Orientation Guide: What not to do as a freshman


Katlyn Campbell/Iowa State Daily

Incoming freshmen stand in line Aug. 17 on Central Campus for pancakes during Destination Iowa State.

Lacey Westberg

When you start your freshman year of college, it can be a little scary.

The campus is huge, there are tons of new people, you’re taking all kinds of new classes and overall it can be flat out overwhelming.

While freshman year can be one of the most stressful years, it is usually when you find yourself and what you want to do. There are a lot of things you should do your first year at college, such as join clubs and try to make new friends — there are also a lot of things you shouldn’t do.

Don’t lose focus.

Many first-year students get anxious about being away from home for so long, but you won’t have much time to be worried while enjoying all of the awesome clubs, recreational activities and beautiful outdoor scenery Iowa State has to offer.

While there is a lot to do outside of class, you can’t let it distract you from what you’re here for, which is obtaining an education. Don’t let your college career start off on a bad foot.

There are so many things to do at Iowa State and it may seem overwhelming to try and do them all, but you’re here for four years, so you will have plenty of time to enjoy the awesome things Iowa State has to offer.

Don’t stretch yourself too thin

Something else that many freshmen do is get themselves involved with one of the hundreds of clubs and organizations that Iowa State has. Joining campus organizations and clubs is a great way to build your resume, make friends and more, but there is such a thing as being too involved.

Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to find time for eight different clubs. Instead, just try two or three and see if they’re the right fit for you. If they’re not, try a different one. This also applies to those first few days at orientation when tons of clubs are handing out free stuff.

While you may want that free t-shirt, you don’t want a club you’re not interested in blowing up your email for the next four years.

Don’t follow the crowd

While in college and making new friends, sometimes people can change, even if they are people that you’ve known since middle school. While it can be tempting to follow the crowd and do what everyone else is doing, it doesn’t mean that it’s right.

You don’t want to start what is supposed to be the best four years of your life off with getting hurt, arrested or something even worse just because you were trying to impress someone.

Don’t be afraid to reach out for help

College is a time for self discovery and finding what you like, but you shouldn’t change who you are or what you want to be. Sometimes with all of this change and things moving so fast, it can be easy to feel like you’re drowning. At Iowa State, your health and well-being should come before anything else.

Iowa State offers physical and mental health services right here on campus and encourage everyone to use them. The same goes for asking for help in your classes. Your professors and advisers are there to assist you and answering your questions is part of their job, so don’t be afraid to ask.

Even though there are a lot of things to not do at Iowa State, to not enjoy yourself is not one of them.

Welcome to discovering your new adventure at Iowa State, we’re glad to have you.