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Freshman Year Guide

Beer Pong is A Tool of The Devil?” – ALCOHOL AND COLLEGE pg.18

[ From the Publisher ]

Brian Carr A Confession ... OK, I’ll admit it: I was petrified at my first college bash. Figured I would be forced into some binge-drinking-prove-your-manhood contest in some stanky frat house. Thought for sure I’d be left passed out on some nearby golf course overnight with some botched tattoo or worse. Of course none of it happened. Except the place was stanky. At my college there was always plenty of soda available at parties –seems an alumni was an executive at Pepsi. So my advice: Take control of those unfounded freshman fears, don’t let them control you. They are like monsters under the bed when you were young. There are lots of people thinking the same things you are and others who are ready to help. Your high school friends. Professors. Counselors. Alumni at homecoming. And perhaps most important, new friends you’ll find. As a start, our StudentAdvisor Survival Guide is filled with insight on starting your college career off on the right step. For example, here are some tips from current students you’ll find: • Domenique Ciavattone Junior at Stonehill College: “Keep a completely open mind. College is nothing like high school, and nothing like living at home.”

• Gwen Turner Senior at Lafayette College: “When you start making friends in college, be sure to include those who don’t play a sport at all if you’re an athlete.”

• Erica Tomaszewski Senior at Franklin Pierce University: “We need to establish a support system of people we can trust after we leave home to go to college.”

• Ashley Hale Senior at University of the Pacific: “Become curious and active in campus life… beyond your comfort zone.”

One of our advisors, Kelci Lynn Lucier, shares her incredibly valuable advice, so don’t miss her five basic rules of time management that you can use now. Also, Syracuse University Advisor Dan Klamm explains why using your college career center early and often in college will help you immensely. He’s right: It’s not just for college seniors. College is all about learning how to make the right choices for you, finding out skills to survive in the “real” world, and gaining insights how to be successful in life. In short: Learning how to be yourself.

Good luck! Brian Carr | Publisher


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Jenny Ruth Binger Susquehanna University


John Massena Greenville College


Grace Chapin University of Chicago


Jesse Monroe Meredith College


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Harrisburg University of Science & Technology


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Eckerd College

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Rachel Balows University of Denver

Michael True Messiah College


Robin Pendoley Gap Year Advisor


Kara Humphrey Truman State University


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Lisa Burns

Sewanee: The University of the South


Amie Hoff Health & Fitness Advisor


Dan Klamm Syracuse University


Cheyne Wago Misericorida University


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Daniel Creasy Johns Hopkins University


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Heather Doyle York College of Pennsylvania




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Brian Carr | Publisher Babson Alum | College Parent

Dean Tsouvalas | Editor-In-Chief Stonehill Alum

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Freshman Year GuideDorm | Ultimate Living Guide |




[ Contents ]

06 10 12 14 16 18 22 26 28


Words of Wisdom From Upperclassmen 3 Seniors and 2 Juniors from different colleges and universities across the U.S. sound off on their best advice they would offer an incoming freshmen.

Advice from a Sophomore: “Own Your Freshman Year”

Virginia Tech student, Jeremy Azurin shares his ups and downs and how he rocked it like a hurricane.

5 Rules to Time Management

Time management usually isn’t at the top of the list – but it should be. These basic rules for the first-year of college can help.


How to Jump-start Your Career

Dan Klamm of Syracuse University says “It’s never too early to stop by for a chat with a career counselor!”

The Freshman Fitness Game Plan

Certified personal trainer and co-founder of FitKitDORM Amie Hoff shares tips and tricks to avoid the slow creeping weight gain!

“Beer Pong is A Tool of The Devil”

Don’t buy into the idea that everyone comes to college to party. This is your chance to get a head start on all those jokers who don’t take college seriously.


Setting a Budget: Now & the Future Make the road to financial success a little smoother, by learning about some common pitfalls to avoid.

Online Privacy & Reputation at College While there are many upsides to living in a constantly connected world, your personal information is at risk. 8 things you should know.

Stop Being Judgemental

Find out what happened to Allison Sylte, a junior at Colorado State University, after she started making an effort.

28 | Freshman Year Guide


[ Words of Wisdom ]

Gwen T., Senior – Lafayette College “


he best advice I would offer an incoming freshmen is to understand that they actually have much more time available to do things than they initially think they have,” she says. “Even student athletes can find time to get involved in more groups and activities that they may think is possible, but they often don’t realize this, that you can always find time, until later.”

Gwen T. | Senior Lafayette College in Easton, PA Double Major Economics and Government & Law Sport Team Women’s Softball


Freshman Year Guide |

Gwen says student athletes often meet other student athletes through sports or activities related to college athletics, but they would also do well to meet and make friends with other students who may not play a sport. “When you start making friends in college, be sure to include those outside of your own sport, and those who don’t play a sport at all, as well as students outside of your own major,” she offers. “I have met so many terrific people by joining different groups, learning new things and having fun,” she notes. “I joined the intramural

basketball team and made lots of new friends outside of my initial circle,” she says. “It offers some new perspectives, expands your world and adds new possibilities and ideas to your knowledge base.” Gwen is also the editor of a new guide being written, edited and designed by Lafayette students for incoming freshmen to familiarize them with the community beyond campus. The new guide, My Easton: By Students For Students will be published for the first time, later this summer and distributed to freshmen this fall. “When I began working on this project, I started meeting new people, other students I had never met, before,” she says. “From them, I learned about several new places to eat that I never knew existed, and enjoyed providing them with some of my own information, sharing tips and new suggestions, too.”

