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Advice for college freshman girls (top 10 tips)

- You can and you will avoid the freshman 15 if you make sure that you don't choose the worst things available on the meal plan. There are salads, sandwiches and all kinds of things besides the cheeseburgers and french fries. Be aware of your portion size...stick with the small cokes, the frozen yogurt and pass on the late night pizza bonding with your floor mates. Have a few bites so it looks like you're participating in the fun and then be sure to pour a massive amount of salt on the rest of it so you're not tempted to eat it. Yes, I am aware that you are at your liberal heights and destroying food is not so PC, but how are you going to find the starving children in Africa at 2am from your dorm room?

- Do NOT drink from the punch at fraternity parties. They usually spike it with grain, which is virtually tasteless, and you'll get beyond inebriated....and you'll either a) have embarrassing photos taken of you and circulated to all of your acquaintances on facebook or b) you'll end up with a label like "drunk party girl - do not feed" and that will stay with you through the years. Have a drink, have 2 or three, but pace yourself.

- Make sure you ALWAYS have a pact with your friends that no one leaves each other at the end of the night. You really are better off going home with your friends. If you do hook up, don't leave your friend on her own to get home. Make sure she is taken care of with other friends and watch out for each other.

- Take classes you like. The point is to enjoy yourself, explore and find where you excel. That said, make sure you take art history. No exceptions to the rule. Your grades will be with you for the rest of your life - it's easier to get A's in classes that you like.

- Research your teachers. Ask around before you commit to your classes for the semester. You'll find who gives A's, who never gives A's, who is truly inspiring and who is only there because of tenure. Build a relationships. Depending on what you choose as a career, this could be one of the only times you have access to people who love to teach.

- Break up with your high school boyfriend by Thanksgiving at the very latest.

- Be respectful to your roommate even if you don't like her. You do have to live with her and the chances of you switching before 1st semester is over is highly unlikely. If she's not your type, hang out with everyone else on your floor. You probably won't end up liking her but make sure you're not enemies. Those rooms can be small.

- Don't get bummed out if your friends seem to be getting all the guys - they're most likely sleeping with them. Sometimes you can be a late bloomer and that's not a bad thing.

- No matter how much you'd like to transfer, really think about the reasons behind the decision. Is it because you miss a long distance boyfriend? Is it because you haven't made an effort at your school? Make sure it's for the right reasons. That said, if you can get into a much better school, go for it.

- Don't cancel on something just because it's raining too hard or you're tired from a morning class. You really only get this kind of freedom for a limited time in your life and you don't want to look back on it with memories of your sofa.

And finally.....Take college seriously and at the same time, have fun. Respect yourself and your professors. You'll thank yourself later.

Thu. Oct 4, 6:07pm

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GREAT advice

Thursday, October 04, 2007, 7:07 PM

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I'm betting these are either a little old or written by someone who wasn't in college for a while. Punch at a frat party? Try girls bringing in the pure grain alcohol themselves. And most people don't have to share rooms anymore. Many live in a "village" environment where you don't have the "get to know your floor" scenario. I also don't see any reason to break up with a boy by Thanksgiving just 'cause. Or sssuming my friends are sluts. Weird "advice."

Friday, October 05, 2007, 4:20 AM

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I graduated 2 years ago. I still had a roommate, still had to get to know my floor, we didn't have "punch" but there was definitely a good supply of grain. I think you should wait until Christmas to break up with your boyfriend because who wants to go through that awkward stage 1 month later. I think it's pretty good advice.

Friday, October 05, 2007, 9:51 AM

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Honey, I wasn't in college all the long ago, and the parties (frat or otherwise) still often had some sort of punch (cheaper than a keg!). Why? Because so many girls don't like beer and it's easier to get them to drink this stuff!

"most people don't have to share rooms anymore"-please, where do you go to school? Because millions of other college students around the country are stuck sharing a room with one other person, often 2 people in a triple even now, in 2007!!! Hard to believe it but it's true!

I think the OP has great advice. Especially the one about making a pact w/ your friends not leave anyone to go home alone. I know so many people who had a really awful situation happen because they were all alone walking home from a party or because they passed out at a party. Look out for your friends and make sure they look out for you!!

Friday, October 05, 2007, 11:23 AM

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I agree about the pact with your friends. I read about that in NYC a year ago after a wild night out at the bars in the meatpacking district. So sad. We have to watch out for each other.

Friday, October 05, 2007, 12:27 PM

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From Ben Stein, advice to college students

this is some related advice.

Teachers Are People, Too

First, make friends with your teachers. They're human beings, not machines, and they want to have friends. They want to be liked and admired. They have exactly the same wishes about human relations that the rest of us have.

To make friends with your teachers, try the following:

• Read your assignments and be ready to discuss them.

I can tell you, based on my years of teaching at glorious American University, stupendously beautiful University of California, Santa Cruz, and spiritual and good-hearted Pepperdine, that not a lot of your fellow students will have read the assigned work.

