SPEAK Got a storty? Email: kimmelja @msu.edu
by Jacob Kimmel
**This newspaper contains stories given confidentially by current MSU students. They provided me with a story that they feel will help incoming students to have a better idea of what to expect when coming to this beautiful university. No identities will be disclosed and all stories are written by me as I interpreted the message the student wanted to show.
Table of Contents Pg.1- Map Pg.2- Freshman Tips Pg. 4- Welcome to College Pg.5- Lost and Found Pg.6- Rushing for Rookies: Greek Life Pg.7- Dorm Room Disaster
Negatives Commitment: The thing that really put me off about being in the fraternity was the commitment. For something I was not sure about and being that it was only my freshman year, I was not about to go to the house every single day. The pledging semester is the hardest out of all but if you want to be a big part of the fraternity/sorority, it is a big commitment and can prevent you from doing other important things. Meeting people on your floor, homework, and other campus activities/clubs. Hazing/Pledging: Although they all state that they do not haze, it is not something to totally disregard. Being as a way of initiating you into the family, it is up to the members to give you a lot of grief during the process. I am not so sure about sororities but from my idea of the fraternity, there are a lot of mind games and hazing type things that are done to the pledges. I understand being looked down upon, following rules, and cleaning is something that every pledge must do, but I feel that the person I am would not be cruel to a pledge. Some of the things I had to go through in the fraternity and all the mind games that were played was a real turn off. I could never tell if any of the active members were actually mad or if it was just a game. The Sunday meetings turned into a scare the pledges festival, and the whole time I was interacting with the fraternity seemed like a crazy mind game. I felt like I couldn’t trust any of the older members, even my big brother. It is very common for active members to abuse their power and make it uncomfortable for the pledges. Please make sure it is something you are willing to put all your effort, money, and time into. I was not that into it enough to put up with all the crap that was given to me.
and Sororities can be very expensive. Since it is usually a secret, assume the worst and see if it is all worth the money. One thing that I know some fraternities do is that they say one price in the beginning yet plan on lowering it later on to get the more serious members to stay. Make sure that all the time and money you are putting in is worth it and something you are happy with.
Alcohol: Yes alcohol. We all
know it is the elephant in the room when talking about college with adult yet it is something to be taken seriously. I assume most people can control themselves and have common since but one thing Greek life does is push those limits. The older members thing it is funny to have the younger members become very intoxicated and push you to drink more and more. Along with the large quantities of alcohol, there are also many opportunities. Many people in Greek life drink a lot more than the average person should which gives you a lot more opportunity to come in contact with it. Alcohol can make you get behind on school work while cause a bunch of social, moral, economical, and physical issues in your life. There is a lot of help around campus but make sure to look into the fraternity/sorority that you are rushing/pledging to get a grasp on the alcohol situation to see it is something you are comfortable with.
Of course, in the end the decision is totally up to you and I know that there are a lot of people that enjoy “going Greek”. My only advice is to really look into many different organizations and to see how you feel about them all. If you are pledging, see if it is actually something you think is worthwhile. It is very easy to get caught up in everything and to be scared to let the members down. You technically are not in the organization yet so don’t feel bad about dropping. It is your life and you have total control over your decisions. If they threaten your or anything, there are many places you can go for help. At the end of the day do what makes you happy. If you enjoy going to the house a lot, enjoy all the members and other pledges, and are very positive about it then by all means stick with it. But if you are second guessing your decision a lot, find yourself thinking negatively (which will make your time there no fun), and seem to dread going to the house then I would recommend thinking about quitting because it can be a weight lifted of your shoulders. I understand the decision is tough and I know that no matter what path you choose, there is the opportunity to be successful.
Welcome to College
I donâ€™t Literally, it took over know my what I was thinking I was just being computer. At Iand onemaybe point my but I tried to hurry around webcam turnedrisky on, screen went the front of the car. I almost blank, and I thought I was When coming into college, I definitely did not know exactly what to expect. I am the oldest child of two and was about to experience a whole new world on my own. I am currently about a half semester deep in my college career and it definitely has been eye opening. Everyone always says how amazing and fun college is but they do not get into the negatives. Donâ€™t get me wrong, college is a great experience and totally worth every penny but it is a big change and something not everyone may be ready for. All I can say is be prepared for the unexpected. I was in the first few weeks of college and while working on a writing assignment, I somehow accidently downloaded a fake antivirus that in minutes took over my computer.
made it before the car about to go into a Skype chat accelerated and I found myself with some evil mastermind. onto Instead, it tookflipping a picture of the me pavement. I picked up my bike and and tried to tellgot meup I was told the lady whoI had hit me wanted for child pornography. it wasscared fine and rode off. I donâ€™t know if I that was more right of the fact thatlaughed the FBI wasafter it happened it must have been after me or thatbecause some crazy funny tothis see was as I got up and virus is taking over but acted like definitely something I wasnothing not happened. I was aestimated little sore the next day prepared for. The and had some cost by the tech squad was scratches but in all it wasafter fine.2Long story $120 but fortunately short, coming long weeks of not having a in as a freshman, forwas the unexpected. computer, all I be hadready to pay willtohappen and costs $40. The nextThings big thing will add up overtime and it is happen to me was around a just something week later. I was riding my bikethat as young adultsand we will have to get used back from chemistry as we decided to theto take theenter long the real world. route. As I approached the cross-walk I had the walk signal but could see that a car was blocking it.
