Take charge of college, if you want

Published September 6, 2012, in MSUM’s, The Advocate

This won’t be your typical beginning-of-the-year column. No. I’d tell freshman what to do and not do, but they probably won’t realize The Advocate even exists until their sophomore or junior year, so writing any advice for them would be pointless.

If there actually are any freshmen reading this, hello, welcome to college.

I remember the beginning of my freshman year. I was a few pounds heavier, my hair was short and I didn’t have any friends. It wasn’t that I didn’t know anyone on campus. I knew a few, but they could hardly count as friend material. If I ran into them, we’d have deep conversations, like the following:


“Oh. Hi.”

Orientation week made me feel like a 10-year-old. My outfit didn’t help, as I was dressed like one, too. Though Moorhead isn’t exactly the city of giants, all the exceptionally tall people seemed to gather near me that day (I only went to the mandatory, register-for-your-classes day of orientation) so I also felt like a paranoid dwarf, ready and waiting to have some shoe, size 13, accidentally trample me.

I didn’t like my Student Orientation Counselor leader, so I ditched my group and decided to fend for myself. I proceeded to register for classes with little to no help from anyone and did pretty well for a newbie. I even signed up for Judo, where I would eventually acquire a concussion and get the wind knocked out of me. Thanks to that class, if anyone tries to attack me, I’ll be able to kick their butt, as long as they’re wearing a stiff-collared Judo gi.
Predators wear them often, I hear.

After departing school every day, I’d go home to my shady, little apartment and would eat crackers and carrots – my usual meal.

This was the first semester. By the time the second semester rolled around, I actually met some friends and moved on to eating cereal for every meal.

If you’re having a hard time transitioning from being popular (or not) in high school to not having anyone know you in college, take heart, young padawan. You, too, in time, will find your niche in college – if you try.

Unlike in high school, your last name will, I hope, mean nothing. It won’t hand you positions, perks or popularity on a precious-metal-like platter. Make a name for yourself, if you want. Be involved, if you want. If you don’t want, then just sit in your apartment and play video games every spare moment. The decision for your college career is all yours.

This is real talk, honey.



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