. I had no idea this existed until my second year at Armstrong. Now, I always try to use every bit of the $8.00. WEPA print stations are conveniently located around campus in the library, Student Union, and Learning Commons. *TIP: If you can’t make it to a WEPA Print Station, there’s free printing in the Writing Center located in Gamble Hall.

DO: Take advantage of the Fitness & Wellness Programs

One of the biggest changes when you head off college is being able to eat whatever you want whenever you want. With that freedom comes one of the scariest things: the Freshman 15. Some people think that the Freshman 15 is a myth, but I’m here to tell you it’s 100% real. To avoid the Freshman 15, take advantage of the Fitness & Wellness Programs that Armstrong offers to all students. The Student Recreation Center on campus has a variety of fun activities you can take part in. From group fitness classes to basketball and ping pong, the SRC has something for everyone. They even offer Personal Trainers at an affordable cost for students, faculty, and staff.

DO: Join clubs and organizations

Armstrong has more than 100 student organizations for students join. From fraternities and sororities to student government and service opportunities, there’s something for everyone. Joining a student organization is a great way to make friends with similar interests and get involved in things on campus. Not only is it fun to be involved in things on campus, but being a member of a student organization looks great on a resume or grad school application. So, don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and find a club that you’re interested in.

I know it’s cliché, but college is the best years of your life. You should aim to have fun, but be responsible.  Take advantage of the opportunities you have while on campus and you can set the foundation for your future.  I hope these tips help you have a great first year!