Freshman year is definitely going to be full of mistakes. It definitely was for me. Transitioning to a new place means ups and downs are inevitable. But here are five things I did that you definitely shouldn’t:
- Take all your hard classes in the winter.
My sister, who’s a junior, told me a thousand times to not only take all my hardest classes in the winter, but to take 12-15 units in fall and spring and then 20-22 in the winter. The theory is that it’s colder and darker in the winter, so everyone works more. This is definitely true, but although having such extreme schedules may work for her, it definitely doesn’t for everyone. I would recommend a bit more balance than what I did. I essentially found myself with more free time in the fall than I knew what to do with and almost died from p-set overdose in the winter.
2. Buy a printer.
If you walk into my freshman dorm, you’ll see a fridge and a microwave shared by my roommate and me, as well as my printer tucked behind both of them. This alone is super bulky and takes up more than half of one of our walls. If you walk a few steps further, however, you’ll walk straight into my roommate’s printer. Due to a lack of communication before the beginning of school, both my roommate and I arrived on the first day with printers. Despite this absurdity, I’ve found myself using the dorm printer several times because sometimes, both of our printers fail to work. Between running out of paper, needing toner and knowing little to nothing about tech, this was definitely the wrong investment for us.
3. Buy textbooks.
Textbooks for most classes are upwards of 200 dollars. Most textbooks are provided by the class online or can be found online for free. Beyond your money, don’t waste your time and effort walking to the bookstore or lugging a book around. It’s just not worth it.
4. Skip class.
Eight or 9:30 a.m. lectures are really hard to drag yourself to. Especially when they’re recorded. However, at least in my personal experience, I never find the time to watch lecture if I miss it. Or, if I make the effort, I’ll watch it on 2x speed, understand half of it and give up after 20 minutes of listening to gibberish. In retrospect, I definitely wish I had just gone to those classes I missed. Forcing myself out of bed would have ended up saving a lot of effort in the long run. (Another solution to this is to just not take morning classes.)
5. Forget to call home.
Obviously, freshman year is really busy. But between running (late) to class, trying out extracurriculars and meeting new people, I felt like I barely had the time to do my work, not to mention call my family back home. However, it really only takes a minute, and when I did make the time, it always put me in a good mood. And it will definitely brighten your parents’ or siblings’ day!
Contact Elizabeth Dunn at eldunn14 ‘at’ stanford.edu.