The freshmen flu is a sickness that affects several freshmen. It can manifest itself as strep throat, mono, or a number of different things. I’m just here to tell you that at some point when you are a freshmen, you will get very sick.
The cause of freshmen flu is most likely the unsanitary living conditions of many freshmen. Community bathrooms and dorm rooms are hotbeds of bacteria and germs. The showers are particularly gross. Another reason for the illness could be the fact that the freshmen don’t know how to disinfect things and keep themselves clean. Whatever it is, I believe that it is almost a guarantee that freshmen get sick.
My freshmen flu manifested itself as strep throat three times in one semester. At one point, the majority of my floor had it and it was passed around via the showers. My roommate was unaffected so he did his best to take care of me but I was mostly on my own. However, I was never sick in high school nor have I been sick since freshmen year. I think that there is a curse on freshmen that make them sick. Either way, it is best just to come to college and expect an illness.
Tips to Remember
- Wear shoes in the shower.
- Get all of your required shots.
- Clean the dorm room and disinfect it.
At Oklahoma State University, like most other colleges, there is a large Greek presence on campus. Greek organizations are the fraternities and sororities. You know, the ones with all the stereotypes. Well, it will be your decision to join one or not. I advise that if you wish to join one, wait until your sophomore year to do so.
The reason that you should join a Greek organization is because it opens several doors and gives you access to a lot of social gatherings. However, they will run your life. Fraternity and sorority members have to spend a great amount of time on sanctioned events. Plus, attendance at those events is not as discretionary as it should be.
I have first-hand experience with fraternities because I was in Theta Chi at OSU. I met some cool people but the time commitment was a huge drag on me. I couldn’t keep up with all of the events and felt like I was being told what to do and didn’t have a say in what I was allowed to do. Therefore, I believe that Greek organizations serve a purpose for those who wish to be told what to do, but it is important to realize the commitment that you are making.
Tips to Remember
- Not everyone is cut out for Greek life.
- It has benefits that can help you through your college career.
- It’s not for people who have financial worries.
As a freshmen, I drank every weekend with friends and didn’t think that it was a big deal. I still don’t think that drinking in moderation while in college is anything for zealots to complain about. However, this blog entry is pointed at the alcohol abusers who think that being drunk every night is acceptable just because you’re in college. If you’re drunk every night, you will fail out and go flip burgers for the next 50 years.
As I stated, I’ve drank quite a bit in college but I still have a 3.9 grade-point-average. The reason is that I don’t drink before classes, tests, interviews or meetings. That sounds like common knowledge to most but there are some people who think that they are better at things when they are drunk. I call those people “future drop-outs.” I believe that alcohol is quite nice but it shouldn’t be a lifestyle.
Just to prove I’m not speaking hypothetically, here is an example. I knew a guy who would drink every night and rarely went to class. He bragged about drinking 25 beers before a football game one time and was constantly inebriated. His excuse for his excessive consumption was that he was in college. However, he dropped out after one year and did not pass a single class. It was a shame because he was an intelligent person.
Tips to Remember
- Don’t drink just to get blasted drunk.
- Understand that beer and liquor contribute to the freshmen 15.
- Only drink on the weekends and with friends.
- Don’t spend all of your money on alcohol.
- Don’t drink so much that you die.
From what I’ve seen, college students are usually poor with limited cash flow. Apparently, that is the way that it is supposed to be. However, students still want cash to spend at the bar or on off-campus food so they get jobs to help support themselves. I say that jobs should be a low priority for college students.
If you work while going to college, you have less free time to do homework, socialize, go out, have fun and sleep. The aforementioned list contains everything that I ever wish to do. I wouldn’t want time away from that to get paid minimum wage at a greasy restaurant or being a clerk for campus services. I love having free time.
However, I know that not all students can afford to live without working so I suggest working a lot during the summer and saving that money. It is what I always do. If you can’t save enough, then you can get a job, but your college experience won’t be as full as those who are able to live poorly.
Tips to Remember
- Save up money before you come to college.
