So you have survived your first week at Oswego State. I am sure you have all been getting adjusted to the change and having a lot of fun. It might take some time to feel comfortable here, especially if you are over two hours away from home. I think that adults always have some piece of advice once you are starting college, but it is different to hear it from someone who’s living it. Here are some things that I wish I knew when I got here.
First, make friends with your neighbors. You are going to be running into each other in the bathrooms and in the hallways, so try to make a relationship out of it. You might be living with these people for the entire year, so try to bond with them. It does not have to be the entire floor, but maybe two or three, whatever you are more comfortable with. Invite them to go to dinner or to watch a movie. It is ridiculous how quickly you can bond with someone over your shared interest in a TV show. If their doors are open, introduce yourself. Few people emphasize how important it is to make friends with the people you live with, but it is something I suggest you all do.
Be assertive when it comes to the roommate agreement. If your roommate wants to “sexile” you and that is not OK, speak up. Do not take everything he or she throws at you just because you do not want to upset them or want to avoid conflict. You are the one who is going to be uncomfortable or annoyed while they are doing their own thing, which brings me to my next piece of advice. If you do not get along with your roommate and hearing him or her breathe makes you angry, move out. Leave. Pack your bags and do not look back. You may think it is one of those situations where the relationship might get better and decide to stick it out. It will not. There are other people on campus who are looking for a new roommate that would be a better fit for you. I had the spawn of Satan as a roommate when I was a freshman but I chose to tough it out, and I regret that.
If you go out to the bars, do not put your drink down for one second. The guy sitting next to you may seem cute, but do not let your drink out of your sight. You might think getting drugged could never happen to you, but it is better to be safe than sorry. Do not leave campus without extra money. You do not have to go out with wads of cash, but carry enough. If you are going out with a group make sure everyone has the number to a bus or taxi. If your friend gets sick even though you are having a good time, do not ditch them. Do not think that you are being a good friend because you’re paying their trip back to campus. It is a scary moment to get so sick that SAVAC has to be called, but it is even scarier to go through it alone. Do not leave a fallen soldier behind just because you’d have to leave the action. The best solution, though, is to be as safe and responsible as you can be about drinking so you can avoid having to call SAVAC at all.
I am sure you have all been told to join clubs and organizations, and everyone who has told you that is right. Get involved in as much as you can. I cannot stress that enough. Getting involved is part of what makes college so enjoyable. Oswego State offers over 100 clubs and organizations, so if you are not having a good time here that is all on you. There is no reason why you should be going home every weekend or stuck in your room because you feel lonely. If you find yourself in your room feeling out of place because partying is not really your scene, then there are tons of things to do on campus, so get up and go out. Lifestyles does Open Mic in Penfield at 7 p.m. on Thursdays. Your residence halls will have events too. Cayuga Hall plays a movie every Friday. Join in and socialize. That may be hard for some people, but so is going away for college, and yet here you are. Make the best of it.