Gemrick Curtom" />
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Monday, December 11, 2023


Things I wish I knew when I was a freshman

The semester is winding down, and we’re all in that rush to wrap up and prepare for finals. You probably already have your summer planned out — vacationing far away, working or doing an internship — but what about your plans for the fall?

Sure, you have enrolled in all your classes, but what about outside of that? Classes can only be so fun, and if you want to be an appealing, well-rounded individual whom employers are eager to hire, add to your curricular activities.

I want you to be a better undergraduate, so I’m going to tell you all the things I wish I was told when I was a freshman.

Get involved

Discover your interests, whether it be writing for the school newspaper, advocating student empowerment or spreading around culture. I know what you’re thinking: “I don’t think I’m qualified. I don’t think I’ll do a good job. I don’t think I have enough time. I don’t know, I’m a little intimidated.”

I’m going to steal a line from Nike and tell you to just do it. People will be far more impressed that you’re getting involved as a freshman or sophomore than unimpressed because you’re “not as qualified.” Who’s to say you’re not until after you’ve reached out? Even then, there’s almost always something you can do.

Too many times I’ve thought, “I’ll never get that position. It’s probably too difficult,” and I was proven wrong. Applying for something is the easy part. Actually managing to do what you want and balance it with life is the hard part.

I say I suffer from FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), but not really. What I mean is that I feel like I didn’t get involved enough. Even though I’m heavily involved now and have been for a while, I feel that I wouldn’t have this insatiable urge to join every organization I come across if I had been more involved as a freshman or sophomore.

You become a better professional, more social and a better person — not to say you aren’t great now.

Get some exercise

They don’t call it the freshman 15 for nothing. Even if you didn’t actually gain that much weight, getting into the habit of maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle will do wonders for you now and in the future. Even if exercise isn’t “your thing,” it will benefit you in the long run as you delve into the inevitable adult “working 40 hours a week” world after graduation. You’ll look better and you’ll feel better.

Also, when you turn 21, don’t even think you’ll be drinking less. You’ll be going out more, and people will invite you out more. Suddenly, the opportunities to order drinks skyrocket, and you’re going to need to find a way to offset those calories.

While we’re on the topic of being healthier, enjoy all those fatty foods, but don’t overindulge. Endless pizza, tacos, beer and fried Oreos won’t look so pretty in the next two years if you keep it up. Eat in moderation, stay active and try your best to stay away from binge-anything.

Opinion columnist Gemrick Curtom is a public relations junior and may be reached at [email protected]

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