Ah, the most wonderful time of the year is upon us again. Pencils have been sharpened, the prices of backpacks and calculators have steadily crept up, and anxiety has wrapped its clammy hands around the hearts of those who are beginning their final year before graduation. That’s right, school has started.
One of the most exciting parts of the new school year — for me at least — is the appearance of freshmen onto our beautiful campus. I know over the next four years they will make some of the best friends they could ask for, have tons of new and exciting experiences, and hopefully find that thing they are passionate about.
Sure, watching them haul in unnecessary amounts of furniture and other bulky items up flights of stairs, with grumpy fathers and crying mothers gives me a certain perverse sense of pleasure that’s hard to describe, but that is neither here nor there.
With the arrival of these young men and women on our campus, I think back to the days of old when I was entering campus for the first time. I can still feel the mixed feelings of excitement and dread as I watched my parents get back into their car and drive off into the sunset.
Since the transition from high school to college was mildly difficult to say the least, I would like to give a few pieces of advice to the newest Hokies to make this change as painless as possible.
First off, if a stranger ever yells and asks, “Are you a freshman?” say, "No." While walking down a street off campus at night my freshman year, a voice yelled this from a balcony. Naturally, I said yes, and was immediately sprayed with a super-soaker. As I walked back to campus with my pants soaked and my pride dampened, I found myself reevaluating the decisions that led me to this unpleasant point. It’s an extreme example, but is a lesson well learned nonetheless.
Secondly, don’t spend all of September eating your meals with every freshman on your hall. It’s understandable that you don’t want to miss out on meeting someone who could become your best friend, but instead of 40 people eating at D2 every night, just grab a few people and eat together in a smaller, more intimate setting. That way you can actually get to know them and identify them by their personality as opposed to their room number, hometown and hair color.
Finally, learn to go with the flow. This may or may not be your first time living in the same room with someone who isn’t your little brother. Don’t get bothered by trivial matters, because well, they’re trivial. If they snore, they can’t help it; don’t be paranoid and think they are trying to force you to have a mental breakdown.
Go in to every possible roommate conflict understanding it may partly be your fault, and try to see it from their point of view. Also, save yourself a lot of time and hurt feelings by addressing the problem with them directly first. Don’t talk about it with the girls across the hall or with your buddies downstairs. It’s probably a simple fix and doesn’t need to be gossiped about.
I hope some of this advice helps you, and if it doesn’t you’ll learn lessons the hard way and be a better person because of it. Enjoy the next four years class of 2016. I can guarantee you they’ll be best yet.