The do’s and don’ts of freshman year, love a senior

The U statue in the center of the Coral Gables campus on July 9, 2022.
The U statue in the center of the
Coral Gables campus on July 9,
2022. Photo credit: Dan Snitzer

Welcome to the U! There are a lot of unknowns associated with beginning college. The uncertainty of what you can, can’t, should and shouldn’t do can be overwhelming. So, while you are anxiously awaiting your arrival to campus, here are a few do’s and don’ts that I have learned in my three years as a Hurricane.

DO: Make friends with your roommate

This person will likely be the closest person to you during your first year, both literally and figuratively, so it is best to establish a good relationship with them and be on their ‘good side’ as you are going to be spending a lot of time together. It’s always good to establish some ground rules with your roommate, like what temperature you want to keep the room at and rules surrounding guests in the room, before you find yourself juggling drama and midterms at the same time.

DON’T: Group up with the first people you meet

It may seem like a good idea to have a squad for orientation week, but don’t close yourself off after the first three people you meet. It’s a sad cliche when people post hallway pics from Stanford with the caption “next 4!” then stop speaking to those people two weeks later. This school is bigger than it seems, so put yourself out there! Talk to people in your dorm elevators, lobbies and outside waiting for Ubers. Other students are just as anxious to make friends as you are. The more the merrier!

DO: Be nice to the Starbucks employees

These people are the busiest employees on campus and you will see why the first time you try to get a coffee at 10 a.m. on a Monday. However, when you do find yourself there during the slow hours, try to get off on the right foot with them. Ask how they are doing, be polite and make sure to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’ That way you hopefully won’t end up getting yelled at 15 minutes before your English 106 final is due because you asked for light ice.

DON’T: Sleep through orientation programs held by your RA

Your RA will be your ride-or-die and the main source of authority on your floor. If they see you coming out to the events they organize for you, they will make sure to have your back. This doesn’t mean you have to attend every event, but make an effort to get to know them and take advantage of the events they host for you to get to know your floor.

DO: Invest in an umbrella

August in Miami is one of the worst weather months in the country. Without warning it will go from 98 degrees and bright sunshine to torrential rain in a matter of minutes. Forget about the weather forecast for the first few months of school because it is practically useless. Make sure to always carry an umbrella wherever you go out so you don’t wash away into Biscayne Bay.

DON’T: Get a ‘Saturdays Are For the Boys’ flag

I can assure you, Saturdays are not always “for the boys.” Sometimes Saturdays are for solo-beach trips, exploring the Coconut Grove farmers market with friends and unfortunately sometimes being held up in Richter Library finishing a paper you should have started weeks ago. It’s college, expand your decor horizons as your actual horizons expand as well.