TUSB’s Tidbits for Flourishing Frosh

Posted by at 1:22AM

We here at TUSB consider ourselves generally kind and charitable folk. Because of our (or at least, my) narrow worldview, the people we consider in need of help from our blog are the newest members of The Farm, the class of ’14. After extensive deliberating, we decided to compile a list of advice from all of our writers on how to improve your experience here at Stanford. For upperclassmen and alums, feel free to add more advice in the comments. For the frosh, listen up! You’ll learn far more through experience, but keep these tips in mind.

  1. Borrow DVDs and video games from Green’s Media-Microtext desk. Extensively.
  2. Don’t date within your dorm. The drama of dormcest will destroy you.
  3. Always know the professor’s policy on curving for any class you take.
  4. Stanford may seem like a big campus. But odds are that person you randomly hooked up with at Saturday’s frat party will be in your IHUM section. Bear this in mind.
  5. On the subject of frat parties, do not attend wearing open-toed shoes. You can never be sure what that mystery liquid spilled on your feet was.
  6. I know the notion of asking for help in a class is foreign to you, but go to office hours. They are usually very helpful and the TAs will often give you the answers to the problem sets.
  7. Lag Late Night. ‘Nuf said.
  8. Explore campus.  Sometimes just wandering around is a great way to discover some of Stanford’s many hidden gems (sorry folks, not literal gems…but if you find any let me know.  Mama needs a new pair of earrings) (Admin note: Please send all mother lode sightings to stanfordblogging@gmail.com)
  9. Didn’t get into your first choice introsem? Show up to the first class and chances are you’ll get in.
  10. MemChu is absolutely gorgeous; even if you aren’t religious, it’s a great place for contemplation.
  11. Don’t leave your bike locked to itself in an undesignated area – it will get moved and you will panic.
  12. Go to as many Major Dinners as you can – free food and excellent advice.
  13. You can get zucchini sticks as a substitute for fries at Stern Late Nite.
  14. Check out the Bender Room in the Green library (on the top floor), and try not to fall asleep on the comfy couches.
  15. Leave your room door open: your dorm-mates would love to see the decorations you have on your wall, or talk to you about the story behind them!
  16. Take a walk on the Dish: it is beautiful!
  17. Take pictures: before you know it, the year will be over and you will be glad to have your memories documented.
  18. Make friends from other dorms: there are more cool people on campus than the ones you have in your dorm.
  19. Try different dining halls (and LateNite options) around the campus. Different dining halls may serve different foods, such as the icecream at FloMo.
  20. Visit Lake Lag on a full-moon night.
  21. Take a creative writing course (and don’t be afraid to take poetry instead of fiction!)
  22. Take the train to San Francisco for a day and just wander the city.
  23. There is no such thing as a useless class. People seem to be under the impression that a class isn’t worthwhile if it doesn’t “count” for something like a major, minor, or GER. That’s a very negative way of thinking–unless you explore classes and actually take chances outside of your comfort zone, you’ll never be able to fully experience the breadth of Stanford, or more cliche-ly, life. Yeah, we just went there. (self-quoted)
  24. Leave time unscheduled. Some of the best parts of college are the times when you just get to interact with people around you and do something improvised, which is impossible if you have your life planned out 24/7.
  25. Achievement is not always the ultimate goal. Sometimes–nay, most of the time–things that don’t appear on your resume, such as personal or intellectual growth, are far more valuable than something you can quantify.
  26. Take risks. Exit your comfort zone. This is the time to do it, because if you wait until after college you will have responsibility or whatever.
  27. Blog for The Unofficial Stanford Blog?
  28. Your dorm room says a lot about you. Keep it clean, but interesting.
  29. Eat meals with your dorm in the dining hall as much as possible. As Freshmen, it’s the social bonanza of the day. Miss meals too often, and your dormmates won’t know who you are come Sophomore year.
  30. Things to not talk about: how many units you’re taking, what you wrote your personal statement about, your high school friends, which other colleges you applied to.
  31. Take at least one really hard class or series. It will make you feel justified in attending Stanford. Thinking you can’t handle the hardest track leads to a lot of underestimating yourself. You’ll never know how well you can do unless you push yourself all the way.
  32. The quality of your time in college depends only slightly on which school you attend. Despite the whole ridiculous college application process, it’s not all about which school has more nobel laureates. It’s about how you motivate yourself, and which opportunities you pursue. You’re at a great school, but getting a great education is still 90% up to you.
  33. Don’t talk about the SAT or your SAT score. And if the asshole in your freshman dorm won’t shut up about his perfect score, don’t feel bad if you were not in the near-perfect range. You belong at Stanford. You were picked out of 30,000 applicants to be here. Trust the admissions officers; they know their shit. You deserve to be here.
  34. Get involved in a student group. Better to pick one and get really involved than pick twelve and be less involved. It’s the best way to meet upperclassmen freshman year. And upperclassman are rife with good advice.
  35. Don’t be afraid to go into co-ops. They are nice places and friendly people live there.
  36. Sometimes staying in on a Friday or Saturday night watching a movie with friends in your dorm or just hanging out will be more fun than hitting the row. You won’t miss anything, and you won’t look back and think fondly of the gazillion frat parties you attended freshman year. But you will look back as an upperclassman and wish you had spent more time with your freshman friends instead.
  37. Taking 12 units a quarter freshman year is totally acceptable. And you can still graduate on time. (If you don’t trust me, go to advising.)
  38. Every Friday, Olives (the restaurant in the basement of the History Building) has tomato basil mozarella paninis. You would do well to obtain one, or two, or several.
  39. Units are not a good indicator of the difficulty of a class. One can take four 3-unit engineering classes and have a staggeringly large workload, whereas you might just as easily take four 5-unit comm classes and have a reasonably comfortable amount of work.
  40. Watch a sunrise from the top of the Herrin Bio building. It’s really easy (and safe) to get on the roof, and it faces east out over the Oval to give you a perfect view.
  41. Organize events in your dorm. RAs are typically in charge of that sort of thing, but if you think of something that you’d like to do with your dormmates (skydiving, broomball, night in SF), then by all means do the research, find out the cost, and make the necessary reservations. RAs are usually glad to apportion dorm funds once you’ve done all the legwork – and plus, how fun would it be to go paintballing with all your brand new friends?
  42. You are the author of your own destiny. If you ever feel like you’re getting in a rut, sit down and examine what you’re spending your time doing, then change that mix if it’s not working for you. You don’t want to look back in four years and say “Why’d I waste my time ____________.” You want to look back and say, “Huzzah! What a fine adventure full of learning, fun, and rainbows that was!”
  43. You already heard this during NSO, but the Sexual Health Peer Resource Center in Vaden offers a wide range of assistance relating to many things bow-chicka-wow-wow. If you have questions, need help, or just want free condoms and lube, they’re there for all of that.
  44. Call your parents. They love you and they miss you, and they really want to know about your life.
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3 Responses to “TUSB’s Tidbits for Flourishing Frosh”

