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You’re officially a Jasper! Welcome to the sixth borough, where school spirit runs high. I’m sure there are a whole bunch of thoughts and questions filling your head as you prepare for your first year of college, especially with the state of the world right now. However, I am hoping to ease the tension of adjusting to a new school with 10 things I believe every freshman should know. This list consists of things I wish I knew my freshman year, as well as things that I would not have survived my first year without!       

1. Student discounts: 

Who doesn’t love a good discount? There are so many stores and subscriptions that offer discounts to college students. Some of the more popular offers I take advantage of are Amazon Student and Apple Music. A great website and app I use to find student discounts is UNiDAYS. All you need is your Manhattan email or ID number to verify and bam, instant savings! 

2. Invest in a good planner: 

Organization is the key to success in college, and a great way to keep organized is by having a planner. There are so many deadlines, meetings, and test dates you need to keep track of for each course you take. Having a planner to keep all these dates written down makes college life a little less stressful. Personally, I prefer hourly planners to keep me on track to complete everything I need to accomplish each day, but daily and monthly ones work just as well! 

3. Do not rely on the campus bookstore to purchase books: 

While it may be a convenient place to purchase your textbooks and other supplies, the campus bookstore is way overpriced. Make sure to always compare prices on other websites such as Amazon and Chegg before purchasing or renting a textbook for the semester. 

4. Invest in a pair of “going out” shoes: 

You won’t regret investing in a pair of cheap shoes to go out in. They definitely won’t be needed this semester with social distancing requirements, however, they will save you in the future. My freshman year I wore my white converse out to a party and quickly regretted it. Make sure to get a cheap pair of sneakers or booties that you won’t mind getting dirty! 

5. Get to know your professors and advisors: 

Your professors and advisors are the most important people in your college career. Your professors determine your grades and can address any concerns or questions about the course. Don’t let those crazy horror professor stories scare you, MC has some of the most caring and amazing professors! Your advisors, most of whom are professors as well, help guide you to success with everything from registration to graduation. Make sure to create a personal relationship with them and to go to them for help, it’s what they are there for! 

6. Download the myMTA app: 

This app saved me from getting lost in the city more times than I can count. I never took the subway before coming to MC, so the myMTA app was a lifesaver. It tells you everything from train and bus arrivals to important information such as line closures, and it even has a map! I never plan a trip into the city without using it and highly suggest you download it before arriving on campus! 

7. Use your Jasper Dollars at off-campus restaurants/delis: 

If you have a meal plan on campus, there are three different types of money you have to spend. These are meal swipes, dining dollars, and Jasper dollars. One thing you should know is that several restaurants and delis around campus accept Jasper dollars as a form of payment! This is a great way to not only explore Riverdale more, but to get a break from Locke’s for a few meals. Some of my favorite spots to spend Jasper dollars are Gourmet Deli and Buffalo Wild Wings. 

8. Make friends with upperclassmen: 

When you were a freshman in high school, you probably were a little scared of the upperclassmen. Their high status, knowledge, and large group of friends may have shied you away from them. In college, it is nothing like that. The upperclassmen want to see you succeed! They have amazing advice to share with you and may even pass down a textbook or notes for a course you will have to take. One of my good friends is a rising senior and has been a big part of my success in college so far. Don’t be scared to get to know upperclassmen and even create a friendship with them!

9. The dorms are not a free-for-all: 

No strict parents, full independence, and a room shared with someone else your age. It may seem amazing and the perfect mix for a party, but living in a dorm is not as laid back and free as you may think it is. One thing I didn’t know before arriving at college is that each floor in every residence hall has at least one resident assistant, or RA, monitoring every resident’s actions. This includes busting your dorm party the first weekend. Hopefully, with the pandemic still very present, this will not be seen, but do know that there are always eyes and ears open, even in college.

10. Taking care of your body and mind is a top priority: 

With college comes a lot of stress and responsibility, so make sure to take care of yourself. Watch what you’re eating, drink plenty of water, and try to maintain a solid sleep schedule. Making sure your body is happy and healthy for each day is an important responsibility. College can also be very stressful and take a toll on your mental health. Take time each day to make sure you, and your friends, are relaxing and enjoying time away from the stress and chaos of college life. Your health is your number one priority, and now as a college student, it is in your hands.

Your college years are some of the best years of your life. Even though this is not how any of us thought college life would be like this year, do your best to make the most out of it. I hope this was helpful to all the new Jaspers and I wish you the best for your first semester! 

 

Casey Schellberg

Manhattan '23

Casey is a junior at Manhattan College majoring in Childhood Education with a concentration in math and psychology. In her spare time she enjoys hanging out with friends, shopping, and exploring NYC. Casey is also a part of Manhattan’s cheerleading team and serves as an RA on campus. She is loving her new home as a Jasper at MC and cannot wait to see what the upcoming years bring!
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