Seriously: 5 things to avoid as a 1st-year in college


Collegian | Alyson Serio

Cat Blouch, Collegian Columnist

Editor’s Note: This is a satire piece from The Collegian’s opinion section. Real names and the events surrounding them may be used in fictitious/semi-fictitious ways. Those who do not read the editor’s notes are subject to being offended.

Up until now, your introduction to college has likely been full of toothy smiles and icebreakers. I’m not here to ask about your major or where you’re from; I don’t care, and I can promise you most people don’t either. 


Instead, I’m here to give you some tough love — to instill in you the knowledge that every first-year college student should know.

Without further ado, here are some things you should avoid at all costs coming into college. 

1. Don’t wear your lanyard — anywhere

For some ungodly reason, a mistake I see too often is first-years wearing their lanyards around their necks. You might as well walk around with a bright, neon sign that says “I’m new here, and I’m not getting the picture.” Nothing screams first-year quite like the old-fashioned lanyard. Keep it in your pocket or your backpack. Eat your lanyard for breakfast for all I care. Just don’t wear it around your neck. 

2. Don’t fall in love with the first person you have sex with

Let’s get this out of the way. If you so choose, there are plenty of opportunities to make your wildest sexual fantasies come true in college. Everyone is horny in college, and finding someone to slap meats with is surely not the biggest challenge you will face during these prime years. However, if there’s one piece of advice I can bestow upon you bright-eyed and bushy-tailed first-years, don’t fall in love with the first person you have sex with. 

Most people look at the college dating scene as a buffet. There are plenty of options, and you’re not just going to eat a plate full of the first thing you try. You want to walk around the restaurant and shoot your shot with the metaphorical sesame chicken. Protect yourselves, and remember few things are permanent during your college years. 

3. Don’t get too messed up at your first party

I get it. You’re in a new place and finally away from your parents. You have access to new people, new social circles and inevitably new opportunities to experiment with drugs. The opportunity to drink will most certainly present itself if it hasn’t already. 

You may think you’re invincible, you may think you can drink vodka like water and you may think your high school years have prepared you and there’s no way you could be leaving the party in an ambulance, but if you don’t pace yourself, all of these nightmares could come true. 

4. Don’t be an ass-kisser

I know you’re trying to make a good first impression on your professors, but don’t act like an ass-kisser. You don’t have to laugh at every cheesy joke your professor tells, and you most certainly do not have to delude yourself into thinking your instructor is your friend. 

Don’t get me wrong: First impressions mean a lot, and introducing yourself to your professor never fails. It’s also important to remember your professor is a resource, and you shouldn’t be afraid to reach out. That doesn’t mean you can get too comfortable and start calling your professor by their first name like you’re old golf buddies. Don’t be cringe. 


5. Don’t think you won’t go through changes

Remember what I said earlier about experimenting with sex and drugs? College is a time for exploration, be it your personal, spiritual or political identity. Here you will learn things that are bigger than yourself, your perspective will widen and you might come out on the other side as a whole new person. 

You may be waltzing into your college career with the indefinite future completely planned out, but don’t be surprised if you find your passions change or your priorities shift. 

Embrace this change. Be willing to go out of your comfort zone. Join a club (or three), and find out what really interests you — now is the time to do it. 

Reach Cat Blouch at or on Twitter @BlouchCat.

Did you commit any of these freshman faux pas during your first year?


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