19. Freshman Pro-Tips
This Reddit post discusses some tips for incoming freshmen. I’ll highlight some of the pro-tips right here and add some of my own:
Wear your lanyard throughout the first two weeks. You will look back to that moment and smile.
Go to class. Repeat after me: go to class. If you’re not a morning person, avoid registering for 8:30am classes.
Study for the midterms! They’ll come sooner than you think.
Twitter is especially helpful for keeping up with Kenyan news.
Seek help. Colleges have a sharing/counselling platform. Reach out. Your mental health is really important.
For some reason, Americans are obsessed with Snapchat. Don’t delete WhatsApp; that’s how you’ll keep in touch with your Kenyan friends. Facebook is all over the place.
Don’t sign up for unnecessary listservs. You don’t want to be receiving 147 emails per hour. But if it’s a free-food listserv, SUBSCRIBE. Text your buddies when there’s a free giveaway; they’ll return the favor.
Library jobs are the best. However, they get filled up super-fast. Apply early.
When shopping, don’t mentally convert the dollars into Kenyan shillings. Yes, a 500ml Fanta costs $1.50.
There’s a readily available daily dose of ice-cream, chicken burgers and pizza. Go to the gym once a week.
Sleep more than you study, study more than you party, and party as much as you can. In short, manage your time. And no, sleep is not for the weak!
Use Google Calendar. It is super clutch in keeping track of appointments and events.
Buy/ Rent textbooks from Amazon Prime. College bookstores are expensive. Don’t torrent PDFs! Torrenting will get you into trouble.
Maintain your diligent work ethic. Don’t be that guy who peaked in high school.
Going to your professor’s office hours is not a sign of weakness.
Read the course syllabus. Note down when you have exams, lest you be surprised one morning.
Go to most of the frosh-themed events since most people will be trying to know each other. It’s an easy way to make acquaintances/ friends. Joining a campus group is another way to make friends.
Only date people above 18 and are in college (no high school kids!). In the same vein, avoid dating the person next door or in your class of 20 people.
Do your papers, problem sets and take-homes before they are due. It will save you from stressful last-minute panic.
Apparently, Americans have free refills, i.e. you buy a drink once, and you can refill your cup for free/ a marginal cost. Exploit this opportunity whenever possible.
Avoid debt. Although you need a credit card to raise your credit score (will come in handy when you're trying to buy a house/car), use the credit card only for purchases that you can pay off at the end of the month. The interest rates are quite steep!
In between classes, rest at the library. Going back to your dorm for a quick nap makes it less likely for you to attend your next class.
Go to parties; don’t host them. There are clean-ups, stolen stuff, broken things and too much drama. Also, be a good guest when invited.
Reach out of your group, especially if +2 Kenyans are admitted. It’s nice to have someone you can speak to in Kiswahili, but don’t cling to each other such that you have no time for other people.
Skim the assigned readings before class.