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The Rocky Mountain Collegian

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Chatting With Chapman: Dear Freshmen

Dear Freshmen,

Well, you’ve done it. You’ve survived high school, and now you’re ready to start your college experience. You’ve also made a fantastic decision in choosing CSU, so congratulations on that front.


About now, you’re probably feeling a really confusing mixture of emotions. Excitement about this new chapter in your life, anxiety about the prospect of everything that new chapter contains and sadness about leaving your home and family are some of the more common emotions. I’m not sure I’ve met anybody coming to college yet who didn’t have a mixture of those three, in differing amounts for each person.

Let me assure you that all of those feelings are incredibly normal, and the healthiest option is to let yourself feel all of them. You are most definitely not alone in any of the ways you feel, and despite the cheesiness, a lot of the things the school throws at you during your first year are designed to help you feel better. But, if you want to lock away all of your emotions and have a breakdown during Christmas break, go for it.

Although I doubt I can give any advice better than Buzzfeed and all of their gifs, there’s a couple of points that I do want to add my own thoughts to.

  1. Go to class
    It might seem obvious, but as soon as you think, “I can still pass this class without attending lecture” you’ve established some nasty habits. Tuition adds up to around $40 per class session, and class is literally the main reason you’re at school. I really don’t think you’ll regret actually trying to learn while you’re in college.
  2. Realize that people really are trying to help
    Listen, I know that you want to be independent. And you want to hate the system. And that RAs seems like insufferable jerks who just want to get you in trouble and host icebreakers.

    But, take this from a former RA: almost every single person who works for the school is just trying to do their best and is literally just another college student trying to make ends meet, just like you are. Cut them some slack, and try not to vent your frustration by being as insufferable as you think they are. It’s an endless cycle.

  3. Relationships in college are a whole new animal
    Maybe you’re coming to CSU with your high school sweetheart. Maybe you’re a hopeless romantic just hoping that cutie from class will talk to you. Maybe you plan on consentually claiming some new booty at every party you attend. No matter your mating style, you will eventually realize that you are surrounded by 30,000 other college kids who are also just looking for love and have a lot of their own drama to work out.

    Things are going to get complicated, there’s going to be lots of emotions and you’re probably going to learn a lot about yourself and others. Just, don’t let a bad breakup ruin the spring semester of your freshman year. Trust me on this one.

  4. Try new things every day
    I mean this on almost every front. There will never be another time in your life where you can be so open with yourself and have such a support network set up as to fall back when things get weird. I personally believe that if you graduate college the same person you were when you graduate high school, you’ve led a very boring experience in your time here.

    Go to new events, try new clubs, dye your hair. Just be careful with what you put into your body. Veganism is a slippery slope, kids.

  5. Realize if college isn’t right for you
    I’ve seen it happen quite a few times actually. Despite the push that society has for us to attend a university right outside of high school, it’s just not the right path for a lot of people. Whether you end up transferring schools or shifting your life path completely, you will still be loved and there will still be a part of you that is a Ram. If you transfer to CU, I might not invite you to my next birthday party, though. You understand, right?

Like I said, I think Buzzfeed can sum up a lot of the other tips. Especially for decorating your dorm room. Buy all the fairy lights, you know? I also think that you should figure out a lot of things on your own, just like the rest of us have.

College is a learning experience, and everyone gets something unique out of it.

Collegian Social Managing Editor Chapman W. Croskell can be reached at and on Twitter @Nescwick.

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