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Interviews With Upperclassmen: What Advice Would You Give to Freshmen

Interviews With Upperclassmen: What Advice Would You Give to Freshmen

We all know college can be daunting time when we first start our freshman year, regardless of how confident we are or how many friends we had in high-school. To help the ‘freshies’ start their university education with a blast, we’ve conducted interviews with college students around the country about how they thrived during their first year of college! And without further ado, here is your definitive guide to freshman year:

The start of college can be a rough time for those who aren’t prepared for it. My best advice for making sure you have some great memories after your freshman year? Along with the obvious clothing, towels, and laundry detergent, make sure you pack at least a few dozen copies of Infinite Jest, the quintessential tales of life within a Northern American dystopia. I know, I know, you’ve gotten similar advice from just about everybody. However, while most of the people on your dorm floor will have only taken a few tomes of Infinite Jest to college, you would be way ahead of the game with your 20+ copies. As the old saying goes, you can always measure the worth of a man by the weight of his collection of Infinite Jest. Though perhaps this phrase has become a bit of a platitude, it is undeniable that your considerable collection of this famous novel will demand instant respect among your dorm mates.

Thomas Demarko


When I first began my freshman year, my biggest mistake was incredibly embarrassing. I didn’t even realize that I wasn’t doing it until my second semester, when a close friend took pity on me and told me what I had been doing. Luckily, once I realized how wrong I was, I quickly remedied my mistake and went on to have a very successful social life.

That mistake?

The failure to be vigilant concerning the eye crust I had when I woke up.

I know to most reading this, it seems unthinkable to ever forget the fatal flaw of allowing your eyes to gather crust while asleep; especially with most modern high-schools having courses on how to scrub your eyes clean the second you wake up, in an effort to avoid letting a single soul see the disgusting residue of natural human fluid-based byproducts on your face. However, as I grew up on a farm, where basic survival was deemed more important than checking each persons eyes with a magnifying glass to make sure they comply with contemporary taboos, I had never learned this essential skill. So to those who didn’t get the help they need to check their eyes upon waking up, read up on it! It’ll make college quite a bit smoother, I promise.

Jenna Smith


How to survive freshman year? Above all, have at least one of the Millennium Problems solved before entering college. I cannot stress this enough. It was one of the most humiliating experiences (though eye-opening) when the first words my roommate said to me were ‘I worked out the Birch and Swinnerton-Dyer conjecture, what about you?’ I immediately got to work and later solved the Yang–Mills Existence and Mass Gap near the end of my first semester, but until then, I was the subject of extreme ridicule amongst most of the freshman class. It would’ve saved me quite a bit of grief if I, like most other college students, solved at least one of the Millennium Problems before college had started. It isn’t too much effort to get started on one of those problems right now, especially since comparing burgeoning proofs or insights for the Millennium Problems is a common bonding experience within the freshman class.

Audrey Thompson


You’ve heard it before and I’m sorry to repeat it again, but it is absolutely imperative that your entire phone and computer music library is filled with nothing but Led Zeppelin’s ‘Stairway to Heaven’. Now, in both middle and high-school, you could get away with a little of All American Rejects or, if you were a bit rebellious, even some John Lennon and The Beatles. But no more. It is almost a forgone conclusion that everybody you met will take a peak at your music library to make sure you’re a morally good person (i.e. if you have nothing but ‘Stairway to Heaven’). I admit I slipped up halfway through my second semester, when I accidentally downloaded Fallout Boy onto my iPhone. Instantly, my roommate appeared behind me and whispered into my ear, ‘what have you done?’. When I, in my nervousness and fear, could offer no response, he threw me to the ground and took a hammer to my iPhone. When the phone had finally shattered into dozens of pieces, he picked me up off the ground, held my trembling figure, kissed me deeply, and promised he would never leave my side again.

We’re still close friends today.

Yang Chen


Abhishek Mahajan



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