[ Words of Wisdom ]

Ashley H., Senior University of the Pacific

A Ashley Hale | Senior University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA Major Business

shley is a very active student; she is also Native American.

The best advice she would offer incoming freshmen would be “to become curious and active in campus life outside of your dorm room, outside the classroom and beyond your comfort zone,” she says. “It is really important for student to explore all the activities available on their campuses and take advantage of the opportunities to learn and grow outside of the classroom.”

Ashley adds: “A lot of college students today were really pampered at home, and they could count on their parents to make most of the tough decisions for them. As college freshmen, for the first time in their lives, they are the ones who are making their own decisions. They need to learn to go beyond their comfort zone and explore different ideas and activities. If they do that, a whole new world will open up for them.”

Erica T., Senior – Franklin Pierce University


rica maintains that freshmen should not hesitate to dive in, immediately. “While some people choose to wait until their sophomore year, or even later to pursue campus activities and organizations, I would advise incoming freshmen to get involved right away. Don’t be afraid to dive right in. Doing so will help you get to know your college or university— and you’ll develop a much better understanding of the unique ‘interworkings’ of your campus.

“I would add that it makes sense to join those organizations as a freshman that you are passionate about, especially those that have a direct connection to academics. If you have declared a major, or have a specific academic discipline in mind, look for those clubs, groups and organizations that are linked to your field of study as a freshman. Those activities that are purely extracurricular should also be part of your four-year experience, but they can come later.

“By getting involved early on, you will have a great opportunity to offer a positive first impression. You will meet other students with similar interests, faculty members and staff. Even more importantly, they will have an opportunity to meet you; they’ll understand that you are sincere about getting involved, and, if you take this involvement seriously and contribute to the organizations you join, you’ll generate some good will and even respect, which will prove to be a great benefit to you in so many different ways.

“Finally, don’t forget to make friends along the way. While many college students have a supportive family at home, we may not realize that we also need to establish a support system of people we can trust after we leave home to go to college. As you build a group of friends on campus, be sure to make an effort to ‘be there’ for them—in good times and in bad—and they will be there for you, too, when you may need them. It really is a two-way street. This is very important.”

Erica Tomaszewski | Senior Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, NH Double Major Mass Communication | Freshman Year Guide


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[ Words of Wisdom ]

Domenique C., Junior Stonehill College


t is perhaps most important to keep a completely open mind when you transition from high school to college,” she said. “There is so much to learn, so many opinions to consider, new information and different ways of thinking that you’ll be exposed to. You’ll start forming your own opinions. Some that you hold now will be reinforced, but you will also establish new ones, as college is nothing like high school, and nothing like living and home--and the concept of embracing change and being a college student really do go hand in hand.” The Stonehill junior says she initially expected college to be more like high school. “I went to a Catholic high school, not too far away from Stonehill, which is a Catholic college. While there were some similarities among the students, I found lots of differences, too. My circle of friends quickly grew

from a few people who grew up near me to include students from places like Pennsylvania, Maine, New York, New Hampshire and Costa Rica.” Domenique says her own biggest hurdle to overcome as a freshman was opening up to introduce herself and establish new friendships. “At first, I was terrified to meet new people, but I found the other students to be welcoming. I literally looked for ‘open doors’ in my residence hall, and found that those who left their doors open were among the most friendly and approachable students. I started leaving my own door open, whenever I could, which encouraged people to stop by and say hello. It also seemed to me that those students who kept their doors closed all the time weren’t as likely to meet new people. Just like keeping an open mind is important, I would suggest that a new freshman

Domenique Ciavattone | Junior Stonehill College in Easton, MA Double Major Communications | Global Issues

consider keeping an open door— it’s the best way to get over the hurdle of meeting new people and establishing some new friendships and connections in college.”

Raphael S., Junior – Wheaton College “


tep one” for freshmen is communicating clearly with your roommate(s) at the beginning of the year about what’s OK and what’s not. “Let’s face it,” he says, “the idea of living with one or two strangers for your freshman year is pretty daunting. Even if you fill out a roommate questionnaire, there is no guarantee that you and your roommates will be best friends.”

Raphael Sweet | Junior Wheaton College in Norton, MA

Sweet says waiting a few weeks to get to know your roommate better and explain your comfort zone may be too late. “As soon as you settle in, it is vital to establish a strong line

of communication, and voice your opinion and expectations regarding rules of the room,” he says. “Want the heavy metal music turned off by 10? Lights off by midnight? Significant others prohibited from the premises on Tuesdays and Thursdays, due to study schedules? Talk openly about it.” Sometimes, he adds, it is necessary to go beyond talking and write things down. “Draft and sign an agreement so that you know each member of the room is committed to maintaining a favorable and cooperative environment,” he says.

Major Psychology | Freshman Year Guide


[ Advice ]

Advice from a Sophomore:

Own Your Fres man Year By | Jeremy Azurin | Virginia Tech


o into college with an open mind. If you’re coming into college with any preconceived notions about what college “will” or “should” be, the only expectation is you should have is that you will be disappointed. College is extremely diverse and I believe there isn’t a way to truly predict what college is like until you’re actually there. As a freshman, I was not excited to enter college for various reasons. I had to deal with an hour long commute, my AP credits not transferring over, and my classes that were in random parts in the day with three to four hour gaps in between. While I was not looking forward to starting college, my sour attitude didn’t hinder my involvement in activities or negatively affect my studies. I was involved with Student Government, started my own club, made Dean’s list, and landed an internship, all while taking an hour-long commute to my school. Soon after my orientation I knew that I was going to make my freshman year one to remember, and with the following tips, you can too!

First off, own your freshman year.

