Make the Most of Your Freshman Year

     One month into the start of school and everyone on campus seems to be figuring out how to either be college students again, or for some, figuring it all out for the very first time. 

     That’s right, first years, we see you, walking with your lanyards around your necks, holding all your worldly possessions because if you accidentally lock yourself out of the dorms one more time and have to send a plea for help into your floor GroupMe, it’ll be embarrassing. But don’t worry, we’ve all done it, at least half a dozen times (and if someone says they’ve never locked themselves out, they are either 1) a liar or 2) the person you want to copy notes from for the rest of the semester because they are the most organized ones among us, and you better believe they color code.) 

     Despite many of us enjoying the game of “Find the First Year” as we sit in hammocks on Kafadar, we want everyone to enjoy Mines to the fullest extent possible, and that means bringing you up to speed on some helpful tips from your local school newspaper. 

Get Involved 

     I promise that Mines doesn’t make commission on this phase, but if they did… man, am I on the wrong career path. The best way to meet new people and try new things is by joining clubs and going to events hosted by organizations around Mines. There is truly something for everyone and if there isn’t, find some friends and coerce them with cookies to help you found a new club! 

Go to Sporting Events 

     I know, I know, the extent of many Mines’ student’s sports knowledge lies in calculating the trajectory of a vertically thrown baseball, so it doesn’t land on your head as it comes back to earth. We get it – we’re nerds. However, so are the student athletes who represent our school. The games are a great way to meet new people, cheer on your classmates and get some sunshine with some school spirit! If anything, you have to at least go to pet Blaster and give Marvin a high-five! 

Eat Your Fruits and Veggies 

     Have you met Micah the Omelet Man? He’s one of the staples of Mines Market dining, along with Judy who welcomes everyone as they swipe in. In a school where everything changes quickly on a weekly, if not daily basis, every first year reliably gets to experience breakfast, lunch and dinner at the Market. Sometimes, it may get boring, but you have to make sure to eat different things because the pasta bar only goes so far. Grab an apple for the road as you leave or make a root beer float after an exam – the possibilities are endless and if you tell your mom you had a salad for lunch, think about how proud she’d be and why else are we in college but to give our parents something to finally be proud of?

Make Friends With People Older Than You 

     Some day soon, you will have an exam that no one on your floor is prepared for and the professor hasn’t told you anything of what will actually be on it. That’s when this tip will come in handy. Mines students are similar to pack rats because we save old tests and notes. Who knows, maybe that sophomore in your PAGN101 class has an old Chem 121 exam that you can study with, plus I’ve been told having friends is pretty cool.

Invest in a Pack of Expo Markers 

      You’ve probably seen the abundance of white boards across campus (ignoring the blackboard void that is CO219). When exam season rolls around, those become prime real estate for studying either in large groups or for you to spread out every single handout from the semester across every desk and stare at them blankly until the coffee hits. Regardless, being able to whip out a crisp 4-pack of Expo markers and not having to scavenge for them will not only help your studying efforts, but also make you a god among your friends. 

Get to Know Campus and Find Your Spots

     Back in high school, sure it would have been strange to be hanging out in a classroom at 2am, but in college, that’s your average Tuesday. Find spots on campus that you’re comfortable to hole up in and study because when exam season rolls around and your roommate wants to hold their all-day Mario Kart or Smash tournament, you may need a quiet place to go. (That’s not to say studying while playing Mario Kart is a bad idea, just maybe an ineffective one.) The library has some great  desks and even better bean bag chairs. Additionally, just don’t go into Chauvenet until at least your sophomore year. Just don’t.

Go to Office Hours and Get to Know Your Professors

In case you didn’t know, your professors are actual, living, breathing humans. Crazy thought, I know. However, that means that just like you, they have lives and love to talk to people and share what their interested in. If that just so happens to be physics and you have a physics question, well aren’t you in luck! Seriously, professors’ office hours are there for YOU. As one of the Oredigger’s editors, Zach Berry, says, “reports of student deaths during office hours are greatly exaggerated,” so try it out sometime and maybe they’ll curve that 82% to an A at the end of the semester. Maybe.

Embrace the Weird

Mines has some strange traditions and it may seem more appealing in the moment for you to stay in bed and sleep. However, with events like E-Days where we all pull an orecart down to the capital and make our own firework shows, Mines can give you some life experience you couldn’t get anywhere else.

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