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| November 23, 2014

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Five Good T’s for Fresh Meat: Tips for Incoming Freshmen

Five Good T’s for Fresh Meat: Tips for Incoming Freshmen

Congratulations high school grad, you’ve literally just put the cap on the last of your four-year grade school tenure. Now welcome to the big show. Here’s five healthy tips to help accommodate your stay at the lion’s den. Welcome.

1. Relax
Let loose a bit. Freshman year only happens once, so live it up, but be smart about it. Chances are this’ll probably be your easiest year of your undergraduate studies, so take advantage of this free feeling. Not to say that you should breeze right past everything – studying should always come first – but be conscious of seizing the moment when you can afford to. Just remember, it’s very easy to ruin your grade point average but much harder to bring it up once it’s tarnished.

2. Organization

This is something that should be getting easier to do with this world’s booming technological advancement, but, somehow, us young folks can’t seem to get it down. Nevertheless, I beseech you. Write stuff down! Don’t convince yourself you’ll remember the five assignments you were given at five different times during the day, all the while trying to decide how you should do your hair for a night of party hopping. You know you’re going to forget and you’ll regret it.

Now, no one likes the obsessive control freak, so try to take the advice from the first tip. Yes, it’s good to keep track of your responsibilities to ensure your follow through on them, but it’s also important you find some time to unwind.

Finally, getting to know your professors is key to obtaining good organization skills. Keep tabs on assignments by asking questions about what you didn’t understand. Also, sit in the front of those classes. Not only to pay attention, but to make sure you’re not bum rushed by other students seeking to do the same. Professor Klump will make you one the first students he speaks to after his lecture if you do this, guaranteed.

3. Get Involved, Stay Involved
College is all about networking. When you enter the “real world” you’ll find a lot of your opportunities will come from whom you know, not what you know. The more social and academic events you attend, the more connections you build. Let’s be honest, everyone feel’s awkward about attending these events. However, seeing a familiar face put’s both parties at ease and opens the door to more candid conversation and thus more significant relationships you can develop in a suitable manner. There are many organizations seeking new members to carry on their hard work, so don’t be shy.

Organizations such as the Student Government Association (SGA), Office of Student Activities Leadership (OSAL) and the Student Activities Council (SAC) run a multitude of events a year around campus, lots of which include free food, games and films. So, check them out.

Also, leadership positions are always open and accessible to students who are interested in taking an active role in their campus community. Keep an eye out for those opportunities and never be afraid to ask around for them. If you’re an innovator, start your own organization!

4. Food

We’ve all heard, and likely seen, the infamous “Freshman 15.” It’s no myth. People gain wait when they realize they’re away from home and are the king of their domain (a.k.a. their stomach). Now, it’s probably futile to say this, but if you’re looking to stay slim, stay away from the booze. Alcohol lowers testosterone and raises estrogen in men, making your metabolism and ability to burn fat decrease.  It also makes everything you eat seem like manna from heaven, so pigging out is inevitable. There is a veritable cornucopia of place to indulge your carnal pleasures at Old Dominion, and I’m not saying you shouldn’t fulfill your desires, but eating Panda Express everyday is never a good idea.

Find a healthy balance. If you’re drinking all night, that’s an incredible amount of carbohydrates you’re body isn’t going to do anything with. A protein-heavy diet during the day will keep you full and keep you conscious during your alcoholic crusades.

5. Budgeting
Now, we get to the meat and potatoes of all things college. No matter what you do between reading this now and when you accidentally step on the seal and fall just short of graduation (kidding), you will be faced with the ultimate decision to budget. Sure, you’d like to go out with your friends to the cinemas to catch that great new Adam Sandler or Drew Barrymore flick (cheap plug, I know) but remember you may need that money for groceries if you ever grow tired of the food on campus. Also, you might be faced with the decision to buy new clothes but you spent all your money on party beverages. Whoops!

In short, a small budget log would be nice to keep track of your expenses every once in a while. This also goes back to organization. You can use the log to remember what you’ve spent and put forth a certain budget towards certain luxuries per month. For example, you can set aside a certain number of dollars solely for clothes and accessories. Then, you can set aside a certain amount for food, grocery shopping, and school supplies. It’s just all about portioning out your expenses. If you do that, life in the wallet will be so much easier.

Side notes:
– Doomed for stepping on the seal is a myth. Please, don’t get yourself in trouble by riding the lion afterwards. It erases nothing but your overall reputation as a behavioral college student.

– Try to attend and support your fellow ODU Sports Monarchs at their games whenever you can. These student athletes work very hard to perfect their craft in the field of play, just like you in the classroom. So feel free to check out odusports.com sometime and come on out to the game. Plus, all of them are free of charge to students. How cool is that? Freezing, I know.

– Don’t let one bad professor ruin your experience. Just like freshly ripe bananas, you’re bound to run into some pretty rotten ones along the way. Just channel that energy into something positive, like acing his or her exam and feeling like a boss.

– Check out facilities you’d never think of entering, such as other buildings unrelated to your major. Whenever you have free time, just take a second to appreciate the campus around you and enjoy the moment. Listen to music on your way to the gym to get you pumped. Live a little and love a lot about college.

Enjoy the first year of what will undoubtedly be one of the best times of your life.

Have a great one, folks.

By Brian Jerry
Senior Writer

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