These ARE the best years of your life

Jennifer Kistenmacher

After hours of contemplation, I decided to pass on some words of wisdom to incoming freshman in my first column. Having been there and done that, I have a few pointers saved up from my freshman year, which was a little wild. College is the best time of your life. I have had more fun and learned more in the past year than in the 18 years before that. High school sucked, but once I got here everything changed. Within two days, I was going to parties and meeting new people with no parental supervision. Life was good. Classes aren’t everything. Granted, you are paying thousands of dollars to be here, but there is more than studying to do with your time. If people were to only go to class while they were here they would be severely missing out. Get involved in clubs or participate in functions with your dorm floors. People can always find an hour or two to take a break every once in a while. I unfortunately took this to the extreme last year and spent a little too much time talking to people and too little time studying. I must admit I am easily distracted from studying. Actually, I think I would rather watch paint peel off my ceiling than study at times. This year I have vowed to find a happy medium between studying and socializing. My second rule is that partying is awesome! Go out whenever you have the chance. Thirsty Thursday excursions shouldn’t be an every week thing, but it’s a good escape from studying – just don’t skip your Friday morning lectures. I’d say there is about a 95 percent chance that there will be a quiz in lecture if you decide that sleep is more important. It never fails. Professors have caught on to our crazy ways. They were in college once too. Rule three goes with rule two, and it is to love beer. College students never fail to amaze me in their undying love of beer, any beer. I have found the cheaper the better. At college I was introduced to Busch Light, “The Beast,” Natural Light and others. I am convinced they have a similar molecular structure to hydrochloric acid, yet people still drink them. They must have some crazy addictive quality about them because after a few months you will find yourself saying, “I could go for a Busch Light right now.” That is what I love about college students – we are willing to do about anything for a good time. Even if the safety of our liver and inner linings of the stomach are at stake. We are even willing to walk to a party in the pouring rain, blizzards and winds strong enough to knock someone over when we skipped class earlier that day for the same conditions. It’s something I think you can only get by with while in college, so take advantage while you can. That is about all the basic rules they don’t tell you at orientation that I can think of, but here are some random thoughts to help you not make a complete ass of yourself like I did so many times last year. When opening an electronic greeting card in a quiet computer lab with a class in it, make sure that the sound is off. I guarantee that you will get flustered and not be able to get it to shut off for a good minute or two. People aren’t too fond of that. Realize that roommates aren’t always going to be just like you or even want to exchange more than two words with you. Don’t take it personally. You only have to sleep there, right? I found out that most people can at least cohabitate with about anyone. Also, the sidewalks around campus like to jump up and trip you at the most inopportune times. I was mortified about the first 50 times it happened to me, but then I realized that about everyone else trips at least once a day, at least I hope so, or I’m in trouble. One of my friends said it best, “I do it for the enjoyment of the people behind me.” All in all, Iowa State is a really good place to go to school because of the classes and the people. Don’t study too hard or party too hard, and I’m sure that everything will be fine.