Being A College Freshman: A Short Manual of Do’s and Don’ts

[ 80 ] August 30, 2010 |

It’s about that time of year. The weather isn’t getting hotter. Everyone has had a full 3 months of frolicking, ratchetness and nekkidness. September is almost here, which means one thing: SCHOOL’S BACK IN! Now, for those who just graduated from high school, it means you’re probably about to be a college freshman! Doesn’t matter if you’re at University of Phoenix, Everest College or UTI.

Sidenote: Yes, there’s a place of higher learning called UTI: Universal Technical Institute. I don’t know about y’all but I’d rather not go to college at a place with the same acronym as a Love Pocket Problem. “What school do you go to?” “UTI!” “I didn’t mean what problem you last saw your gyno for. I MEAN… O___O.” See? AWKWARD! But higher learning is higher learning. UTI’s better than JAIL. Yes. John Andrews Industrial Local Inc. Yes I made that up. I don’t know where I was going with this. Moving on…

So I decided to write a mini guide for our newest class of college freshmen. To the Class of 2014 (which includes my cousin who just started at Ball State University. Shoutout to you, Wonu), you’re welcome! :-D

College

Do’s and Don’ts of Being a Successful College Freshie

* Do believe that the freshman 15 is real. Actually, I’ve seen more Freshman 20 and 30 than anything else. People have been known to start school in August, a size 6. By May, they’re teetering on size 14, talmbout “I think my clothes shrunk.” Ain’t no jeans shrink THAT much. Even B.U.M. Equipment won’t lose all stretch like that. Your clothes didn’t shrink. Your appetite should have though. That pizza in the lunchroom was made with grease and cheese. In that order. One slice, and walk away.

* Don’t become a slore (slut + whore). Like seriously. Don’t sleep with any and everything that walks just because you’re out your parents’ guidance. And you’re around 39,000 like-minded people. Only 10% of who are hot. But because of close proximity, everyone looks cute. Just don’t do it. Apart from the obvious that you’re supposed to treat your body like a temple, not the Undergrad library or the club. AND the ridiculous EsTeeDee rates on campuses (it’s a bubble where everyone shares everything, including cooties).

You don’t want to be a slore because college can be HUGE but gossip makes it small. Everyone will find out about your business. You take ONE too many walks of shame and your sluttacious reputation will follow you for all four years. Even if you become a nun sophomore year. Everyone will still know you as “Nancy the Campus Tip Drill.” This is NOT a good way to start off your post-high school career.

Oh and that really cute frat boy upperclassman who told you that you were the cutest freshman? Odds are he’s told that to at least 50 others. Don’t do it. It’s not worth it.

* Do go to class. Well, at least on test days and days they take attendance. Like for realsies. TAKE YOURSELF TO CLASS! Well, huge lectures can be skipped but discussions where they take attendance are pretty important? Yeah, I’ma need you to go to those. We need you to make it to SOPHOMORE year. You skip all your classes and the school will kick you out because as #28478, they don’t need YOUR $40,000 that bad. Besides, if you want to sleep in all year, save yourself $40K, stay home and be a hobo. I’m not saying don’t skip classes, because it WILL happen. You just have to know which ones to skip.

I was the one in the 2nd row, asleep. I really did try to stay awake but lawd knows that sleep caught me after the second PowerPoint slide, usually. This is from PHDComics.com.

* Don’t spend your entire refund check at the mall. Everyone knows the refund check is like Christmas in September. It’s what happens when your financial aid award, grants, loans and scholarships adds up to more than your tuition. The school will send you a refund check of the difference. I’ve known people to get $3,000 refund checks. A SEMESTER! Add it up and you’re looking at $6,000 cold hard cash given to an 18-year old within 7 months of each other. This usually means DISASTER.

Refund check time is when you see folks on campus STUNTING their new riches, which they blew at the mall. Everyone has on the latest digs. Coogi, IceBerg, Gordon Gartrell. The likes! O___O Folks are excited because they gon slay everyone at homecoming. By end of October, they’re back to eating ramen noodles and drinking tap water. DO NOT SPEND YOUR WHOLE REFUND CHECK AT THE MALL! Save some. For all that is good and holy SAVE YOUR MONEY! Or be  extra responsible and spend the refund check money on paying back your loans early.

* Don’t buy your textbooks at the campus bookstore. Rent from the library and keep checking it out. Or get it from half.com or bigwords.com. My first semester, I spent $600 on books because I got them from the campus bookstore. When book buyback came around, I only made $67. I was PISSED! I must have kicked every trashcan in my dorm and every one I passed on campus that day! Save yourself some money. Or if you want to be SUPER cheap, share a textbook with a friend.

