Top Ten Tips for Freshmen at Frostburg! (From People Who Know!)

You’ve had the same schedule and life basically since you started school, with a few minor alterations here and there at different milestones, but for the most part, school has always been consistent from year to year. Now it’s a whole new world; you have to change almost everything, from how you go about your day, to taking on responsibilities you’ve never had before, right down to who you’re friends with. To say that this transition is tough is an understatement, but luckily you’re at Frostburg! Almost everywhere you go, there is someone who is willing and able to help you and people who have been where you are now. To make it a little easier for you, here’s a list of the top ten things seasoned Frostburg students know you need to know:

1) Know your resources – This is number one on the list for good reason; it was one of the top suggestions from upperclassmen. There are so many resources available here at FSU that not even graduating seniors have explored all of them! So get a head start and keep your eyes peeled! Or, as Jasmine Brach, a staff member on Late @ Lane, put it, “There are always new things popping up on campus available to students. Pay attention!” For example, did you know the difference between the Information Desk and the Help desk? Most incoming students think they’re the same. So grab a map or even ask a staff member when you need information because most likely they can answer your questions or find someone else to!

Here's just one of the many computer labs at FSU. This one is down the hall from the gym in Lane.
Here’s just one of the many computer labs at FSU. This one is down the hall from the gym in Lane.

2) Get involved – Everyone keeps saying it, but what does it really mean? It means join a club that interests you, become a part of an organization that complements your major, go out for Greek Life or join a sports team. It’s a suggestion that will ultimately insure that you find something that will make you happy here! As Dr. William Mandicott, the assistant vice president of Student & Community Involvement, said, “Get out of your room and experience Frostburg, because one day you’ll wake up and realize you’re a senior and you’ll wonder where the time went and wish you had spent it experiencing more. And there are no do-overs; so experience everything now! Not tomorrow – Now.”

3) Maintain a healthy lifestyle – Exercise when you can; it is important to make time to take care of yourself. And fuel yourself with the right foods, too, because a healthy body is a happy body. As Justin Smith, a health and fitness major, said, “There are two FREE gyms on campus! Use them.” Exercise and a healthy diet are good for you both physically and mentally, so take care of your body and it will take care of you!

4) Manage your time properly – Everyone has heard about this one before, but there’s more to it than going to class on time. You have to manage your time outside of class to make sure you set aside appropriate amounts of time for assignments, studying, exercise, your social life, etc. Find a system that works best for you; if you remember things by writing them down and aren’t so good with technology, then maybe a calendar app isn’t such a great idea for you  but a day planner would probably do the job.

5) Invest in serious winter gear – The best description of Frostburg is within its name. It gets really cold here and can snow a ton! So do yourself a big favor and get real snow boots, a good heavy coat and very thick socks and gloves. This is no joke; they don’t call it “Frosty”-burg for no reason. As Antwann Harper put it, “It will get so cold to the point where you will involuntarily begin to cry. But you won’t realize until you walk inside and your tears begin to melt on your face!” It’s not the most pleasurable experience being frozen to the bone, so stock your closet with Eskimo wear and be prepared!

frostburg_snow
Brrrr.

6) Take advantage of office hours – Office hours are the hours your professors will definitely be available in their offices. It’s all for you, so if you have a question about your grades or an assignment, go talk to them or make an appointment! They love it, and it can be the difference between an 89% and an ‘A.’

7) “Carpe Diem” – It’s Latin for “Seize the day.” Sticking to what you know best is comfortable, but no one known for their accomplishments got to where they are by staying within their comfort zone. So get out of it, because that’s when the best experiences and opportunities of your life will arise.

8) Stockpile Food- Number five on this list talked about how to prepare your wardrobe for the winter, but what about your stomach? Here’s the thing: there are times when classes are canceled due to the weather. Don’t get excited just yet. When classes get canceled for the day, students aren’t the only ones who get a day off; so do the staff at Outtakes (the food center in Lane). The only place open to eat on campus is the… Yup, you guessed it! The Cafe (Chesapeake Dining Hall). For some it’s an awful long trudge through the snow to get all the way there, so it may be wise to stock your micro-fridge with plenty of pizza bites!

9) Good vibes- Surround yourself with positive influences, not only because it makes you look better outwardly, but because it reflects in your grades and campus activity level. Have fun, but don’t let too much fun impact your life in a bad way!

10) Don’t sweat the small stuff- Here’s a final tip that will ensure a less bumpy college path that was passed on to me from a very inspirational figure at Frostburg, Doug Baer. He said, “Do not spend your time working on being better at something you suck at. Focus on improving what you’re good at!” This is something everyone in college should keep in mind. So what if you aren’t good at math? If you’re amazing at history and you love learning about it, then focus on that. In the long run, you’ll find that it’s a waste of time to worry and let your mind linger on the things you aren’t as capable of doing when you could be spending that time doing what you love that you happen to be amazing at!

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