Get ready for the new academic year

By Davis Hill, Staff Writer

Ah, early September. Such a joyous time of year, filled with energy and promise. The perfect way to glide into a relaxing school year.

Don’t worry, though, because you still have two weeks left until -—- wait, today is the . . . no, that can’t be -—- great Scott! It’s the first day of school!

Oh, sure. At the start of summer, you had plans—tons of them. You spent the last week of June telling your friends about how you were going to learn French, or work on your portfolio, or finally get around to researching graduate school opportunities.

But you didn’t do that, did you? You ate cereal for dinner and looked at cat pictures on the internet. If you’re like me, you also spent a lot of time “applying for jobs.” This mostly involves turning on the computer and staring at the screen until your brain turns to sludge, but everyone has their own process.

One of my friends was over the other night, and—this is true—when he asked me what I had been doing over the summer, I had to physically get up and look at my calendar in order to answer him. I didn’t remember. Apparently I spent about three weeks calling the dentist.

Suffice to say, you didn’t get as much done as you wanted.

That’s OK, though—you still have the rest of the year to lie to yourself about next summer. But now that school is here, it’s time to buckle down and study hard.

Some of you freshmen may be unsure as to what you should expect from college. So, in preparation for this year, I would like to present to you: The New Students’s Guide to College, complete with helpful tips.

The New Student’s Guide to College

Helpful Tip #1: College Is Harder Than High School

This is an important message that all freshmen need to know, particularly those of you who are coming from places such as Ritzville, Wash., population: “why?” In high school, you may have been able to turn in entire papers written in internet text language, “In cnclzn, van G0h ws rly gud @ Rt,” and still get a 4.0, thereby enabling you to “skate through” most of your classes.

Now, this might have worked in high school, but I’m warning you: at Eastern, this will not work. At Eastern, we have a diverse, wide-ranging curriculum with rigorous academic standards, led by professors who are experts in their fields. At Eastern, papers like that will only get you a 3.8.

Helpful Tip #2: Time Management is Key

Now that you are in college, you will also find that your schedule will change.
Most advisers will tell you that the average freshman schedule should look something like this:

8 – 9 a.m. Breakfast, preparing for the day ahead
9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Class
1- 2 p.m. Lunch
2 – 4 p.m. Study
4 – 6 p.m. Homework
6 – 7 p.m. Work out
7 – 10 p.m. Socializing/Activities/Sports/Etc
11 p.m. Bed

However, the transition from high school can be difficult. Everyone needs to take it at their own pace. Many freshmen find that this schedule better suits their needs:

8 – 9 a.m. Continue Sleeping
9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Skip class (possibly still sleeping)
1 – 2 p.m. Lunch
2 – 4 p.m. Socialize with friends
4 – 6 p.m. Socialize with friends
6 – 7 p.m. Socialize with friends
7 – 10 p.m. Socialize with friends
11 p.m. Socialize with friends

Helpful Tip #3: Be Willing to Make Tough Choices

College life is tough, and sometimes you will need to make tough choices. Consider these example situations:

a). Your class schedule is not as exciting as you had hoped. Should you fill your “coffee” mug with white wine or red?
b). You have a big test tomorrow, but you want to go to a party. Should you go to the party instead of studying? Or should you go to a different party instead of studying? I am just kidding, of course. Everyone knows that the hip thing to do is throw your “own” party instead of studying.
c). Your financial aid rebate check just came in, and you still need to buy a $200 textbook. Should you spend the money on a new TV or on expensive sports equipment?

Helpful Tip #4: Make Time for Yourself

Amid the hustle and bustle of college life, it is easy to forget to relax and have a little fun now and then. Fortunately, Eastern boasts these fun organizations and activities to help you unwind and recharge:

Honors College – For people who think they are smarter than you but probably are not.

Intramural Sports – For people who think that studying is “for nerds.”

Fraternity/Sorority Life – For people who enjoy being in a constant state of inebriation. EWU also offers a large number of student clubs. Probably.

Helpful Tip #5: Don’t Stress Out

College can be overwhelming, so I just want to say to all you freshmen out there: no matter how hard it is, always remember that someone from your graduating class will later go on to become a millionaire, and if you work really, really, REALLY hard, it still won’t be you.

Views expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of The Easterner.