You’re welcome!

* Don’t go to class rocking your Sunday best. Or Friday worst. This SCREAMS freshie because everyone else will be comfortable while you’re on the Quad in 6 inch heels and a body con dress. At noon. On a Wednesday. Well… unless you go to an HBCU. Then you can be G’ed up at all times. Or so I heard. You may actually wanna rack up on PJs and sweats. You’ll find yourself rocking them to class more often than you thought.

* Don’t sign up for that credit card for a free shirt that says “College” or some free pizza. Your credit score will thank you later. How many people are STILL paying for that foolish credit card they got and spent recklessly? At 3o. Your unpaid bills will follow you AFTER the four years. You can go buy that ugly tshirt for $15 on sale. SAVE YOURSELF and your credit score.

* Don’t get pregnant. College is a lot less fun with babies involved. They don’t let them into bars. And they will totally interrupt you as you study for finals.

Me at the BEST. BARCRAWL. EVER.

* Don’t become an alcoholic. Alcohol will be everywhere. But do realize that you CAN have sober fun. Besides, you’re 18. You’re not supposed to be drinking anyway! But if you decide to, which I’m not condoning because I will not be an accessory to any crime. Luvvie ain’t tell you to drink so NO MA’AMs and SIRS. I’m just saying.  In fact, just put it in your head that my next couple of lines are for SENIORS. Kapish? Kapish!

Learn to control your liquor and keep drunkenness indoors. Falling off the curb in the campus downtown will only get your bruises on your knees and bruised egos as people laugh at you. Oh and using alcohol as excuse for any sluttacious behavior (see above) will NOT keep you from being known as the campus slore. Govern yourself accordingly.

Sidenote: Shoutout to me for being one of the planners of the biggest Black barcrawl my campus had seen to date (at that point). It was the senior barcrawl, and it was so big that our college town was OUT of black tshirts since I ordered so many at once. Imagine 250 black people going from bar to bar in Campustown. WHILE rocking shirts that said “We’re sotally tober” on the back in glow in the dark letters. It. WAS. AWESOME!

Finally…

* Do have a blast! College was AWESOME for me. Work hard so you can play harder. Failing is what happens when you play hard and work a little. Keep the balance and you will be fine. Realize that these next four years will be your most taken-care of. Revel in it. Enjoy it. When it’s over, you’re gonna be saying “Dang. I miss college” a lot. Don’t shame your parents or yourself. Get in and get out in 4 years. Engineers, 5. Everyone else? FOUR! That is all.

This was only a short manual but what did I miss? Any other tips our college freshies NEED to know?

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Comments (80)

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  1. heaven says:

    Don’t go jogging by yourself at night with short shorts on and then complain as to why you got attacked…

    Don’t move off campus until after your freshman year

    Don’t try to join a greek organization until AFTER your freshman year… they prolly wouldn’t except you anyway. Unless its a predominately white organization of course…. they will be happy to take your money….

    • Luvvie says:

      YES to all three. College campuses’ rape cases are off the charts. Dont walk alone in the dark! And bout Greekdom. NO. Folks can wait til Sophomore year for that.

      • guccigrl says:

        How about telling guys DON’T RAPE ANYONE!!! I mean, I know the law is pretty much on your side, and you can probably get away with it, but seriously, be a respectable man and get your lovin’ only when she says YES, and silence is not yes. Neither is passed out drunk. Come on people, let’s stop victim blaming and realize where the real problem is at, with guys who rape.

  2. heaven says:

    BTW… this is an awesome list.. i will be sure to forward to my lil brother who is a freshman… and sister who is a sophomore…. and even my OTHER brother who is a junior…. he is STILL making dumb ass mistakes…. and the Barcrawl is something I have never heard of… sounds fun… I don’t think the folks at University of Florida woulda been able to handle that many black folks in the street at one time…. they DEF woulda set the dawgs on us and pulled out the fire hoses…

    • So Flyy says:

      I am also forwarding this to my college freshie brother. *tear*

      Side note: We had a bar crawl in school too. It wasn’t just the blacks though (yes, I said blacks) it was the entire senior class. The bars downtown lowered their standard prices to like $1 a drink. EPIC WASTED-NESS.

