Resisting Immunity and Other Nonsense… I managed to come down with some kind of flu bug (AGAIN). It seems to be a trend in my college life, but I guess working with munchkins day in and day out will do that to you. Because my life is centered around third graders and lesson planning, I have decided to do a short flashback about freshman year so that all prospective college students reading this will be fully prepared for what is about to come:
1) You will have to fill out a roommate contract. When you are all settled in your room and spilling your life to your roommate who you’ve just met, your Resident Assistant (RA) will put a temporary halt to the vulnerability. He or she will go over the basic rules of residence hall life with you and give you a packet of papers to look over and sign. Basically, don’t do anything your mother wouldn’t approve of. Also included in the packet will be a roommate contract, which you will write together using the prompts and guides on the sheet. This will include your chosen policies for things like overnight guests, room cleanliness, and sharing things. My roommate, Morgan, and I were totally cool with friends staying, things on the floor, and borrowing each other’s things.
2. You’ll have the opportunity to rearrange your room however you want, and for someone who had been drawing layouts on scrap paper and napkins, I was pretty excited! We bunked our beds in an L-shape and put our dressers and fridge underneath my bed. This kept things out of the way and gave us more room for all the fun activities that college students do!
You will be allowed to bring a fridge and microwave if you want, or you can rent them from Ball State. The third option is just to use the ones in the kitchenettes on every floor. If you put your name on it, no one will bother it, and it made me feel good to know I burnt off a few calories walking to get my ice cream!
3. There will be many Welcome Week activities to take advantage of as soon as you get on campus! My advice is to go to as many things as possible and be spontaneous! I had the most fun each time I went somewhere with a random group of people I met on my floor and got to know everyone along the way! The activities and events were a wonderful way to assimilate into the college atmosphere, make great friends, and get so busy you don’t have time to miss home!
One of the Welcome Week events is the activity fair, where you can see all the organizations and campus groups that Ball State has to offer. I signed up for ten clubs when I first went because I was so excited! There is a Quad Bash with a local battle of the bands, inflatable fun, and free food and games. Ball State also hosts Cardinal Games during Welcome Week, where teams of students compete in crazy Olympic-style events for prizes! Among other things, there is also a hypnotist, a sports and recreation pep rally, freshman convocation, and a session called “Where are my classes?” where a BSU upperclassman will take you around and show you each room you will be in for the semester. One of my favorite things was playing in the Human Hamster Balls… I may have gotten a few bruises!
4. You know how your mother so kindly does your darks, lights, and colored right now without a fuss? Well, those days are numbered. She won’t want you bringing a container stuffed with dirty clothes home every weekend, so it’s about time to step up to the plate and teach yourself your hots, colds, and separates. My roommate and I pooled our laundry together and split the cost (it’s about a dollar per cycle), and we sometimes made an afternoon of it as we did our homework. The couches and chairs in the laundry room were actually pretty comfortable!
These are just a few random things I thought of when I considered my introduction to college life my freshman year. It’s a transition, for sure, and no one can quite prepare you for it, but my advice is to be open to new ideas, try new things, don’t give in to your fears, and put yourself out there so all the other nervous newbies can see you shine!
Have a great week, everyone!