A Month-by-Month Guide to Your Freshman Year of College: November
Since last we spoke, Sparkler freshmen, I trapped myself in a night-before-the-essay-is-due cram session that I created singlehandedly. I think I accidentally sold my soul because I signed something that someone shoved in my face at the Student Union. I also somehow managed to break my toe. I don’t recommend this. My foot looks like I tried to drop kick a bowling ball. So for the first time, I’m issuing a challenge to you all: come up with a really awesome excuse for me as to how I broke it. I can’t keep telling people I ran headlong into my dresser, because they keep snickering. Best excuse wins MY RESPECT, plus a really bad haiku spawned from the very depths of my brain thoughts.
It’s beginning to look a lot like that time of year where everybody just wears the same North Face jacket for weeks on end. I’ve been wearing mine since September. People are crawling across campus like zombies in a perpetual fog with too much homework and not enough coffee. Teachers are asking questions and staring across a sea of blank expressions because nobody read the book. Everyone has a cough.
I think the sluggish feeling of UGH that has befallen us all was quite aptly described in the comments from last time:
I am a freshman and currently considering giving up on my dual major to become a stripper... Morale is low. – Glinda_Darling
I'm considering if I really need college and if it's a better idea to marry rich. – timey_wimey_stuff
But here’s the good news, guys: doesn’t it feel like just yesterday that you were lugging your mini fridge up three flights of stairs and tentatively approaching the communal dorm showers for the first time like there might be a wild animal in there? Now you’re buying your own aspirin and doing your own laundry and contemplating stripping on your own terms. You’re adulting. It’s FANTASTIC. Give yourself a gold star.
So, it’s November. What does that mean?
1. Wait, it’s November? Yes. I know, I was surprised too.
2. When did that happen? Nobody knows for sure. November comes in less like a lion and more like a homeless man that secretly moves into your basement, and by the time you discover him he’s already made a home for himself and moved some of your furniture around.
3. But anyway, everyone’s getting sick. Getting sick in college, particularly when you live in the dorms, is the EASIEST THING IN THE ENTIRE WORLD. I’m going to give you some good, solid advice: this isn’t a battle you’re going to win. Somebody just coughed in your general vicinity, didn’t they? It’s over. You already lost. Time to hunker down. Get some soup.
4. Picking classes. For schools that don’t select their entire schedule for the year back in September, the time is now—THE DAY IS HERE. Picking classes for the semester calls into question everything you thought you knew about yourself. It’s an existential crisis just waiting to happen. Before long you’ll be huddled over the course guide, eye twitching, whispering, “What am I even doing with my life? What is this? Who am I?” And then there’s the actual act of signing up. You’re a freshman, so you generally pick last. Waitlists will become your hell.
(Psst. Here, have some knowledge. Schedulizer shows you all the potential timeslots for your preferred classes. There’s also, of course, RateMyProfessors.com. I feel like I’m the character in a video game that dispenses information at critical junctures. Take these nuggets of wisdom. You’ll need them on your quest.)
5. THANKSGIVING. IT’S ON THE HORIZON. STEER THE SHIPS IN THAT DIRECTION, SAILORS. It’s the perfect break between now and the end of the semester. When you go home for the holiday, make sure you grab your winter gear if you haven't already. You don't want to be the guy trudging through snow in flip flops. If you're not going home for Thanksgiving, chances are they're probably having some kind of Thanksgiving feast in a cafeteria somewhere on campus. My advice? GO TO IT, even if your residence hall's food usually sucks. I mean, MASHED POTATOES? TURKEY? BISCUITS? GRAVY? It’s really, really hard to mess that up. I mean, I could do it, but my lack of cooking know-how is unparalleled. They're also probably serving Thanksgiving food before break even commences. TAKE ADVANTAGE. YOU DESERVE THOSE CARBS. EVERYBODY WINS.
You're more than halfway through your first semester. How does it feel? Good? Great? Exhausting? Kind of funky? I hear that. We all do. Remember, it's always darkest before the dawn. Especially now, because we just set the clocks back and it gets dark at like 2 PM. Anyway, keep it up, eat an apple or something, and wash your North Face jacket. Or at least get another one so you can trick people into thinking you're a functioning human person with more than one outfit in their clothes arsenal.
Are ya hangin' in there, froshman Sparklebutts? IF NOT, THERE'S ALWAYS CARBS. If you have any questions about surviving your first year of college, fire away; Elodie would love to answer 'em!