- Don’t spend money all of the time.
- Live below your means.
Many people come to college and live their first year in the dorms with somebody that they knew before they came to college. I advise to avoid doing that. College is about meeting new people and opening new doors for yourself. By hanging out with the same people that you knew in high school, you aren’t able to grow socially in college.
I came to OSU in Fall 2008 and only knew two people from my high school that went here. Neither of them were good friends with me so I didn’t bother to try to live with them. Instead, I chose a “pot-luck” roommate online and that choice has altered my entire social life in college.
My roommate was a guy named Patterson who is a theatre major. When we met, we immediately clicked and became very good friends. Since 2008, he has introduced me to more than half of the people that I consider friends that I’ve made at college. It was a wise decision for me to choose a random person to be my roommate. Patterson and I became such good friends that I now live off-campus in a house with him.
On the other hand, I’ve had friends that had bad experiences with pot-luck roommates. During my freshmen year, a friend of mine woke up to see his roommate masturbating in his chair. But, these bad experiences seem less frequent than good experiences so it is important to gain these new experiences.
Tips to Remember
- Live with someone you haven’t met.
- Open yourself up to new experiences and different kinds of people.
- Meet as many people as you can.
Here is another expensive thing that colleges force you to do. General education courses (Gen-eds) make up the first 1.5 to 2 years of college. The main thing (to me) that these courses teach you is that everything you learn in college is not important. From gene-eds, I remember the quadratic formula from college algebra, the three types of rocks from geology, and Thomas Jefferson was a deist. These unnecessary courses will only cost thousands of dollars though…
Besides being expensive and wasteful of time, the professors of these courses will often act like they do not care about teaching lowly freshmen. The broadness of the subjects doesn’t allow them to go as intellectually in-depth with the students and the professors do not like this. If I offer one point of advice, get used to PowerPoint slides with little elaboration or explanation. PowerPoint presentations will make up 90 percent of your freshmen year.
Without trying to come across jaded, I believe that gen-eds teach you the process to succeed in college without having to learn the material. If you know how to write an essay, you don’t need to remember anything you wrote about. If you know how to study for a test, you won’t even think to remember the material you “learned.” If you learn the process and know what professors are interested in seeing from you, college can be a breeze. Maybe, I caught on early. Maybe, I’m the only one who caught on. Who knows?
Tips to Remember
- Know how to study for a test and write an essay before you come to college.
- Understand that these classes are gateways into your major so don’t mess them up that bad.
- Go to class and you’ll pass.
When I arrived at college, I was a thin 180 pounds and didn’t have to watch what I ate because the only food at my house was healthy. After my first year of college I had ballooned up to 225 pounds. It wasn’t pretty.
The reason for this was that all of the GOOD food on campus was unhealthy. If I wanted to eat something tasty, it was either Chic-fil-a, pizza or Ramen noodles. The fruit in the campus stores was often rotten. The salads looked disgusting. The pre-packaged “healthy” sandwiches were atrocious. Plus, Oklahoma State University kept bragging about how healthy our campus was (mostly because we had just banned smoking on campus). Therefore, I was a little irritated. But, my weight gain is my own fault. OSU wasn’t force feeding me greasy chicken. It was just what I chose to eat.
Now, the on-campus food prices are a complete joke and it is REQUIRED to buy a meal plan during the freshmen year. I’ve never been around any organized crime but OSU is running a racket on poor college students.
Here are some example prices of food I remember from 2008-2009 school year.
- Small bag on Tyson Chicken – slightly less than $5
- Hot ham and cheese sandwich at Student Union Grill – around $4
- 6 pack of H2OSU bottled water – $5
- 1 Ramen Noodles – 50 cents
I came to college thinking $1,000 meal plan was more than enough for four months. I was wrong and ran out mid-November and stopped buying meal plans after that.
Tips to Remember
- Don’t eat out for all meals. Restaurant food is mostly unhealthy.
- Read the labels of the food you do eat to check for fat and sodium content.
- Don’t believe that a Freshmen 15 is a life sentence.