This is a bit vague, but make sure you completely dominate your own path at your new school. Don’t let your

advisor make your schedule, don’t let the financial aid office rip you of your money, and most importantly, don’t let anyone walk over you. You may be

“I was involved with Student Government, started my own club, made Dean’s list, and landed an internship, all while making an hour-long commute to my school” – Jeremy Azurin

a freshman, but no one has the right to stop you from your success.

Take a language class.

This is my only regret of freshman year. I didn’t have any space in my schedule to incorporate my love of the Spanish language, or any language course for that matter,

because of the way my school’s timetable was arranged. Languages are so important these days because of the expanding economy and globalization, so having one or two languages under your belt is highly advantageous when searching for jobs.


I didn’t do enough of this my freshman year, which is pretty sad considering it was a tiny school. It may sound silly to purchase business cards as a freshman in college but you’ll need them when distinguished speakers visit or when your school hosts career fairs throughout the year. Having this entrepreneurial spirit will get your name out throughout the university and will play in your favor whenever a research position or potential internship pops up!

Take an easy course load first semester.

Quality over quantity, my friends. Do I suggest pursuing eighteen credits your first semester? With “subjectively” easy courses, yes. I took eighteen credits of easy courses first semester and still managed to maintain a social life because I knew I could handle the work. However, if you’re an engineering or biology

Jeremy Azurin | GET ADVICE


Freshman Year Guide


| Virginia Tech

Jeremy Azurin is a D.C. native majoring in geography at Virginia Tech. Jeremy is also a member of Virginia Tech’s Corps of Cadets and a regular contributor to the StudentAdvisor blog.

[ Advice ]

major, then a light course load might be more fitting with far less credits.

month, and join clubs that are out of your comfort zone.

Don’t be afraid to be “that guy/girl”

Don’t slack second semester.

We all know of that one student who imbues the meaning of the word “freshman” who takes it upon his or herself to intentionally become the black sheep and be as outgoing as possible. Take note and be as amicable as possible because freshman year is all about making friends and I guarantee you it is easier than if you’re sheltered in your dorm room. Meet everyone and their parents in your hall during move-in, start up small chat in the laundry room, leave your dorm door open during the first

I caught the senioritis bug again during my second semester, which happened to be the same semester I decided to overload on credits. I was able to maintain a solid grade point average, but work became real annoying real fast. On top of that, since I was transferring, my letter grade wouldn’t transfer and my perfectionist spirit egged me to finish on a high note. I still had a great time as a freshman, and I intend to make this year even better at my new school. As

a side note, it’s worth repeating to own your freshman year because you are the only one who can stop you from your success as a student. You were accepted for a reason; don’t let anyone let you question that.

For More Advice on Optimizing Your Freshman Year, Read: The 10 Things I Wish I Had Known Freshman Year of College [ Read Now ] | Freshman Year Guide


[ Time Management ]

College Time Management:

5 Rules for Y ur First Year By | Kelci Lynn Lucier | College Expert |


f all the things first-year college students worry about when preparing to start their new college lives, time management usually isn’t at the top of the list – but it should be. Time is often one of the most precious resources a college student has.

time are permanent. They don’t get canceled; they don’t get rescheduled. If your friends want to go out to dinner on Thursday night, you can’t attend because you need to work on an essay. There will always be other fun events that you can go to later.

Whether you’re about the start your first college class or already midway through your first year, the following 5 basic rules for first-year college time management can help:

It’s much easier to catch up with your friends than it is to catch up with your classes. College is an investment in yourself, your education, your career, and your future – and where and how you spend your time should reflect that.

Rule #1:

Academics take priority!

Let’s just get to the basics here: You’re in college to graduate. Sure, the social life might be fun and you love the freedom. But if you don’t go to class, turn your assignments in on time, study, and pass your exams, you won’t graduate. Academics should always be one of your highest priorities. So what does this mean when it comes to how to spend your time? It means that when you plan your schedule for the week, classes, homework, lab time, and study


Freshman Year Guide

Rule #3:

You must have some kind of time-management system.

Learn how to say “no.”

You got into your college because you have a great brain -- so figure out what exactly your amazing brain needs in order to stay on top of your schedule.

The problem with saying “yes” to everything means that, inevitably, you will be burned out. You will be overcommitted. You will get stressed, fall behind, and feel pulled in a million directions.

It doesn’t matter what kind of time-management system you have as long as you have one. Electronic calendars (like Google Calendar) tend to work best because you can – and will – access them at nearly any time. They can be updated from anywhere, can be synced to your phone, and can’t easily be lost. But even a fuddy-duddy paper calendar is better than no calendar at all.

Rule #2:

Saying “no” can be one of the biggest challenges for first-year students. Black Student Alliance Club? Awesome! Pre-Med Club? Cool! Midnight run for burgers? Definitely!

Kelci Lynn Lucier | ASK KELCI A QUESTION?

One of the most important skills of successful college students is the ability to say “no.” It’s perfectly OK to miss a club meeting or decide you can’t attend an event because you have to study for a midterm. No one will be mad if you say “no” when first asked. But folks might get mad if you say “yes” and then flake out.

College Expert,

Kelci Lynn Lucier has nearly ten years of full-time experience working with and at colleges, in positions ranging from a college admissions adviser for teenagers in foster care to a Program Officer at a consortium of twelve colleges in the Midwest. Kelci has a B.A. in English and Comparative Literary Studies from Occidental College and an M.Ed., with an emphasis in Higher Education Administration, from Harvard University.

[ Time Management ]

“If you don’t go to class, turn your assignments in on time, study, and pass your exams, you won’t graduate. Academics should always be one of your highest priorities.”