  1. tusGraphGuy’s Mom says:

    I had to read 43 tips before I got to the important one? The only communication I got from my son the first quarter was a photo with him with no shirt and an “F” on his skinny torso (this was not GraphGuy, it was the other son). At least I could see he was having a good time, with his other friends S, T, A, N, O, R and D.

    One addition, since it is such a comprehensive list, is to dump the boy/girlfriend at home as soon as possible. It could be included with not talking about your high school friends? Dump that baggage and don’t look back.

  2. That Kind Of Girl says:

    Great advice. All perfectly calibrated to make this Class of ’08 grad epically nostalgic. Man, the time goes by too fast (and is way too fun while it happens).

  3. Take Care of Yourself says:

    If you find yourself to be anxious and distressed for no immediately obvious reason, and you find it hard to concentrate or get anything done for days at a time, it could be depression. Chronic insomnia is another classic symptom. This happened to me for a big chunk of my freshman year and I didn’t know enough about it to know what was going wrong. The dramatic change in circumstances, new social demands, and of course the workload can put more pressure on you than you realize. If you think it’s happening, GET HELP.

    People do not get depressed because they are weak. They get depressed because they have been strong for too long. It is an illness, not a failing, caused by a poorly-understood chemical imbalance in the brain. It is NOT your fault. GET HELP. GET HELP. GET HELP.

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