Dear Freshmen.....Sincerely a UC Alumna

Dear UC freshmen,

Over the last few years, I liked to think that I’ve gained some knowledge and wisdom from these Clifton streets. As I look back after graduation, I feel that it is my duty to pass on some very crucial lessons to my fellow bearcats about surviving the 'Nasty Nati'. 

1.       School is what you came to college for - It’s easy to get caught up in the party lifestyle, especially your first year (or two). Going out and having fun with your crew is important but at the end of the day, it’s all about your grades. You’ll have a lot more fun and feel less pressure if you keep your grades up and develop a good study schedule.

Now that the mandatory “It’s important to study point is out of the way….”

2.       Have fun with no guilt. As I said before grades are important but so is going out with your friends and having fun. It’s ok to leave the library for a night out with your crew. You won’t remember in 5 years what you got on that Calculus quiz, but you will remember a night with your girlfriends that ended with drunken pizza.

3.       Be recognizable on campus….. Don’t be the girl everyone knows because of her table dancing habits but rather because of how involved you are. Join different clubs and see what sticks. Even if it’s something completely random like German Club….. Those Germans do like to drink.

4.       NEVER EVER PASS UP A CHANCE TO DAY DRINK (Only if you're 21 of course!)….. There's no better feeling in the world than sitting on the back of a porch with the sun beating down while drinking a Summer Shandy. Nice weather is limited here in Ohio so soak it up while you can!

5.       Karaoke at least once…. and take pictures and lots of videos!

6.       Toppers is the only "bae" you need…. There is no greater shock in the world than when I meet someone who has never had Toppers. You can’t get those Toppersticks everywhere so savor them as much as you can over these next 4 years .

7.       It’s ok to be a kiss a** to professors in college. Form a relationship with your professors, go to their office hours and ask for help. Professors appreciate students who take the initiative and an interest in what they’re learning. Professors make great contacts and people to ask for a job recommendation, so ignore the student who smirks when you compliment the professor’s new Sperry’s.  

8.       Don’t dwell on relationships - This tip goes for both people who are single and those who are coupled up too. If you are single - enjoy it. One day you will be permanently wifed up and won’t be able to shamelessly flirt with every guy you meet. If you are in a bad relationship - get out of it and stop wasting your time. College is the one time in life where the phrase ‘there are plenty of fish in the sea’ is actually true, so don’t waste your time on some jerk when there are plenty of great guys or girls out there. Finally, even if you are in a good and healthy relationship, be sure to make time for your friends. You have your whole life to spend with this guy, but only a limited amount of years with your friends.

9.       Go on Spring Break at least once - Make it a point to go on a typical college spring break at least one year.  A week with your friends at the beach will be hands down one of the best trips of your life and will produce stories you and your friends will bring up forever.

10.   Stay healthy - As hard as it is in college, do the best you can to eat a healthy diet and live a balanced lifestyle. Enjoy eating out with your friends and late night takeout but be sure to work some fruit and veggies into your diet as well. When you eat better, you feel better and won’t feel guilty about splurging on late night munchies. Also take advantage of the great campus rec center we have here at UC. The freshman 15 is VERY real.

11.   Be safe- Whether it’s walking home from a night out or from the library make sure you are with at least one other person. Utilize tools such as UC Night Ride or the campus shuttle - that’s what they are there for after all. As corny as it sounds, when you go out with your friends use a buddy system where you are responsible for checking in with each other throughout the night. Check in to make sure the other hasn’t drank too much and that you each are finding a safe way home. Download the ‘Find Friends’ app and add the people you go out with the most. It duels as a safety tool and a way to make sure your friend isn’t sneaking back to that guy’s house she should be staying away from ;)

12.   Accept that you’re going to make mistakes, and learn from them. College is a time of finding out who you are and testing your limits. Everyone is going to have a few regrettable nights, but do not dwell on those instances. Learn from it and move on. In a few years it will make a good story, and college is all about having some good stories.