Freshman 15: Fifteen things freshmen should focus on doing

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EN Photo / Rachel Iacovone

We’ve been counting down the days until the start of fall classes, and finally, it has arrived. Here are 15 things all incoming students should focus on doing during their first year at FGCU:

  1. Remember why we’re here

We are at college to learn and to get our degrees. Easier said than done — going to class and studying is important. Balance it with nights out and beach trips and everything will go smoothly.

  1. Get involved

There are countless clubs and organizations on campus. There is something for everyone, and everyone should be involved in something. Don’t go to college just to study. Get involved in a club that is parallel to your interests; you’ll meet people like you, expanding your friend circle.

  1. Show your Eagle pride

We are Eagles now, and blue and green runs in our veins. Make a trip to the campus bookstore and support our team. Dunk City is primed for another great season, and Alico Arena needs to be packed every game day. Having said that, make sure to support all our fantastic sports teams.

  1. Be a part of, or support, the arts

FGCU has an amazing arts department. Whether it’s drama, art class, band, choir or orchestra, every student should participate or support. Even if none of those are your thing, there are some incredibly talented students on our campus, and it is important to at least support them.

  1. Get to know your professors

Our professors are there for a reason: for us. Take the time to get to know your professors because they are people too. They can share knowledge about the subject they teach or just about life. They can be great for support and could even become a friend after you graduate.

  1. Women deserve respect

In college, they are sometimes taken advantage of. Ladies deserve to be treated like ladies, with respect and politeness. Nobody should take advantage of them.

  1. Get a part-time job

Money will be tight, and getting a job will be very helpful when deciding on instant noodles or going out with friends to a nice restaurant. There are a ton of stores and restaurants around campus that are willing to hire college students, so apply early and try to secure a spot for yourself sooner rather than later.

  1. Explore Fort Myers

FGCU has a beautiful campus, but there is more to it than meets the eye. We’re on the beautiful gulf coast of Florida — explore Fort Myers and the surrounding areas. The beautiful beaches, the Everglades and shopping districts make the area one of a kind.

  1. Join a fraternity or sorority

Even though there are no houses, joining a fraternity or sorority is a great opportunity to meet new people and be a part of something that will last a lifetime. An outlet for having a good time, each organization does service projects and holds events in which you will meet new people and discover yourself.

  1. Lay off the Chick-fil-A

Eating more chicken will become easier now that we are on a campus with a Chick-fil-A. Although a chicken sandwich sounds amazing, eat the food at SoVi or around Fort Myers. There are plenty of great restaurants around the city, so don’t spend all your time and money at Chick-fil-A.

  1. Make plans to study abroad

College is a once-in-a-lifetime experience in itself, but going to another country to study is something every student should try to do. Obviously, doing it freshman year isn’t possible, but look into it and ask your professors about it. You may even be ready for a short-term faculty-led trip by summer.

  1. Stay true to yourself

As new students, there are many things that can influence our morals, opinions and life decisions. Make sure to stay true to yourself no matter what because that is the person who will be the most successful once you graduate.

  1. Make the freshman 15 a myth

The freshman 15 is something a lot of people think about. Make sure to stay fit and exercise while in college. Eating pizza is tasty but can lead to weight gain. Morning runs and a trip to the fitness center or participation in club sports will help prevent the dreaded 15-pound weight gain.

  1. Make connections

Other than getting to know your professors, go out of your way and talk to other staff members. Make yourself known around campus because you never know when you will need help finding a job or internship, or just need advice when dealing with life events.

  1. Have the best time of your life

The most important point is to have the best time of your life. College should be four of the best years of all of our lives. Make friends, have a good time, study and discover the many things life has to offer. College is what you make of it, and everyone should make memories they will never forget.