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Freshman Year Survival Guide

As a senior I can’t help but find myself becoming nostalgic over my time spent here at Scranton.  When I think about all of my memories, I often go back to my favorite times from freshmen year.  It was without-a- doubt one of the most exciting times of my life.  It was my first time living on my own, I knew very few people and had to figure out how to handle my newfound freedom.  There were many ups and downs throughout my first year of college, and as a senior who likes to believe she’s older and wiser now, I want to pass down the knowledge I have learned here to the rookies.

1. Do NOT wear your lanyard around your neck.

I cannot stress this one enough.  If you want a sure-fire sign of pointing out you’re the new kid, this is the perfect way to do it.  The same rule applies for your “class of” t-shirt. Leave that in your drawers for a couple of years.  


2. Go to your floor programs.

They may seem lame, and often times they are, but everyone on your floor is new just like you.  It’s a great way to meet the people and you may even find some of your best friends while you’re there.  Keep your bedroom door open too, some of those new friends you made might want to stop by and say “hi!”

 3. Don’t travel in packs of 30.

Do you ever wonder why everyone is screaming “freshmen” at you in the Hill Section every weekend?  It’s because you’re walking in a herd.  Don’t get me wrong, you should NEVER walk alone at night, but maybe cut your group down a bit and meet up later! 


4. Figure out a way to study that works for you.

During my first year, all of my friends were obsessed with reserving one of the coveted LSC study rooms whenever it was time to do their work, and I thought that was the best way possible because everyone else was doing it.  I soon realized it wasn’t the best environment for me.  Check things out, there are tons of places to get your work done like the library, dorm lounges and even outside! Grades and doing well in class are one of the main reasons you come to college, so figure out how to make it work for you so you can do your absolute best.

5. Get involved on campus.

There is so much more to college life than just going to your classes and going out with your friends on the weekends.  I was totally uninvolved my freshman year and I regret it.  I started getting more involved with clubs and organizations and it helped me so much to get to know people within my major and other people around campus. 


6. Don’t be afraid to leave campus.

You may not believe it now, but DeNaples will get really old, really quickly.  Head downtown with your friends to go out to eat and shop.  There are so many great restaurants and stores to check out for whenever you need a change of scenery.


7. The freshman 15 is real.

Everyone laughs, but trust me, the freshman 15 is real, and it hits most of us.  The ice-cream machine on 3rd floor is awesome, and dollar slices are always tempting, but maybe don’t treat yourself quite so often.   


8 Don’t throw parties in your dorm room.

Unfortunately, I had to learn this one the hard way…twice.  The RA’s will hear you, and they will write you up. 


9 Changing your major is totally normal.

When I came to Scranton freshman year my major was accounting.  I look back and think, “wow, funny joke.”  If you came here planning to be a doctor, a nurse or an accountant and it doesn’t seem to be working out, don’t stress.  You are a very different person than you were in 12th grade coming into college and what you wanted then might not be what you want now. Switching my major sophomore year changed my life and made me much happier. 


Enjoy your freshman year!  These four years fly by fast, but you’ll have the time of your life.  


Erin Troy is a junior at the University of Scranton majoring in Strategic Communication with a concentration in public relations. She is excited to start her first year writing for the Her Campus Scranton team! She hopes to one day do PR for the New York Rangers, and live in Manhattan. This Long Island native loves shopping and Taylor Swift. Follow her on Instagram @erintroyy!
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