Additionally, use your calendar to write down everything. Write down when you are in class. Write down when you are going to eat, to sleep, to do laundry. Write down when your papers and exams are. Write down when you are going to study. If you’re doing it, should be in your calendar. Lastly, if the system you thought would work for you isn’t working, consider that a major problem. Find another system as soon as possible and try again until something clicks.

Rule #4:

Be lazy and take the easy way when you can. This may seem counter-intuitive at first, but following the path of least resistance in college can be a major time saver. For example, you can choose to manage your time well by adding your Spanish placement

exam into your calendar. You take the placement exam, get your class, and are good to go. One, two, three, done. Let’s say you forget about that exam because you don’t have a calendar. Now you have to make a special appointment with your adviser. There is no make up exam until Spring, which means you’re now behind on your language requirement, one of the last to pick your classes, and not sure about what to take. One, two, three, four, five … pain in the brain. Multitasking can also be a lifesaver when it comes to taking the “easy” way with time management. Instead of working on your paper alone, plan a “work night” at your place. Invite a few friends over, all of whom agree to bring some snacks, help keep each other on task, and take scheduled breaks. That way, everyone gets food, some time with friends, and their homework done.

Rule #5:

Schedule things in that are not school related.

Taking a break from the rigors of classes is important for your mental and intellectual health and productivity. It’s also important for your physical and emotional health. Plan to take a nice, long run every Saturday. Grab a gossip or sports magazine from the bookstore and read it cover to cover. Play a pick-up game with some friends. Attend a poetry slam off campus. Finally ask that cutie in your English class if she’d like to come with you to a concert on Friday night. And – since you of course will have written down even your not-schoolrelated activities in your calendar – you can truly relax and enjoy yourself knowing that you’re not supposed to be doing anything other than just having fun. | Freshman Year Guide


[ Career Planning for Freshman ]

How to

Jump-start Your Career

Freshman Year By | Dan Klamm |


ne of the top myths about college career centers is that their services are exclusively for upperclassmen seeking internships and jobs. The truth is that freshmen can (and should!) visit their career centers to get a jump-start on their career exploration and planning. It’s never too early to stop by for a chat with a career counselor!

Here are some suggested ways for freshmen to take advantage of the offerings at their school’s career center:



Freshman Year Guide |

More than 60% of college students change majors at some point during their college careers. You might realize after your first semester in chemistry class that you really want to major in something more writing-intensive, or you might figure out after the first few weeks in a political science course that you’re just not as interested in the

subject as you thought you would be. The process of exploring majors and navigating academic options can be confusing and overwhelming, but you don’t have to do it alone! A career counselor can help you articulate your strengths, skills, and interests so that you can identify majors and minors that might be a good fit for you. The counselor can also talk with you about how your academic major might prepare you for certain careers after graduation, essentially answering the question “What can I do with a major in ____?” By having these conversations early in your college career, you can strategically take courses, pursue internships, and engage in extracurricular activities that will springboard you to success after graduation.

Go to career fairs.

Little known secret: employers love seeing college freshmen and sophomores at career fairs! Though a career fair might seem like it’s primarily a venue for seniors to land jobs, it’s also a great chance for you to begin sizing up career opportunities and identifying the types of internships which you might want to pursue in the coming years. Attending a career fair can be intimidating: there are hoards of upperclassmen dressed in business suits,

[ Career Planning for Freshman ]

resumes in-hand, having high-level conversations with recruiters. But this is exactly why it’s important for you to attend a career fair your freshman year: you will gain an understanding of how the event works and you will be less anxious about attending in future years - when you’re more seriously hunting for a position. You may even spark a connection with a recruiter, which could lead to an internship or job!

Put together your resume.

Career counselors help students and alumni with resume writing every day. They can help you put together a resume that allows your strengths to shine, even if you have little to no work experience. Things like academic coursework, extracurricular experiences, volunteering, internships, and summer jobs can all be included. By working with a career counselor to develop your resume early, you will be prepared whenever an awesome opportunity comes along that requires a resume -- whether it’s a campus job, a cool summer internship, or a leadership position within a student organization. Career counselors can also help you tailor your resume for each role to which you apply.

Attend career center workshops and alumni lectures.

Many career centers offer workshops, such as “How to find an internship” or “Interviewing successfully.”

Unfortunately, students often neglect these workshops and wind up in a panic when it comes time to actually pursue internships or interview for positions. Take advantage of every opportunity to learn things and acquire job-seeking skills your freshman year.

“Little Known Secret: Employers love seeing college freshmen and sophomores at career fairs!” – Dan Klamm

Even if it seems a little early, you will be better prepared than your friends who delay attending these workshops until junior year - or worse, never attend at all. Also, many career centers host alumni lectures or guest speeches. Going to these can be a great way to hear

Dan Klamm |


about interesting career paths or job options you didn’t even know existed.

Read career center e-mails (or follow your career center via social media).

Tempting as it may be to hit “delete” on that weekly e-mail from your career center, take five minutes to review it and see if there might be any relevant news for you within. You can’t take advantage of programs, events, and services unless you know about them! Likewise, seek out the office’s presence on Facebook and Twitter; this can be a good way to keep up with career center offerings. Remember: when you engage with career center staff early in your college career, they can get to know you and your interests, which allows them to advise you in a more meaningful way as you progress through college. They are often the first people on campus to find out about cool new job postings or alumni shadowing opportunities, too, so being a familiar face in the career center might put you in the inner circle of knowledge -- certainly not a bad place to be. This fall, once you’re settled into your dorm room and comfortable with your class schedule, take a trip over to the campus career center and see what’s available to you. By getting an early start on your career planning as a freshman, you’ll be well-prepared to succeed during the rest of college and beyond!