If you're among the ones who have read it, and can raise your hand to discuss it, you'll place yourself at the top of the teacher's mind right away. He or she will be conscious of you, will appreciate you, and will remember you.

• Be polite but firm in class.

If you and your teacher disagree on something, you shouldn't be afraid to challenge him or her. Never do so rudely or cruelly (although you'll be tempted), but teachers want you to challenge them if it's based on facts and data and sound reasoning. They consider it a job well done when their students do that.

• If there's something you need to have clarified or an additional point you want to make, stay after class to talk to your teacher and walk around the campus with him or her.

Teachers are there to teach. If you show that you're there to learn, they'll admire you and thank you. Not as many students are in school to learn as there should be. If you're one of them, you're way ahead of the game.

Time Is of the Essence

Next, do your papers neatly, according to the assignment, and on time. Don't cheat yourself by not handing in your work or by doing it late.

College is largely about learning to budget your time and effort. If you give yourself plenty of time and don't wait until the last minute, you can get it all done, and done easily. College isn't boot camp -- your teachers want to make the work possible for you, not impossible. You can do it all if you give yourself enough time.

Also, spell-check everything you do and read it over to make sure there are no mistakes. When I was a teacher, nothing infuriated me more than a paper with a lot of misspelled words. Don't misspell anything and you'll be ahead of the curve.

Finally, make sure you write at least to the length suggested. Don't write too briefly or way too long. Do what your teacher asks you to do.

Be Well-Rounded

Take courses that will be of genuine use to your mind. It's vital that every young person know U.S. history, European history, and geography. It's just as vital that you know Shakespeare, the English and American poets, and the classics of Greek and Roman literature.

These are the common currency of educated humans all over the western world. You mark yourself as civilized or uncivilized depending on how much you know of Wordsworth and Keats and Gibbon as much as by what you wear.

Science and I have long been uneasy bedfellows, but some knowledge of biology, botany, and physics is basic. Mathematics is the queen of science. You should take as much of it as you can.

You probably won't call upon these subjects in your daily life when you enter the workforce, but they're vitally important in teaching you how to think. And learning how to think is, above all, the main challenge you face in school. It's true that you have to know certain basic facts, but you should also know how to approach a problem, break it down, solve it, and write about it. That's why it's important to take English composition, and take it seriously.

Affability and Neatness Count

Make friends, and preferably join a fraternity or sorority. It's lonely spending your hours by yourself in the library. You need to have a group you can hang with and joke with and eat with. This group will support you, cheer you, divert you, and energize you. Having friends in college is not a trivial matter -- it's life and death in terms of getting through successfully.

Also, don't allow yourself to look like a slob. Always be well dressed, cleanly showered, clean shaven, and look as if you mean business. Teachers don't like sloppy students. They like students who look neat.

I know you'll be sorely tempted to look like a hippie; I used to look like one, and it was fun. But if you wear sloppy clothes, be clean inside them and have your thoughts especially well-ordered to offset your appearance. You'll need to work twice as hard so your teachers know you're smarter on the inside than on the outside.

Some Final Tips

Don't smoke or drink to excess.

Play a sport. This keeps you in good physical condition, gives you a readymade set of friends, and allows you to express your tensions and anxiety on the field. Even if you're not perfect at the sport, just play it to get some air into your lungs.

If you're not happy with your roommate, switch. Having a good roommate makes all the difference in the world. Don't let yourself be sidetracked by having a disturbing person sharing your world. Go to the housing office and make an official switch, or just do it informally. But do it, and keep switching until you find a roommate you get along with.

Try to have a significant other. At your age, this is a huge part of life -- as it is at every age. Treat her or him with respect and dignity, and you'll soon find that you have a reason to get up every morning.

Above all, develop habits of work. You'll spend most of your life working, I hope. College is where you learn to allocate your time, get your assignments done, and develop a good rapport with your fellow workers (students) and your bosses (teachers), and make them all your friends.

If you can learn to work, think, and make friends, you're way ahead of the pack.

Good luck.

Friday, October 05, 2007, 1:00 PM

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Wow, thoughtful advice last poster. I would have liked to have you as a professor in college!

Friday, October 05, 2007, 4:35 PM

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umm...I'm soon going to be a college freshman...I would just like to know why the suggested "break up with your high school boyfriend by...."

I'm not opposing, I'm just very curious because I wouldn't want to hurt him for no reasons.

Saturday, August 30, 2008, 12:07 AM

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Break up with your high school boyfriend by T-giving b/c...

Odds are it's not going to work and it's better to end it earlier rather than later and get on with your college life!

Saturday, August 30, 2008, 11:04 PM

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What your weight

Don't gain the freshman 15 or whatever. You shouldn't be gaining that much weight until much later, after you have kids. Not at 20. Be fit, exercise, eat right. I met a girl the other day, that was only 20, I knew her at 17-18. I could not believe how much weight she had gained. Be smart about what you eat.

Monday, September 01, 2008, 8:28 AM

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