    • Luvvie says:

      You’ve never heard of a barcrawl? I thought they were some type of college rite of passage. Barcrawls are AWESOME! You go from bar to bar in like 5 hrs. It’s like a field trip for adults.

  3. Elle says:

    At U of I, make sure to get INVOLVED in clubs and activities. You can’t complain about not knowing anyone if you don’t reach out.

    Also, check your e-mail OFTEN. I don’t know how many assignments I nearly missed my freshman year because I failed to check my e-mail at last three times a day.

  4. g2girlie says:

    *Do get to know your classmates and upper classmen that have taken the same courses you are about to take. You can save yourself a lot of headache by finding which instructor to take and their teaching/testing style.
    *Don’t treat college like high school. Just b/c you made straight A’s in high school w/o trying doesn’t mean you will do the same thing in college. A lot of these professors can care less about you especially if they have tenure!

    • Luvvie says:

      Ah yes. Knowing someone who took a class before you did will give u a leg up. You can know what format the quizzes are in. How the prof grades… All’at. And college is DEF not h.s. Professors will not treat you like a child. Every (wo)man for herself.

  5. Capricorn says:

    Set a schedule for yourself and stick to it.

    Take good care of yourself, not everyone is as hygenic as you would like to think.

    Drink lots of water.

    Try something different.

    Don’t sleep with any upperclassmen.

    Keep in touch with your friends back home, but make new ones at school.

  6. theINTELLECT says:

    I agree with this post except for the pjs and sweats to class. While I will give a pass to anyone in sweats cuz we all have those days, I think wearing pjs to class is totally unprofessional and tacky. I always treated the classroom as a potential interview, especially in a major class or in a favorite professor’s class. I say this because when it comes time to ask for letters of recommendation, looking the part while playing the part goes a long way in the impressions of faculty and staff. Imagine walking into your department heads office with spongebob pjs on asking for letter of recommendation or a write in to a really needed class. Trust me I have seen people get the side eye then get denied

    • Luvvie says:

      “I think wearing pjs to class is totally unprofessional and tacky.”

      Who said an 8am class was supposed to be about professionalism? Chile PLEASE! If it’s a lecture hall, I’m in sweats or PJs. Discussion could be different but in a class of 600 ppl, I doubt your flannel pants will cause the Professor to pause. Of course you may not want to go ask for letters of rec in Mickey Mouse pants but on a regular old Tuesday? ROCK THEM PJs!

      • krocka says:

        i think this might be one difference between hbcus and majority institutions. we don’t have classes of 600 and pjs would stick out like a sore thumb…even just walking across the yard. at big schools, you can get away with alot more..

        great list!

        • So Flyy says:

          Disagree here… there were like 1400 peopole at my PWI private instituation & we rocked pjs all day e’ryday. Shoooood I’m surprised the professor didn’t give up the tie/slacks for flannels. They understand it’s college culture. It’s 8 am, I got home at 3 and I did hmwk til 6… pjs win.

        • So Flyy says:

          I should add that we are not talking about like nightgowns… lol. We are talking about pj pants that mirror flannels or sweats. I don’t see the big difference.

        • Luvvie says:

          Yeah… part of the reason I had no desire to go to an HBCU. I wanted to wear PJs on the quad. lol

  7. streetztalk says:

    I would say this list is super on point

    DO – get involved on campus. It was more enjoyable to be a part of something (BSU, Student Govt, etc)you dont have to, but you might get more out of it.

    DO – Get to know every campus vendor (cafeteria people, book store people, etc) So you can have plenty hook-ups on deck!

    DONT – roll with “the wrong people” because it ould take years for your rep to recover.

    DO – Live on campus. Commuting is whack, no matter how close you live to school. My cousin told me to go live on campus when i was just going to stay at home. Best advice ever.

    • Angel says:

      LOL @ getting to know campus vendors! I sure did and on fried chicken night, I’d ask my man to save be a good, big piece, so by the time I made it to the front, I didn’t have to pick thru the dry pieces.

    • Luvvie says:

      YESSS!!! Hookups make everything more fun. Getting an extra scoop of ice cream. Or getting that 20% discount on a sweatshirt makes a difference. I definitely do think folks should stay on campus even if they go to school in their own city. The college experience is completely different in dorms.

  8. Kay says:

    My son will def need this list next yr…I went to Texas Southern (I love HBCUs) and I made it a point to make sure on MWF, my class schedule was from 8-12 and Tue & Thur from 8-10! I like to make it home by 12:45, to relax and start assingments that I know I’m not going to want to do at night!!! I also wore jeans, tees and Air Maxs damn near every day to class!! Wearing out my feet walking from one end of campus to the next, no ma’am and no thank you!! And no, I dont need you to tell me I’m a cutie pie, I already know that, my mamma and daddy told me that every damn day!! I aint longing for male attention!