Syracuse University

Dan Klamm is the Marketing & Communications Coordinator at Syracuse University Career Services. In addition to leading marketing and communications initiatives, he presents workshops and advises students on career development issues and the use of social media in the job search. You can connect with Dan on Twitter (@DanKlamm).

[ Fitness ]

By | Amie Hoff |


reshman year is filled with lots of new adventures and gaining the Freshman 15 is not one of them! Once your course load picks up and you have the stress of exams and papers, it’s important to make smart choices with nutrition and exercise. Not only will eating right and moving the body help increase your energy, clarity and mood, but it will also help you avoid the slow creeping weight gain!

Amie Hoff A certified personal trainer and fitness consultant in NYC and co-founder of FitKitDORM – Total Fitness in a Kit.

DID YOU KNOW... FitKit was selected as one of the best dorm products in the Ultimate Dorm Living Guide.


Sure, there will be the times you’d rather hang out with new friends and order late night pizza. But if you follow these tips and stock your dorm room with healthy treats, learn the nutritious options in the campus cafeteria and get in a good sweat session a few times a week, you’ll be able to - guilt free!


A good hard cardio and strength session is the best ways to release stress, anxiety and even combat fatigue. Burning calories and building muscle will

Freshman Year Guide |

keep you in shape, feeling confident and having energy to burn. Follow these workout suggestions and you’ll see results before your first semester finals! Grab your roommate or a friend down the hall. Crank up the music and all join in to get fit, lose weight and tone up. • Find the building on campus with the most floors and run up and down the stairwell. Trust me, it will get your heart pumping! For even more of a challenge, try taking two steps at a time on your way up. • Grab your roommate or a friend for a power walk or run. Enlisting the help of others not only makes it more fun, but gives you quality catch up time as well. • Check to see if you school has rental bikes. Not only does cycling burn tons of calories, but it’s so much fun you don’t even feel like you’re exercising. Nice! If your school doesn’t have them check places off campus to rent for the day.

• Dress for success - it’s important to dress for the elements as the weather goes from summer to fall. Layering with breathable fabrics is the way to go. Cotton is not a good choice as it traps sweat, dries slowly therefore creating a layer of cold and wet, not fun. Think of light layers that can be peeled off as your body temperature rises. •M  ost campuses have groups that play volleyball, basketball, floor hockey and even dodgeball. If not, start your own! •S  chedule your workouts just like you would your classes and stick to it. Keeping a workout journal will help you chart your progress, understand how your feeling, and keep an eye on your weight. Just remember something is better than nothing and you won’t know until you try. Even if you tell yourself you’ll go out for ten minutes, that’s fine. 85% of the time you’ll stay out

[ Fitness ]

Fridge Friendly Snacks: • 6 pack mini yogurts • String Cheese • Apples – find a local orchard and pick them yourself! • Pre-cut veggies • Hummus • Lemon-lime seltzer water • Single serving tuna (pop top or pouch)

NO FRIDGE? NO PROBLEM! Snack options: • Baked corn chips • Microwave popcorn (no butter) longer. It’s just that initial push to get out the door.

Dorm room snacks.

“If you fail to prepare, prepare to fail.” This can go for many things in life but in regards to nutrition, if you don’t prepare to have healthy options you’ll be setting yourself up for failure. Rather than run to the vending machine when the urge hits, try stocking your dorm room with these great snacks that are both nutrient dense and low in calories. Just remember they are not meals, but rather a small snack to keep the fire burning when your energy dips while waiting for the cafeteria to open:

The Dining Hall

Meals can be a time for

social interaction and mindless eating so simply being aware of what goes in your mouth can give you a jump-start on damage control. Many campus cafeterias list the calorie counts and nutritional values of the foods they serve. If yours doesn’t, then ask the staff. Many times they have it if you simply inquire. Make sure to load your plate with plenty of fresh veggies. Just be sure to stay away from anything loaded with butter or cream sauce. A fresh salad bar is another fantastic option, but try to avoid the heavy cream dressings and bacon bits! You’ll also want to have a good source of protein at every meal: eggs, yogurt, cottage cheese, turkey,

chicken, tofu, beans, lean red meat and fresh fish. Stick to baked, broiled or grilled for the healthiest way to prepare them. Steer clear of sodas and imitation fruit juice. They’re empty calories and full of sugar. Instead, try club soda with a lemon or lime. As for desserts, ask yourself if you really need it. Every so often if fine, but just because they serve it does not mean you have to eat it after every meal.

• Rice Crackers • Low Cal energy bars • Nuts – just don’t eat too many • Low fat Mac and Cheese • Soy Crisps • Single serve almond butter packets • Banana • Granola bar • Nuts and raisins (keep to small portions)

Make small changes, baby steps. You have a lot being thrown at you freshman year, but if you stick to these tips, you just might go home for the holidays in better shape than when you left! | Freshman Year Guide


[ Alcohol Safety ]


By | Eric Teske, M.S. | Bowling Green State University


as it happened yet? If not, you’re in for a real treat. I’m talking about that awkward alcohol talk between you and your parents that is bound to happen sometime before or during your first year in college. The talks are usually quite short, and come in different styles ranging from the vague “be responsible, honey,” to threats of corporal punishment, “I’ll beat the living daylights out of you,” and even appeals to a higher power: “beer pong is a tool of the devil!” Silly parents, don’t they know part of the reason you came to college was to start thinking for yourself! Well now they’re gone and here you are, so what do you think about alcohol in college?

