How to: Survive your college years
Published: Thursday, August 30, 2012
Updated: Thursday, August 30, 2012 21:08
Amidst the frenzy on USM’s campus, many students fresh from high schools, junior colleges, other universities, and countries abroad may struggle upon arriving on campus.
For many, the kindness and help from strangers—upperclassmen, faculty and staff—is the only guide new students have.
College means no more home-cooked meals, no more sneaking behind the ‘rents to go to raging parties at the cool kids’ houses and no more hugs from mom and dad before trucking off to school each morning.
What’s even crazier is that many students have to change a light-bulb, take out the trash and pay rent for the first time.
“It was a little difficult figuring out where to go at first because the campus was a lot bigger than PRCC’s, but with the help of friends and the iSouthernMS app’s map, I did fine,” Rachel McKean, a transfer student from Pearl River Community College, said. “Junior college and universities are definitely two different worlds, but I love it so far.”
McKean also discussed how she fell behind in class and how students can learn from her mistake.
“From experience, I know if you don’t stick to your goals with school and you fall behind, you will run out of time and money and won’t be able to finish your coursework,” McKean said.
Taking on so much responsibility can be overwhelming, but don’t freak out. There are plenty of resources for students to utilize in times of boredom, excitement and desperation right here in Hattiesburg.
Take dorm life, for example. Don’t know how to change a light-bulb? Never had a roommate? Those are a few of many things a quick Google search can’t fix.
All at once, that peace and quiet, tranquility and sanity you once knew are out the window.
Welcome to college.
That once well-kept, color coordinated closet suddenly becomes a free-for-all for suite-mates, and your pantry becomes the local soup kitchen. Don’t forget about the shoes, either. If you’re a girl who wears a size eight, forget it. Don’t be surprised if you see one of your suite-mates dancing to “Cashin’ Out” by Wale at The Frat House in your newest BCBG purchase.
Although it may take a while to adjust, sharing is a natural part of the college experience. Don’t be mad about it. Get used to it. Don’t let people take advantage of you, but don’t be a prude, either.
Most everyone is broke, and many students are in the same financial boat.
With the ludicrous amount of students wallowing in student debt, there are plenty of ways to save money while having a good time. Resources are key.
Join local bar groups on Facebook for daily happenings such as drink specials and happy hours. I can’t begin to explain how much I have saved over the past three years by joining Groupon.com and opening a rewards account at Winn Dixie.
For those who are facing difficulty making friends and getting adjusted, seek out student support at McLemore Hall on campus. Follow local bands on Twitter. Ask strangers what’s going on in Hattiesburg this weekend. Attend football games. Tailgate in the District. Rush for a fraternity or sorority. Do whatever suits you best.
For nighttime outings with friends, look no further than Keg and Barrel, Gold Pub and Grill and The Thirsty Hippo, just to name a few.
If you’re feeling really spunky—and brave—load up the car with friends for a night at the Frat House. Thirsty Thursday is a favorite amongst Hattiesburg students, and the bar provides a bus to take people home after a long night of raging.
Hattiesburg might have an incredible bar scene, but the shopping is where it’s really at.
There are many boutiques and thrift stores in Hattiesburg to fit anyone’s style this fall. If I need a last minute dress for a game or a shoe fix, I pop into Click Boutique & Gallery and Twelve Oaks Accessory Garden downtown.
According to USA Today, students who attend sports events and social events and make an effort to make new friends have a better experience than students who do not.
If faced with a sticky situation, seek out different support mechanisms on campus. Organizations such as Student Support, Office of Disability Accommodations and tutoring groups make for an excellent first year experience at Southern Miss.