Lost and Found Luckily both those turned up right away and I got off easy but I obviously didn’t learn. Soon after the first two incidents I realized I had misplaced my IClicker. The IClicker is a device used to Coming from a very wealthy
take quizzes in some of the
town, you could say I was
bigger lecture classes. You
coming into a whole new world
register your IClicker to the
my freshman year at MSU. I
class and voilà you have your
have one younger brother and
self your own personal multiple
we come from a very well to do
choice answerer. Going to a
family. Going to college, I did
class without one isn’t the end
not really know what to expect
of the world but in the end all
but I had a lot of preconceived
the little points add up and the
ideas about the general idea of
small quiz grades are what can
college. No words of advice
get me toward my goal of a 4.0.
can compare to the first-hand
Unfortunately this time, my
experience going away to
possession did not show up
school provides but I really
and after I went and bought the
hope my experiences can help
new one, my net total in buying
in-coming freshman to
two IClickers was $80. In the
Michigan State University.
grand scheme of things, this is
One thing I realized right away
not a lot but never the less it
is that things seem to
was something I would have
disappear if you let them. The
loved to avoid.
So I guess all I can say is be mindful of every important thing you carry and get in a habit of patting yourself down before leaving class and double checking your backpack to see if you have anything. Another thing I realized right from the start was how much harder the classes can be. I came from a pretty highly ranked school and I did very well on my AP Calculus test. Good enough that I could actually test out of both Calculus 1 and Calculus 2. Unfortunately, I was not prepared for the beast of a class ahead Calculus 3. The class was tough just like most other higher level math classes but I guess I didn’t realize how tough. Come the first exam I started to realize how little I knew about the material and as a result got a 13% on the test. 13… A very unlucky number and also a very bad grade.
first things I lost were my ID and my room key.
An exam like this is one you cannot recover from and unfortunately I had to drop the class putting me at only 11 credits. Luckily I had enough AP credits from other courses to cover for me but still it was a setback I was not ready for. One thing that really would have helped me is reaching out and using the resources available. Yeah I know everyone says that and it is something you may just put off but it is better than risking your grades because you don’t feel like going. There are so many resources at MSU that you do not even know about yet pay for that it is important to take advantage of all that you can on campus.
One of the biggest questions on campus and one that I would say is most influenced by others is: should one go Greek? It is a very good question and one that I myself have thought about a lot. I was not planning on rushing my freshman year but decided to go out with my roommate. We checked out a couple frats, talked to a lot of guys and I started to get a feel for what I was doing. From the start the decision was hard because I only looked at a couple. Was I looking at the fraternities that would best suit me? Which guys could I see myself hanging out with more? There were so many questions and so little people to talk to. Yes you could ask the current members themselves but one thing that always bugged me was the fact that I didn’t know if they were lying. Their job during rush week is to attract people to the house and gain members so how am I supposed to know if they are being straight or not? I talked to other students, my parents, and close friends and no one could answer my question. That is one thing about being in college. It’s the big leagues now and no one can decide for you anymore. In the end, I got a bid from the fraternity that out of two that I enjoyed most and took up the pledging process. Unfortunately this did not go over well and I dropped after a few weeks but I put together a list of positives and negatives about “going Greek”. Positives Meet People: In my opinion, this is the best part about being in Greek Life. You get to meet so many different people both older and younger during your time in the community. It can be other fraternities or sororities and even alumni members. Your pledge class will grow to be a very strong brotherhood/sisterhood that can last your whole life. Gives you an opportunity to look after and work with many other students and adults. Good on Resume: Being part of the Greek organizations on campus gives you a great opportunity to be a leader in the house. There are many positions available and many chances to get involved. This type of leadership experience can look great to an employer. It also gets you connected with other Greek members. Good Experience: “Going Greek” is a big commitment and if you stay with it, you will experience something that only few can experience. If it is right for you, you will love the time spent in your fraternity or sorority. Activities: Whether it is parties, Intramural Sports, philanthropy events, tail gates, and other various events, there is always something to do in a fraternity/ sorority.
Rushing for Rookies: Greek Life