Dear Freshmen

A fresh batch of baby Mavericks have hatched on Minnesota State’s campus, and for those of you who fit the criteria, you might be feeling a surplus of different emotions. For college freshmen, that first week of independence can be exhilarating, yet intimidating at the same time. As a senior who has a few years of navigating the ins and outs of MSU under my belt, I find it to be an obligation as a writer, and an excellent advice-giver, to offer a list of tips for our new students. 

Build relationships

Each unfamiliar face you see in each dorm complex is hiding the fact that they are freaking out inside, just like you. It is so important to shake off any preconceived judgements you have toward anyone, regardless of their background, looks, majors, etc. The first group of people you befriend are likely not going to be the same group you will graduate with. I cannot stress enough how important it is to get to know everyone, even if they aren’t the typical group you would choose in high school. 

Strengthen your independence 

As much as the thrill of meeting new people might excite you, this transitional period in your life is meant to help you grow as an individual. Doing simple tasks on your own is something you may not have a lot of experience with, so take baby steps. Going places such as the library, the Centennial Student Union, the dining hall, and others by yourself will help you gain comfort in being alone. Everyone experiences some sort of loneliness their first year of college, so it is best to learn to thrive while lacking in company. 

Show up

Whether it may be a class, a concert, or a campus event, I encourage every single freshman to attend everything you can. It can be difficult without a parent tracking your attendance, but showing up is so important. Your 8 a.m. class may seem like a waste of time, but it is more than just a lecture. Making connections through class among general events is setting you up for success. This helps you become familiar with your surroundings and faces. 

Stay healthy

Your mother’s home cooked meals are no longer placed in front of you at dinnertime every day; if you  throw silly beverages into the mix and you may face the dreadful freshman fifteen. There is a free gym on campus for you to utilize, and if that isn’t your forte, there are also workout classes you can attend, a swimming pool, and a rock climbing wall. Simply walking around campus when you can is beneficial for your body. The dining hall has plenty of suitable options for you to indulge in. 

Ask questions

Do not be afraid of your peers– most of them are more than happy to help a lost freshman. CAs, professors, upperclassmen, and on-campus staff are great people to reach out to if you need help with anything. There is also an IT solutions center to take care of your technological struggles. You are always more than welcome to stop by The Reporter office to see the beautiful faces behind the words you are reading. 

Good luck to all incoming freshmen, as well as our beloved returning students at MSU. Roll Mavs.

Write to Mercedes Kauphusman at mercedes.kauphusman@mnsu.edu

Header Photo: Freshmen at MSU moved into the McCelroy, Crawford, Preska, and Julia Sears Residence Communities Thursday. (Photo by Lilly Anderson)

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