Attention Class of 2011: we know who you are. As much as you may try to deny it or pretend you are just that sophomore who never went to class last year, the truth is obvious. I think it may be that sexy lanyard and the “Feel the Sting” t-shirt you sport that gives you away.

I’ll be honest: I initially dreaded your arrival. As much as I have come to enjoy my new status as a seasoned sophomore, I originally wasn’t sure if I was ready for it. Would I find my old routine mundane, my outlook jaded? Or, more importantly, would my male friends ditch me for the new fresh meat on campus?

The irony is, despite my present freshman envy, I know upperclassmen do tend to judge students who are still in this formative year.

Therefore, I would like to provide a piece of advice to help you avoid the raised eyebrows and half-smirks that older students sometimes make when meeting freshmen.

Try not to have a one-track mind. It’s nice to have a passion, but college is about discovery. Don’t limit yourself like those who forget to branch out.

For instance, there are the “super hardcore pre-meds,” who, desiring to live up to their parents’ expectations, are absolutely positive they will be doctors. Nothing will get in their way, until, of course, they experience Professor Olek’s “Intro to Bio – it’s actually serious chemistry in disguise – class.”

Or, on the opposite end of the academic spectrum are the “self-declared undeclared majors.” These students simply want to chill out, take a few dance classes and spend a lot of time lounging on the academic quad.

During season, the freshmen athletes only exist via hearsay. They travel in packs and generally do not associate with anyone with an inferior muscle/fat ratio. If you’re really interested, you can find them at Danforth, bulking up on lean meat and sipping whey protein shakes.

And lastly, there are the freshmen who are just here to party. The male versions can be heard trying to outdo each other as they describe the debauchery they indulged in the night before.

And their female counterparts can easily be identified by their attire: skimpy tank tops, tight jeans and black North Face jackets they will most likely lose in a frat house basement (along with their dignity).

You can avoid acquiring any of the above labels by remembering one thing: never settle. Explore, try new things and venture out of your freshman hall. Foster real development by learning to appreciate variety and traveling out of your comfort zone.

Seriously, freshmen, embrace this year!

Pretty soon you will actually have to know what you want to do in life. And sadly, you will no longer have the “I’m just a freshman” excuse for any embarrassing moment or lapse in judgment.

Take my advice, go out and milk this year for all it’s worth.

Tulkoff is a member of the class of 2010.



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