Fall 2010, over

30,000 students

were anonymously surveyed about how many drinks they had the last time they partied.

33% of the students didn’t drink at all.

You’ve probably heard a lot about alcohol from movies and TV shows. Some shows seem to be more about the alcohol than about the plot, and it all has to do with plane crashes. Let me explain: Everyone loves watching plane crashes. Not because we have a morbid fascination with death, not all of us anyway, but because they’re outof-the-ordinary, violent, and unpredictable. Videos of extreme accidents get millions of hits on YouTube, they make us moan in disbelief – but we can’t look away! They’re fascinating! Plane crashes always make headlines because they are so rare and disturbing. Even though flying is actually the safest way to travel, accidents are sensational stories and get overreported to make it seem like they are actually pretty common. This “Plane Crash Effect” makes another appearance at college parties.

Think about the stories you hear after a huge house party: Jerome flipped the beer pong table, Stacy puked in her purse, and Trevor got arrested for peeing in the alley. These are the plane crashes that get talked about later. They paint a picture of an out-of-control party, when in fact they are extremely rare events – which is

Alcohol Equivalency 12 OZ. OF BEER




1 SHOT OF LIQUOR, | Freshman Year Guide


[ Alcohol Safety ]

why they make headlines at breakfast in the dining hall. There is a natural bias to want to tell the most interesting or unbelievable story – but these stories are extreme examples, and don’t accurately describe the party. If you want to get better information about what the party was really like, you’d have to survey every single person at the party to find out their side of the story. That sounds like a lot of work, but guess what, we’ve got the data. In Fall 2010, over 30,000 students were anonymously surveyed about how many drinks they had the last time they partied. It turns out that a third of the students didn’t have ANY alcohol that night. If there were 100


Freshman Year Guide |

people at the house party, 33 would have been stone sober – but you would never know, because you only hear about the plane crashes! Let’s dig a little deeper. In our house party scenario, another 38% of the students would have had 1-4 total drinks, 13% had 5-6 drinks, and 16% had 7 or more (I’m guessing Jerome, Stacy, and Trevor were in that last category). What counts as 1 drink depends on whether it was beer, wine, or liquor. Drinks are measured by how much alcohol they contain, and some have a lot more than others. The amount of alcohol in 12 oz. of beer = 5 oz. of wine = 1 shot of liquor, and these each count as one drink. So what if you had two Long Island

Iced Tea’s that night? Well, each Long Island contains 5 shots of liquor – so after two of these, you’d be in the 7+ category with Stacy and her pukepurse. Let’s look back at the vague advice to “be responsible.” Oh, that’s very helpful, thanks for that! Does “be responsible” mean I should never drink? Does it mean I should only drink once a week? Can you be more specific? I like to think of “being responsible” as decreasing the chance that something bad is going to happen. There are a lot of risk-management techniques that students use to have a good time while avoiding as many negatives as possible. The best way to avoid negative consequences is to not drink.

[ Alcohol Safety ]

Here are the Top 4 Safety Tips When Drinking

1 87%

 tay with the same group of friends the entire S time drinking. of students say they stay together when they drink, and it’s a great way to keep track of your friends. Make sure that no one walks home alone or gets in the car with someone who has been drinking.

2 83%

Use a designated driver.

“Don’t buy into the idea that everyone comes to college to party.”

of students use a designated driver when they go out. At smaller schools, walking will probably work just fine, and larger schools will usually have a taxi service.

3 77%

Eat before you drink and while you’re


of students use this technique to lower their risk. Having food in your stomach won’t sober you up, but it will make it so the alcohol in your stomach doesn’t get absorbed all at once. This will help spread your buzz out over the course of the night. Ask about free pretzels or popcorn at bars, and try alternating alcoholic drinks with water or soda.

4 66%

Keep track of how many drinks you’ve had. of students count their drinks, and it’s always a good idea. Plan ahead by having a limit in mind before you go out. To keep track, you can save pop-tabs in your pocket or write tally marks on your hand.

Pretty simple stuff right? The important thing is to talk about it with your friends. Get a solid group together and make sure everyone is on the same page. Pick a few techniques to follow, and you’ll be able to reduce the chances that something bad happens to you or your friends. Just in case, you should be able to spot some of the symptoms of alcohol poisoning. Someone with alcohol poisoning might have cold, clammy, pale skin. Check for slow or irregular breathing. If someone vomits in their sleep and doesn’t wake up, or if they’re passed out and you can’t wake them up – it’s time to call 911. It’s not safe to let them sleep it off (especially if they’re vomiting), their body is losing a battle and they need medical attention. Can you see why your parents’ version of the alcohol talk was so awkward and short?

In the end, you’re going to make your own choices. Just remember the “Plane Crash Effect,” and don’t buy into the idea that everyone comes to college to party. This isn’t a vacation before the rest of your life, this is your chance to get a head start on all those jokers who don’t take college serious. You can do it, I believe in you!! For more information on our Survey: Click Here | Freshman Year Guide


[ Financial Management ]

“The hardest part is changing your behavior toward managing your money.” – Jodi Kaus | Kansas State University | Program Dir.

