How to Avoid the Short-End of the Stick as a Freshman

It's been a week or two since you moved onto campus and you slowly find yourself fitting in with your peers. However, that doesn't mean you aren't struggling with avoiding the short-end of the stick when it comes to finding a table at Baker or long lines at the bookstore. With all of these upperclassmen surrounding you and playing their seniority cards, there are times where you will feel cheated. Well, here are some tips on how to avoid that feeling!

1.  Avoid rush-hour times at the dining hall

Most of us have a break between classes after 12 o'clock. You may have noticed that around that time, the line for Baker extends past Lesher and up the walkway to the quad. Worst part of it all, by the time Laura from Sodexo swipes you in, you and your friends have no place to sit because all of the seats have been claimed with cell phones, wallets, and lanyards. The best advice is to avoid going directly at 12 PM, if your schedule allows. Give it half an hour, or even an hour. Snack on something in the meantime. There's no reason for you to wait on such a long line and find yourself scavenging for a seat. By 12:30 - 12:40PM, a lot of people start to leave for their classes and Baker slowly starts to empty out. Take advantage of that! 



And if you honestly can't wait, grab Muddy and go sit somewhere on the grass if the weather is nice! Bring your lunch to one of the lounges in VLB, Good, or Founders. Take advantage of all of the nice views and places Juniata has to offfer.

2. Speak up for yourself without being snobby


Sometimes it's hard to say something to someone, especially if they are older or bigger in size than you. However, that doesn't make it okay for them to take advantage of you! If someone cuts you in line at Baker or at the bookstore, say something! Chances are, they'll apologize and go to the end of the line. Just because you may be younger or a freshman doesn't mean you deserve to be walked upon. You do, on the other hand, want to avoid being seen as THAT person that has a lot to say and says things in a wrong or offensive manner. Watch your language and tone and you'll be just fine.

3. Stay together with your friends


Staying in groups with your friends multiples your number and gives you a better chance at finding a place for yourselves. Whether it's at a party, detering unwanted attention, or at the dining hall, having a group of people with you can make you feel more comfortable, in-place, and powerful. 

4. Think Positively


No one enjoys the company of a Negative Nancy. While it's okay to complain here and there, listening to someone whine continously throughout the day will get tiring and annoying. If you have a probelm with something or someone, just talk it out. Whining and complaining just drives the situation down the gutter. It's not high school anymore. College is a place for you to start with a clean new slate. Leave the drama elsewhere. Smile, relax, and tackle any problems you have with patience. Nothing gets resolved immediately.