  9. Mel~ says:

    I’d also add, have a lot of socks and draws. It was always hell trying to do laundry at my school because not every building had washing machines so you’d either have to do laundry at 4am on a Tuesday morning, or go without.

    And I wish I would have known a way to get cheaper books! I, no exaggeration, spent $1000 on books a semester. A FRIGGIN’ SEMESTER! I’m still mad about it…

    • Kay says:

      My mother hated for us to buy used books. She always said, someone stupid might have had that book before us, and highlighted the wrong shit! LOL

    • Luvvie says:

      Lawd!!! Yes. Get a bunch of underwear. Laundry was such a hassle. We usually devoted whole sundays to it. Only reason I washed was when I was out of undies. No lie.

      $1,000 in ONE semester for books??? Girl… I’da been heated like you are.

      • Capricorn says:

        I still do that. *hangs head* lol

        And I was like that, hated to buy books with marks all in them. It threw me off when I was trying to study/read.

  10. *WARNING – EXTREMELY BITTER POST AHEAD*

    While I feel you on buying books online, my school found a loophole. They shrinkwrapped the workbook to the textbook. you could not buy the workbook separately, and it was made by the school. So you HAD to buy from the bookstore. What really pissed me off was that I was going to take Shakespeare for my English credit since I could just stock up on used books at the used book store right? WRONG. There was a workbook for that class, too! *scowls angrily* *burns alumni donation request card*

  11. TB_BT says:

    Do go to office hours at least once for every prof. I don’t care if you understand everything they say or you think you are smarter…GO! it could mean the difference between an A- or B+.

    Do make friends with a jock…preferably a football or basketball player. Why? Because 9 times out of 10, they have a tutor. So when you can’t figure out the homework for Finite math, trust and believe the jock’s tutor helped them and in turn can help you (that is if they paid attention).

  12. BlackBerry Molasses says:

    Lawd, I miss college!!! For REALS.

    And that stupid credit card thing… Discover followed my ass for 7 yrs after. I don’t think credit card companies should be allowed on campus.

    18 with no income, but YES you can have a Citicard. F*CK NO.

    DO- Meet new people who are outside your comfort zone. They may become the best friends you ever had… and MOH/BM at your wedding. And even if you don’t remain tight, you will probably have learned a valuable lesson or two from them

    DO- Be open to new things. Go places you never thought you would. Do things you never thought you could. College is where you are supposed to GROW as a person.

    DON’T- Take yourself too seriously/think you are grown. Someone else is feeding you and supporting your lifestyle. Don’t come home actin’ stank like you know everything because you are in college. Just don’t.

    DO- Get a job/internship/externship. Your resume will thank you.

    DO- Study abroad for a semester or a summer if you can. Its SOOOOOOOO worth it.

    If you must behave like a Slutty Suzie/Jiggalo Jimmy, DON’T forget to hit up your RA for free prophylactics. I had a candy jar in my room that folks could just come in and grab some. No questions. No judgments.

  13. Lorena says:

    When buying books, always check online for a cheaper one…check for the International Version. This semester I saved over $300 because I found international versions of my textbooks that cost well over $120 EACH in the bookstore, I found them for $25 and $55 each online. Same text and everything.

  14. Sheena says:

    Do not stay up hanging with your friends all night, chances are they don’t have classes early in the morning & you’ll be the one struggling to wake up

  15. BrittBritt says:

    Befriend the red-shirted athletes. ain’t nobody checkin for them on the court/field. they got some tickets to give away!

    DON’T SMASH HOMIES!!

    Love Wal-Mart & Dollar General

    Go to work-study! Sophomore year it’s damn near impossible to get another one if the last one didn’t work.

    There are parties everyday! Yes, even Monday nights. Choose carefully. Don’t hang out til 4a and you have 8am US History.

  16. divakattgurl says:

    LMAO you so damn crazy! Look at you bar crawlin’ and shit! I’m over here cupcake crawlin’ and you was doing it big back in the day!!! Glad we like crawlin’ and shit!

    Great post!

  17. DO- Have SAFE sex. Do all that hoe shit now so when your married, it doesn’t count.

    DONT- Just do hoe shit.

