# FIRST YEAR PROBLEMS

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Freshman year survivor and current Sophomore student, Garcia offers incoming Class of 2017 tips and tricks on how to succeed academically and socially.

The golden rule of surviving freshman year is acceptance: accept late night study sessions and feeling overwhelmed with work — especially during finals. Accept the inevitable truth that you will feel homesick, at one time or another. Above all, accept feeling lost and clueless, because you are.

Remember that time management is a needed skill —not a voluntary issue. Whether you are involved with several clubs, play a sport, or have a parttime job, your obligations will conflict, and that is okay. Take a deep breath, and accept that freshman year is, and will be, an
adjustment.

Reflecting on my freshman year, I am going to reveal some classified information on surviving your first year of college. First off, it is impossible to breeze through college; challenges will come in one shape or another. Second, get involved with something—whether it is joining The Sandspur or going clubbing with your roommates every Thursday, from the debate team to LASA, Rollins Relief to Greek life, there is an extracurricular niche for everyone. Lastly, do not be a hermit— With students from all over the world, you are bound to meet someone decent — maybe even a friend.

As far as food goes, you will eventually get sick of the Campus Center menu. No fear, Park Avenue is here. Though plagued with tourists, Park Ave offers a variety of restaurants within walking distance. When needed, please your taste buds and take a bite out of some BurgerFi fries or Panullo’s manicotti. However, do so cautiously. These venues can hurt the piggy bank when used excessively, so indulge in moderation.

Besides strolling along Park Avenue, explore the rest of Florida when you have the chance: Disney World, Universal, and Downtown Orlando are just a few options when discovering what Central Florida has to offer. With performance venues like Sak Comedy Lab and Orlando Shakespeare Theater, indoor options for a weekend hangout are also nearby.

Freshman year is the year of newfound responsibility. You will be your alarm clock for class and motivator when juggling assignments. Most importantly, guard your R-card. It is the key to your room and your means of purchasing on-campus food. Protect your R-card and try not to lose it; a new one will cost you $15. Furthermore, if you feel the need to let loose and drink with friends, do so responsibly and discretely. If you decide to drink in your dorm, be smart and do not get caught.

Now, let me dissect the RCC—the obligatory course that all freshmen are subject to complete. Be prepared for spending a lot of time with your
Peer Mentors, Advisor, and classmates this fall—especially during orientation. Towards the end of the semester, your mandatory RCC events will seem meaningless and a bit excessive; face it, some events are more beneficial than others.

Regarding your other courses, speak up and take initiative; with a student to professor ratio of 10:1, being shy in class is not an option. Also, rent or purchase books online to save money; the book store should always be a last resort.

Finally, no one has a perfect or stress-free year, whether you are a senior or a freshman. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice; your peer mentor is a phone call away and a fellow freshman is probably on your dorm room floor. Let the memories begin and have a great year, Class of 2017.

sgarcia@rollins.edu

About sgarcia@rollins.edu

Stephanie Garcia '16 is Webmaster of The Sandspur and majoring in Communication Studies at Rollins College. Her other publications include Orlando Business Journal, Orlando Weekly and College Park Community Paper.

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