“You only have one freshman year.” Before attending college and several times this fall, I kept hearing that same phrase. I was told to live it up while you are a freshman and still can. You will have the most fun your freshman year. These words left me with pretty high expectations, many of which were met. Freshman year has turned out to be a lot of fun full of new adventures, new people, and new opportunities. I am going to share with you some of the highlights of my freshman year and discuss some of the opportunities I wished that I would have taken advantage of. Future students listen up because I hope that you too will make the most of your freshman year. Also feel free to ask any questions about D’Youville that I do not address in this post below. I will do my best to answer your questions and help prepare you for freshman year. Shout out to one of our awesome readers who recognized me in the PVR (dining hall) at an open house a couple weeks ago!
Stay in touch with your parents
Make sure you check in at home every once and a while especially if you are the oldest/only child. Your parents just let you out of the nest and it is going to take a little time for them to get used to not having you around all the time. Most likely this will be the longest you have ever been away from your parents. Do not call your parents only when you need something. Make time to call them every once and a while to let them know how you are doing.
Enjoy the first week of school
This applies to every college student. This is the time to live it up! Get out and meet people, make new friends, and have a blast. This will be the best week of the entire year. You are free from studying, homework, and stress. You only get about one week free from all the college work so take advantage of it. All the wild and crazy college stuff you have always wanted to do is best to be done this first week. Just try not to go overboard; you still have a reputation to maintain for the rest of your academic career at D’Youville.
My first week I was never in my room and I made tons of friends. It was loads of fun meeting new people every night. That is the most important thing, making connections with people that first week. Be yourself and make a good first impression.
Communicate effectively with your roommate
At the beginning of the semester sit down with your roommate(s) and lay out your expectations and listen to theirs. Find out any pet peeves they might have and let them know about any pet peeves you possess. Make sure you discuss your sleeping habits and your lifestyles. Tell your roommate what you are okay with sharing and what items you prefer not to share. If there is a TV in your room make sure you both agree on when it is appropriate to watch it. Do you both sleep with a TV on? Should the TV be turned off before a specific time? Discussing your expectations, sleeping habits, and lifestyle with your roommate from the beginning will put both of you on the same page and hopefully prevent an argument later on in the semester.
If possible join a sport
Playing a sport at D’Youville is great! Because we are a division three college, school comes first and the coaches are very understanding if you need to miss a practice or a meet for academic reasons. Cross-country is terrific! Coach Maloney is very knowledgeable about running and is in fantastic shape. He runs circles around me in practice! The best part is that after every meet we get to go out for a meal and eat whatever we want! The team did great this year we placed fourth in the AMCC championship and had the highest team GPA 3.59 in the conference. We are always looking for runners especially male runners so if you are interested do not hesitate to contact Kyle Trimble at firstname.lastname@example.org. I participated in both cross-country and crew this fall. Although both sports are very intense, I was able to balance my time wisely and maintain my grades. I would not recommend doing both sports together as it is very grueling and physically wearing on both the mind and body, but it is possible. To find out more about women’s crew contact Coach Dorn at email@example.com.
Cross-country was a blast! Our first race at Beaver Island was so hot that after the race we all took off our jerseys and went swimming in the lake. I became really close with the team and a lot of the people I met through cross-country are my closest friends to this day.
Hit up the Buffalo Wing Festival
The wings are awesome and it is a world renown event occurring just a few miles from campus that you do not want to miss. If you want to see a grown man cry be sure to watch someone take on the atomic wing challenge. Take the challenge yourself if you are feeling brave and want a cool T-shirt, but beware it burns not once but twice. Be sure to have water on hand and no major plans the next day.
Make commuter friends
Sometimes it is nice to get away from campus and hangout somewhere else for a while. I have lots of commuter friends and it is tons of fun because they show me a lot of the neat attractions in Buffalo.
Respect your professors
Be sure to make a good impression with all of your teachers because D’Youville is a small college and most of the professors know each other. You do not want to gain a negative reputation if you disrespect one of your teachers. Chances are you will have many of your teachers more than once during your DYC academic career. Now for a word to the wise. If you have class with Dr. Soja do not jokingly call him Soja Boy. Although he is a great professor to joke around with, he does not like students poking fun with his name. Unless a professor specifically tells you to call them something else, like my Calculus teacher Uncle Cristian, address them with the name printed on your schedule.
Take a walk up to Elmwood
Elmwood Ave. has a lot of great local restaurants and shops. It is a great experience. Be sure to go during the day and with a group of friends. We are in the heart of Buffalo so it is important to be smart and cautious when walking around in a big city. Jessica has a great blog about some of her favorite spots on the Elmwood strip.
Take advantage of D’Youville events
Student Association, Residence Council, Athletics, and many other college organizations are constantly hosting events. Many of them offer free food and entertainment. Be sure to go to these events as they often have raffles to. Entertainment, food, and DYC gear makes a pretty good night. Also be sure to keep an eye out for sporting events or plays. Sometimes the college gets tickets at a discount rate for sporting events or other entertainment events like theatrical productions or haunted houses.
Go out dancing with friends
Dancing with friends is a lot of fun. Be sure to go with friends who watch your back and be sure to watch your friends’ back. Ladies I highly recommend compression shorts if you are not wearing slacks. (Yes I know kinda old fashioned lingo but pants just sounds goofy at the end of that sentence) Do not leave your group or let a stranger drive you home if your friends leave you. Use your common sense. Also be smart about when you go out. Do not go out dancing till the early morning if you have 8 a.m. class or a test the next day. If you do go out do not even bother with 8 a.m. class, you will fall asleep, and if you have a test you better pray that you pass. Just remember that for every action there is a consequence.
Go to D’Youville’s Spring Fling
Every year D’Youville hosts a spring fling. This year it was at Rich’s Niagara Atrium. It is a dinner dance sponsored by the student association for D’Youville College students. Tickets are relatively cheap and it is a great time. I attended this year’s spring fling with some friends and had a wonderful time. The music was great, the food was good, and dancing was out of this world! You should definitely put this event down on your D’Youville bucket list.
Become active on Campus
There are tons of great clubs and organizations at D’Youville. Join a club, volunteer, mentor a high school student, there are tons of ways you can become involved and make a difference on campus. I am a member of Residence Council and Lambda Sigma Honor Society. It feels great making a difference and being a part of the D’Youville family. Be sure you get involved with what you like and do not overload your plate. Pick a few things you are passionate about and balance them along with your school work.
Go to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Unfortunately I did not go to the parade in Buffalo because I went home to see the Cleveland parade instead. However, I still had a blast and everyone I spoke to loved the Buffalo parade. It is always on the weekend so do not worry about skipping classes to see the parade. Also be sure to check out the Shamrock run. It is a 5k run that Buffalo hosts every year about a week before St. Patrick’s Day with 1000’s of participants. For those 21 and older there is beer at the finish line.
Be sure to get a passport
Students are always spontaneously going to Canada. Be sure to apply for a passport so that you do not miss out on all the fun. I do not have my passport yet and not being able to go to Canada with my friends stinks.