  18. TB_BT says:

    Never ever ever drink grain alcohol or Boones Farm. Just trust me…

  19. Capricorn says:

    If you go to a party with your friends, ALL YA’LL LEAVE TOGETHER!!!

    Don’t leave your drink unattended at a bar. EVER. Dont ask me how I know this.

    Have fun.

    Call your parents at least weekly. Yes, CALL.

    Learn who the dean of your college is. This helped me when I got sick my first semester and got horrible grades (got sick right before midterms). Because I knew him, he signed off on a medical withdrawal.

  20. Cheekie says:

    PLEASE try to avoid registering for that 8am class at all costs. I know some folks can’t avoid it if it’s the only class available and it’s within their major and/or they need it and it’s their last semester senior year and/or other misc reasons, but I signed up for an intro English class freshie year, first semester. NEVER EFFING AGAIN. I made that mistake ONCE, and never did it again. Of course I was lucky to avoid it, but dayum it was hard getting up for that joint. I learnt the hard way why college folks rocked pajamas to class.

    • Luvvie says:

      “PLEASE try to avoid registering for that 8am class at all costs.”

      I DID! The ONE time I had to, I got an 8:30am class. But that was one time. Otherwise, 9am was my cut off. No earlier.

  21. Nickie Dee says:

    Awwww this post makes me miss the good ole’ college days so much.

  22. bajanxclover says:

    I am literally gonna copy and paste all of your rules and and blow them up on a really big board and put them all around campus. I think every school should have this. This should be in the freshman manual lol. I go to Tennessee State and my gawdd do we need one of these all over campus.

  23. Jazzie says:

    Don’t be afraid to go to community college and then transfer to a four year university or vice versa. I started off at Kentucky State University in August 2007. December 2007 I was back home because it was too far away (and too many people that looked like me lol). January 2008 I was around the corner from my house at Butler University (where I stayed in the best dorm EVER! Double room suite all to myself!) By august 2008 I was at the local community college where I found a major that I abosolutely LOVE and now I’m a year and a half away from my undergrad degree. Yeah I’m a year behind graduating with my HS class and I’m (unfortunately) in a ton of educational debt, but I’m (almost) finished and that’s all that matters. Find what works for YOU.

  24. Ashley says:

    I’m SO late but it’s 2am and I’m up cleaning out my “bookmark” section of my comp.

    LOVE this list-uhm, where were you when I was a freshman?

    I did however, sign up for that credit card to get the tee (mine said “sexsi”, written the way “pepsi” is, ended up having to cut it b/c it was two sizes too big). I wrote down my middle name which is not pronounced how it’s spelled. So when they called my dorm (yeah, I gave up the dorm room number) my roommate answered and though she knows my middle name the caller pronounced it wrong so she said ‘wrong number”.

    My addition(s)
    - if you AREN’T a morning person, do NOT schedule classes before say, noon. Also, if you can help it DON’T have big gaps between classes b/c you will get lazy during that “break” and your late class will suffer
    -your professor doesn’t care that you have 3 other classes that you need to study for. to them THEIR class should be your priority. Learn how to properly manage your time.
    - USE the hell out of the people at school that are there to help you, hell they get paid to do it, make them do their job. (advisers, tutors, fin. aid ppl, etc)
    -do NOT assume that just b/c your homies hang out with you til 3am that they’re making the same grades as you are. They could be failing while you’re passing or vice versa.
    - Introduce yourself (outside of the classroom) to your professors (ESP. if it’s a class for your major).
    - do NOT wait until the last minute to ask for help. The minute you realize that you need help you need to ask for it.

    I have more but they’re not coming to mind.

    I’m always telling cousins things I WISH somebody had’ve told me when I was entering college.

  25. Cherie says:

    DON’T pick some BS major just because it’s easy. You might as well not have spent all that money on college if your degree doesn’t get you a better job afterward. I’m sure some people get good jobs with an English degree, but most don’t.

  26. Paul Henley says:

    Nice post. I liked to it on paulhenley.wordpress.com. Thank you for doing this!

  27. Ambar says:

    Besides the website you mentioned check to see if your local bookstore is renting. A lot of them are leaning towards that now. Try out Amazon.com for books you don’t need right away and can afford to wait a couple of weeks and also try out chegg.com and bookrenter.com. That was a great manual and as a junior in college sometimes nobody tells you whats up. A lot of people (including myself) had to learn the hard way. Thanks Luvvie for keeping the youngins entertained and informed.

  28. abbiesjones says:

    i think many many advices.. and so it should be an eye opener for the freshers

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