Five Things You Learn Your First Semester at Ole Miss

By Marley Cruise

I know that I was certainly more terrified than I should have been when starting at Ole Miss. I was coming out of a relatively small high school with two other people in my graduating class. One is my roommate and one is a guy I was hardly friends with in high school. I'll be honest, the first few months of college are a whirlwind of meeting people, doing homework, feeling homesick, studying, joining clubs, and studying some more. It's exhausting, hard, and you're going to get sick more than you have in your entire life. I think the most important things you learn in your first semester don’t have anything to do with what you are studying at all.

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  1. You don't have to drink to have a good time. The long-standing stereotype of girls at Ole Miss is the tall, blond sorority girl stumbling around the Grove in heels. While I think those girls kill it and are entirely justified in their decisions to party as hard as they please (so long as it is safe; please take care of yourself!),  I don't particularly care for large crowds and am far too paranoid to try my hand at underage drinking in public. Yet, somehow I have found myself at every home game this year having a blast and returning to my dorm at the end of the night satisfied with my day and completely sober. Not saying you shouldn't, just that you don't have to.

  2. Homework and studying are important (like the most important). I was told early on that, in order to get an A, you need to spend three hours studying a week for each hour credit you receive in class. This is a hard demand to follow and honestly, I don't, but I say this to illustrate just how important studying and keeping up with homework is. You don’t have to study twenty hours a week. What is important is finding a method that works for you. Make a schedule and keep up with it. I promise it will help.

  3. It’s always good to have a laundry basket with wheels. Haul your laundry, groceries, cases of water, and whatever else you can think of that is too heavy or you just don't feel like holding. I cannot stress this enough. Trust me. You don’t want to carry a case of water from the parking lot to the elevator.

  4. Your professors are not out to get you. I was told often (as in at least once a week) that college professors don't care about anything you do and won’t try and help you and, worst case scenario, will do everything in their power to keep you from passing. That's not true, at least not in my case. Your professors aren't going to go out of their way to ruin your life. If you are failing your class you may need to rethink your study schedule or go to class more often. They are not, however, going to give you special privileges just because they like you, but they are not out to get you and they don’t want you to fail.

  5. Sometimes life gets hard. Whether you're dealing with homesickness, actual sickness, bad weeks, fights with your roommate, fights with your family, or the death of someone you know, life will get hard and sometimes you’re going to want to quit. Take a deep breath, talk it out, ask for help, and try your best. That's all you need sometimes. Don’t try to do everything by yourself. It is okay to cry and ask for help. Don’t give up. Keep fighting.