Photo: Peer mentoring session at Kansas State University


Freshman Year Guide |

[ Financial Management ]

Financial Planning

Advice f r Now & The Future By | Megan Molitor Kansas State University


college student’s idea of investing may lean more toward purchasing season basketball tickets than an individual retirement account, but financial experts say taking a more focused look at their financial situation early can help students budget for today and the future. Budgeting should begin before a student even sets foot on campus, said Jodi Kaus, program director for Powercat Financial Counseling at Kansas State University. Students may have extra funding from high school graduation gifts, savings bonds or part-time job income, and it’s important to put that money to good use. “Students should keep an emergency savings cushion for unexpected contingencies,” Kaus said. “They should articulate their own specific financial goals to prioritize how they want to make use of these extra resources. Using them for a portion of college costs could help reduce the amount of necessary loans and interest charges.” Once students get to school, Kaus said they need to be in tune with their money. Making a detailed list of all spending items can reduce the chance of running into an unexpected | Freshman Year Guide


[ Financial Management ]

expense. “Laundry and haircuts are often overlooked, but these costs can add up over time,” Kaus said. “Eating out tends to be the biggest budget breaker for most students. It becomes a social event, but $15 here and there starts to eat into a budget very quickly.” As students transition through their college career, Kaus said other budgetary items will need to be considered and planned for ahead of time, like the cost of living off campus or taking a study abroad experience.

spending habits. This also can help alleviate mismanagement of credit at an early age. “It’s a common problem, students not being able to manage credit cards,” Higgins said. “You don’t want to get into debt and then be forced to start from behind.”

Eric Higgins’ Credit Card Tips: • Don’t open too many lines of credit – holding more cards than needed because it can hurt your credit score.

Kaus cautioned students against supplementing their budget with a credit card or getting one without serious consideration, although recent laws have made it difficult for individuals younger than 21 to get a credit card without a co-signer, usually a parent.

• Call to cancel unwanted cards immediately – don’t simply cut them up and throw them away.

Eric Higgins, head of the finance department at Kansas State University, said the new credit card laws allow parents of young credit card holders to be more in tune with their student’s

Instead of credit cards, Kaus said she urges students to have an ongoing conversation with their parents about their financial support and expectations. Parents may be

•P  ay credit bills off each month in order to avoid interest charges, and DO NOT use them as a substitute for cash.

Above Left: Peer Mentor Group at Kansas State University


Freshman Year Guide |

willing to pay for some expense items, but eventually the student will most likely be fully responsible. Knowing these amounts is important, she said. Higgins added that other means of income, including part-time jobs, starting a small business or investing in real estate or the stock market, can then be used toward some kind of savings plan that lays the first steps to a secure financial future, such as starting an individual retirement account. “I encourage students to start thinking about investing and saving,” he said. “Save early and save often. When it comes to building wealth, the earlier the better.” To make the road to financial success at a young age a little smoother, it helps to avoid some common pitfalls. Kaus said the easy part of making a budget it putting the numbers on a piece of paper. “The hardest part is changing your behavior toward managing your money,” she said. “Students should begin by establishing small habits that set them up for long-term success.”

Jodi ’ Kaus

[ Financial Management ]

8 Tips for Avoiding Budgeting Mistakes: 1. Using a pocket-sized debit card register to record transactions. 2. Paying yourself first by automatically directing a percentage of each paycheck to savings instead of checking. 3. Setting aside 10-20 minutes each week to review a spending plan and monitor progress. 4. Remembering to take into account any withholdings from paychecks. 5. Always paying bills on time -- possibly setting up automatic payments – because timely bill payment is the largest factor in determining credit worthiness. 6. Monitoring credit usage. It is recommended that credit card holders

Jodi Kaus | Program Director

use no more than 25-30 percent of their credit limit at all times.

Powercat Financial Counseling at Kansas State University

7. Avoid short-term solutions, like payday loans intended to cover

“Budgeting should begin before a student even sets foot on campus. Students may have extra funding from high school graduation gifts, savings bonds or part-time job income, and it’s important to put that money to good use.”

a borrower’s expenses until the next payday. Higgins agreed, adding that there is never an instance that a payday loan would be helpful to a student. There are laws on how much these businesses can charge, but few regulations on their fees. “You will pay way too much in interest charges -- the annual percentage rate is astronomical,” he said. “When you factor in fees, you could be paying as much as 500 percent. It’s a trap -- students spend their loan check, and need money to pay their tuition. Payday loan places know these students get a check each semester, and if you direct deposit it with them, you’ll stay a check behind and never see the money. It’s a pit.” 8. Check additional options offered by your school. At Kansas State University and some other universities, there are emergency student loans available. About the Author: Megan Molitor is a writer for Manhattan Magazine and a graduate of Kansas State University. | Freshman Year Guide


[ Online Privacy ]

Protecti g Your Online Privacy and Reputation at College


ecause of technology, going to college today is nothing like it was 15, 10, or in some cases even 5 years ago. These days anyone with a smartphone has the power to instantly share pictures, videos, and messages with the entire world in mere seconds. While there are many upsides to living in a constantly connected world, you can’t ignore the fact that by participating in what seems like normal everyday activities, such as social networking or online banking, your personal information is at risk. You’ll be meeting tons of knew people your Freshman year and making lots of new friends. However, you never know when one of your new classmates will betray your trust or take advantage of your lack of security. All it takes is one crazy night out where someone’s snapping pictures for Facebook or a quick trip to the bathroom while leaving your computer unlocked for someone to wreak havoc. So how can you safely protect your identity and reputation in the digital world without just unplugging from everything? Professor Greg Elmer, a cyber privacy expert and director of Ryerson University’s Infoscape Research Lab/Centre for the Study of Social Media has some excellent tips:

Understand that nothing is truly “private” on the web. Despite privacy settings, it is almost impossible to control all of your personal information on the web. Once your information is there, it’s there for good. So make sure whatever you’re putting up there


Freshman Year Guide |

By | Sam Coren | you’re fine with your grandma or future employers stumbling upon.

