It has been a little over one month since I started my freshmen year at Notre Dame. It is overwhelming to see how so much has changed in such a short amount of time. I went to my first Notre Dame football game, sampled both dining halls to see which one is better (no comment…yet), survived my first GenChem test and somehow finished the Integration #1 assignment for Moreau (upperclassmen, be thankful you didn’t have to do this).
I know that I am definitely not alone in experiencing the ups and downs of college life. Below are some of the little things that I believe most freshmen have learned this far into our Notre Dame journey.
1. Yik Yak is a blessing.
Just in case you haven’t downloaded the app, consider this a strong recommendation to do so. Having a bad day? Need to rant? Have a terrible pun that you just need to share? No worries, this is exactly what Yik Yak is for. All posts are anonymous but surprisingly this privilege is not usually abused. Yik Yak is guaranteed to make you laugh one upvote at a time.Still not convinced? Just look at some of the gems that can be found on this app.
The post that sums up ND life so far: “Work hard, play hard, yik yak always.”
The relatable post: “I’ll start homework by 2.” *2:02* “Oh well now I’ll have to start by 3.”
2. Wear the right shoes to a football game.
Imagine your newbie mistake. After being warned during Welcome Weekend to not wear leggings to a football game because the benches can give you splinters, you decide to wear jeans. And in that respect, you’re fine. What you didn’t realize, however, was that students were expected to stand the whole game except for halftime. So you show up in tennis shoes that had almost no arch support. Ouch. Oh well, at least you were distracted by how badly Texas was losing. Go irish!
3. How to get ready in the dark.
Having an 8:20 class or a morning shift at work means that you’ll have to get up earlier than your roommate on a regular basis. And because you want to stay on good terms with your roommate, you will try to be as quiet as possible while getting ready. It’s actually harder than it seems. Every time you turn it seems like you run into something else. Hopefully this is one of those skills that improves with practice. If not, I’m sorry roomie.
4. Time management is key.
If you want to get that mountain of homework done on time, you’ll have to set a study schedule. This usually entails creating a detailed to-do list on your phone: “From 11-1 I’ll take notes for X class, then I’ll take a quick break for lunch…” However it is that you go about organizing yourself (read: keeping yourself sane) it is important to realize how disciplined you need to be to get everything done. It’s tough, but nothing is more rewarding than seeing a list full of checks at the end of the day.
Of course, there are many more academically important things to learn at Notre Dame, but I’m fairly certain that most freshmen have picked up on the above Notre Dame hacks and skills. While it’s important to focus on the education we’re all getting here, it is nice to sit back and reflect on all of the little college-life things you learn on a daily basis. There will be so much more to learn as the semester goes on, and it would be great to see how much we’ve grown and changed in a matter of months.