Like most UD students, I have many fond memories of freshman year; pretty much everything from the muggy move-in day, to the bittersweet move out day in May. This year, however, I get to experience freshman year all over again (from a different angle) as a Munson Fellow.
It is certainly interesting to get to experience life as a freshman over again. Let me assure you that many things are still the same over on East Campus. There are freshmen out on the turf at all hours of the day, Dr. Munson is still providing gummy bears on Wednesday nights and the students stay up far too late having many a philosophical discussion. Even the dining hall is the same. In fact, I got an incredible sense of déjà vu when I went into the dining hall on the first day of classes for breakfast. It was as if I was a freshman again: the same employee swiped my card and I ate the same thing (egg white omelet with mushrooms and tomatoes). In some ways, it is uncanny how similar things are to how they were two years ago.
But of course, some things have changed. First and foremost, the building. Living in Redding is pretty much like living in a hotel: there is a plethora of lounge space, the rooms are spacious, and the temperature borders on artic. One thing is for sure; these freshmen will never have to experience the sweaty nights that characterized my freshman fall. Another interesting difference is how the hallways are also lacking for people. Because of the lounges on each wing, freshmen are far more likely to be hanging out there than in the hallway. Bygone are the days where climbing over your floormates’ legs to get to the bathroom was the norm.
East Campus this year is also different because this time I’m supposed to be the one with the answers (no pressure, of course). And now, as it is my job, I want to impart some advice to the freshmen. First, leave your doors open and hang out in the lounges as much as possible. This is a great way to meet new people and get help with homework. Second, when the bell in the dining hall rings, act fast. That means that cookies have just been taken out of the oven and there is nothing better than a warm, gooey cookie to brighten up your day.
But most importantly, work hard and play hard too. You only get one freshman year, so it is important to make it memorable. I studied hard my freshman year, but the nights that I remember most are the ones that I stayed up far too late, rapped in the hallway, laughed until my sides hurt and maybe put on a sumo wrestler costume once or twice. These are the nights that I will always remember and the memories that I will always cherish.
So yes, be an Honors student and study hard, but don’t forget to have fun too. After all, you are only truly a freshman once.