Tips for Freshmen

By Mackenzie Bath

Once you made the decision to go to college, I’m sure you found out that everyone you know wants to give their two cents (or more) on the subject, leaving you with a billion tidbits of advice you can’t possibly remember. Well, here’s some more.

On arrival, you probably found that your sister’s best friend’s experience at a state school does not relate to what you’ve been doing at Lewis & Clark. Still, you don’t want to be flying blind, so here’s the best advice that a busy junior can impart to you.

First and foremost, get off campus. Don’t live entirely in the bubble of LC. On that note, be familiar with the Pioneer Express. Say hi to the drivers, get to know the schedule and plan accordingly for the amount of time it’s going to take you to get off campus. Often on the Pio you will find yourself stuck in traffic, so be prepared for some longer waits.

In terms of studying, there are a variety of great study places. Find the place where you work the best: the library, the Manor House gardens, Templeton, the SQRC or somewhere else. More often than not, you won’t find yourself studying in your dorm room. Try out new places to find out where you’re the most productive.

Get an on campus job. It’s a convenient commute, the hours are usually pretty flexible and they understand that you’re a student first and an employee second. Plus, having some extra cash can go a long way.

Plan Fred Meyer trips with friends. Whether you all take the Pio or go with the friend who has a car, it’s more of an outing and less of a chore to go to Freddie’s in a group.

Not sure who those friends might be yet? That’s pretty normal. You’ve only been here a few weeks, and your friend group will change and evolve over time. Be open to new people, and don’t worry if you don’t feel like you have a squad. There will always be time to make more and better friends.

Whether it be with those new friends or a chance to have some alone time, have meals outside the Bon. Find places you like to eat (Chez Jose, food carts, Pancake House) and make time to get those meals. Some Pioneer favorites include the food carts, Killer Burger and Bellagio’s. If you don’t want that to be your off campus outing, order something!

In terms of academics, there are a couple of ways to get ahead. Don’t ignore your General Education requirements — no one wants to be stuck taking their foreign language while they’re trying to write their senior thesis. Your Gen Eds are a great opportunity to explore other departments and possibly find something you want to take more classes in.

Get to know the professors in your potential major, whether or not you’ve had them for a class yet. They can give you tons of advice, especially about actually working in the field that you’re going into. Get the numbers of people in your classes. You never know when you might need to text someone about the reading, studying, or a missed quiz.

Last but definitely not least, college is the time to explore. Many see it as an opportunity to become the person they’ve always wanted to be. Keep in mind that you don’t reinvent yourself by making all the same choices you used to make.


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