Aug. 4, 2015 03:40 PM

Freshman year is a time of discovery — what it takes to make it on your own, thrive in a crowd of thousands often many miles from home, and how to cook an entire meal on $3 and a contraband hot plate. Two Lafayette natives post-freshman year weigh in on the lessons they’ve learned. Take notes, parents and students.

OLIVIA MALONE LOYOLA UNIVERSITY

1- DID YOU LIVE IN A DORM YOUR FRESHMAN YEAR? IF SO, WHAT SUGGESTIONS DO YOU HAVE FOR THOSE HEADED FOR DORM LIFE?
I lived in a dorm with a roommate for my freshman year of college. My biggest piece of advice for freshmen headed for dorm life is to meet as many people on your floor and in your building as you can. You will get up close and personal with those you live around throughout the year, especially with communal bathrooms!

2- DID YOU CHANGE YOUR MAJOR DURING YOUR FRESHMAN YEAR? IF SO, HOW MANY TIMES? IF NOT, ARE YOU CONSIDERING CHANGING IT AS YOU MOVE INTO SOPHOMORE YEAR?
I only changed my major once during my freshman year.

3- WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE CLASS DURING FRESHMAN YEAR AND WHY?
My favorite class that I took during freshman year was called “Images of Africa,” and it was about the myths and constructs that the West perpetuates about Africa and its people. This class opened my mind, and because of it I have now switched my major to African American studies.

4- WHO WAS YOUR FAVORITE TEACHER DURING FRESHMAN YEAR AND WHY?
My favorite teacher during freshman year was actually the teacher of “Images of Africa,” and her name is Dr. Laura Murphy. Dr. Murphy is one of the pioneers in the movement to end human trafficking, and she is an expert in this field in addition to African literatures. Dr. Murphy taught me how to look at the world in an entirely new way by questioning everything, especially information gained through the media.

5- IF YOU WERE BALANCING A JOB AND SCHOOL, WHAT WAS THAT LIKE? ANY ADVICE FOR OTHERS WHO HAVE THAT CHALLENGE?
I did not work during my freshman year of college.

6- WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST EYE OPENER FOR YOU ACADEMICALLY?
Throughout high school my teachers were always warning of the stress and constant hard work that college would be, but college really isn’t that difficult. It’s honestly just as easy as high school if you don’t procrastinate your studying.

7- WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST EYE OPENER FOR YOU SOCIALLY?
Socially the biggest eye opener for me during my freshman year was just how prevalent partying truly is on college campuses. I did not expect students to go out every single night and drink, but it really does happen.

8- KNOWING WHAT YOU KNOW NOW, HOW MIGHT YOU HAVE PREPARED FOR COLLEGE DIFFERENTLY?
The only thing that I truly wish I would’ve known before I started college was how to better manage my money. Especially going to college in New Orleans where there is constantly a show, event or bar to go to and spend money at. I very quickly went through my savings throughout my freshman year.

9- WHAT SUGGESTIONS DO YOU HAVE FOR INCOMING FRESHMAN ABOUT MONEY MANAGEMENT?
Looking back, I actually spent the majority of my money on food during my freshman year. If I had any advice for incoming freshman it would be to try your very best to save your cash for when there are concerts or events happening. You won’t want to miss out just because you can’t afford tickets.

COLE PHAM UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA GRADUATE OF LAFAYETTE HIGH SCHOOL

1- DID YOU LIVE IN A DORM YOUR FRESHMAN YEAR? IF SO, WHAT SUGGESTIONS DO YOU HAVE FOR THOSE HEADED FOR DORM LIFE?
I did live in a residential hall this past year as a freshman. Some words of advice for students looking to do the same this coming year would be to be prepared for the worst and understand that you’re on your own. My residential hall had no air conditioning, and I go to school in Southern California so the summer days were not fun.

2- DID YOU CHANGE YOUR MAJOR DURING YOUR FRESHMAN YEAR? IF SO, HOW MANY TIMES? IF NOT, ARE YOU CONSIDERING CHANGING IT AS YOU MOVE INTO SOPHOMORE YEAR?
I changed my major twice this freshman year, but I changed from my original major and then back to the same major. I’m pretty sure I won’t change it again, but college is a pivotal part in life, so you never know.

3- WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE CLASS DURING FRESHMAN YEAR AND WHY?
My favorite class my freshman year was Intro to C++. Basically, it’s an introduction to a coding language that can be used to program technology. It was my favorite class because I enjoy technology. Knowing C++ also allows for more insight into the world of coding.

4- WHO WAS YOUR FAVORITE TEACHER DURING FRESHMAN YEAR AND WHY?
My favorite teacher my freshman year was my Writing 150 teacher, Ms. Jessi. Writing has always been a subject I disliked, but she made it incredibly interesting while still helping me lay down a good foundation in college essay writing.

5- IF YOU WERE BALANCING A JOB AND SCHOOL, WHAT WAS THAT LIKE? ANY ADVICE FOR OTHERS WHO HAVE THAT CHALLENGE?
To earn money, I fi xed phones for fellow students on campus, but I was never employed by anyone during the school year. My friends who did work said that having the extra money was great, but they did have less time to themselves. Still, regardless of having a job or not, it’s important to manage your time correctly early on.

6- WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST EYE OPENER FOR YOU ACADEMICALLY?
The biggest difference between college and high school, on an academic level, would defi nitely have to be how classes work. In college, you go to a class around three hours a week on average. During those three hours, information is thrown at you very quickly. It’s expected for students to fl y solo and fi gure things out on their own from there on. In high school, teachers are making sure every student is on the same page, but in college, professors are simply there to offer the tools for students to succeed.

7- WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST EYE OPENER FOR YOU SOCIALLY?
Socially, college is extraordinary. Everyone does their own thing, and no one is ‘cool’ or ‘uncool.’ People can choose to stay in their room all day and play video games, or they can literally hang out with other people 24/7. Anything goes.

8- KNOWING WHAT YOU KNOW NOW, HOW MIGHT YOU HAVE PREPARED FOR COLLEGE DIFFERENTLY?
I would have defi nitely taken advantage of more opportunities near the beginning of the year if I had to start college over. I’m not saying I didn’t try to get involved early on, but as an incoming freshman, it can be kind of nerve-racking. Once you get over the fear of not being successful in college, you can start being successful.

9- WHAT SUGGESTIONS DO YOU HAVE FOR INCOMING FRESHMAN ABOUT MONEY MANAGEMENT?
Keep your priorities in line. School obviously comes first in college, so before you buy anything else, get your tuition, books, lab fees, etc., paid for. After that, figure out what you need the most to sustain a healthy and happy way of living. In college, it’s a game of give and take. You can go to that cool concert all your friends are talking about or you eat for the rest of the week. You choose.

Read the Flipping Paper