Be smart about your passwords.

Avoid basing them on common dictionary words, change them periodically, and don’t share them with anyone. Never forget to log out of public computers. This is especially important for places where many students share the same machine frequently such as in libraries or labs. Would you want the next person who uses the computer after you to find their way into your email? Also, you should never “save” your passwords on any computer.

Learn privacy controls inside & out.

If you use social networking sites make sure you’re familiar with the privacy controls for each one. Preview your profiles in a browser that isn’t logged in so you know what’s publicly available. It’s also a good idea to check back every now and then – sites such as Facebook are known to change their privacy controls and settings with little notice.

Click with caution. Be wary of

clicking any links from people you don’t know in emails, tweets, and instant messages. Also, if a message from a friend contains a link that seems out of character, “Find out how to make $5,000 working from home” chances their account has been hijacked and you should let them know about it ASAP.

Google yourself. Make it a habit

to search your name on Google and Facebook for anything unflattering.

In some cases you may not be able to control what other people post, including pictures from that party last night, but you can use privacy settings to decrease the number of people finding them.

Be picky about who your “friends” are online. While having a ton of

connections might make you feel popular, accepting connection requests from people you’ve never met or spoken with before puts you at risk. Also, you’ll notice much less SPAM in your social inboxes if you’re choosy about adding people.

Don’t forget that some topics are better kept offline for discussion.

If you don’t want other people to read it, then don’t post it. Things like relationship, health issues and other personally sensitive topics are usually better to talk about in person or over the phone to someone you know and trust. Avoid getting the peanut gallery involved in you drama.

Purge your web browser’s cookies and history regularly. It only takes a

second to do and if you let someone borrow your computer it prevents them from snooping around your stuff or buying things with your saved credit card info. If you don’t know how to do this search your browser’s help section for instructions. Feel like you’ve learned how to be a proactive digital citizen with your personal security? Great! Don’t be afraid to post your Freshman memories online – just be smart and keep it clean.

[ Online Privacy ] | Freshman Year Guide


[ Social Life ]

Want a College Social Life?

By | Allison Sylte | Colorado State University


he day I moved into my residence hall, literally the first thing my roommate said to me was, “Dude… I haven’t smoked in like three days and it’s a serious buzz kill. Do you Allison Sylte know where I can score some weed down here?” I had absolutely no clue. I told her to go ask our RA. I still have no idea why I said that.

I had absolutely no clue people still smoked marijuana. I thought that went out of style in the ’70s or something.

The thing is, I was a total nerd in high school. The most rebellious thing I did was call myself out of health class so I could do homework for AP Stats. My friends and I spent our Friday nights doing wholesome activities, like playing Apples to Apples or studying while drinking a nice cup of hot chocolate.

I told myself that I would “get cool,” when I came to college…you know, like Olivia Newton-John at the end of Grease. But when I moved into my residence hall, I realized that it just wasn’t going to happen.


Freshman Year Guide |

“What I learned freshman year is simple: don’t judge.”

For one thing, I had a propensity for actually attending class, which

meant that at midnight, rather than “pre-gaming,” I went to bed. I was too socially awkward to attend parties, and the one time I did go out dancing, I was groped – not something I wanted to go back to. One of the first times I attempted to get drunk was on Halloween during my freshman year. After drinking too much Orange Burnett’s and fruit punch during a “Saturday Night Live” drinking game (what can I say, I was an amateur), I ended up letting the RA into our room and getting everyone written up – all while wearing a 1980s spandex workout costume, circa Olivia Newton-John when she got physical.

Not my finest moment.

What confounded me more than anything was how it seemed like every

[ Social Life ]

Stop Being So Judgmental

other freshman had joined some sort of pack, walking up and down the sidewalks between the dorms with a new kind of swagger, smoking cigarettes and talking about how college was so much better than high school. Well yeah, because they were the cool kids. For the nerds like me, though, I thought nothing really changed. I filled my time studying, going to the gym and Facebook-ing my high school friends about how nearly all of the people at Colorado State were alcoholics and juvenile delinquents. For a while, I desperately wanted to transfer to the University of Colorado-Boulder (our bitter in-state rival). While I’m glad that I didn’t get whipped into that frenzy of partying and debauchery, I do realize that

during my first year of college, I didn’t really experience everything college has to offer. College is about meeting new people and having brand-new experiences. It’s the time to grow up before you enter the real world, where not everyone fits into black and white categories like “band geek” or “stoner.” I’m not the best person to give advice, but what I learned that year is simple: don’t judge. Sure, my roommate began our relationship by asking me for weed, but it turns out she wasn’t a bad person. I had to take myself out of the box I put myself in, where I only respected people who I thought were just like me. After I started making an effort to get to know people from different walks of life, I actually met some pretty cool people.

This summer, a lot of my old high school buddies have told me that I’ve become a radically different person since my glory days as a high school band geek. While they think it’s a bad thing, I definitely do not. At some point, you’ve got to grow up and become a member of society, not a member of some sort of niche or subcategory. Because for me anyway, that’s when college became the best experience of my life — even better than the Celine Dion concert I went to my senior year. Allison Sylte is a junior journalism major at Colorado State University. Sylte, an avid skier, runner and hiker, has also worked as an editorial intern at Skiing Business magazine. She can be followed on Twitter at @AllisonSylte. | Freshman Year Guide

[29]'s Surviving Freshman Year Guide's Surviving Freshman Year Guide  

In StudentAdvisor's Freshman Year: Survive & Thrive guide you'll get insider tips from real students and college experts on how to set yours...