Guest Column: Experience NMU

Jessica Lewandowski

College can be scary the first year. Yes, you’re going to sleep through at least one class. Yes, you’re going to get lost on the way to class before you learn all the shortcuts around campus and yes being a freshman sucks in a lot of ways, but here are a few tips to make it a little less awful.

Leave your doors open. Dorm life has its perks and its setbacks, but leaving your door open is critical. Get to know everybody in your hall, talk to your neighbors, invite people into your room. I’m not saying you have to force yourself to believe you’re all one big happy family and you all get along, but try to get to know everyone who lives around you. Your neighbor might have that can opener that your parents forgot to get you, and the girl across the hall might actually like that obscure movie that you thought nobody else had ever heard of.

Talk to your counselors and professors. I can’t speak for anybody else, but my freshman year I felt like I was confused every minute of every day. I constantly felt like I wasn’t doing anything right. I regret how little I communicated with the people who were there to help me. Some classes are a little tougher to get to know your professors, as in big lecture classes like psych and sociology, where 200 other students are all fighting for the same amount of attention as you are. Maybe try to get into see your counselor every few weeks. I always see mine around scheduling time for next semester just so she can help me go over what classes I still need to graduate and what classes I should consider taking next. You can always find out who your counselor is by going to the Student Services tab in your EduCat, looking down toward the bottom at Student Information-General, and your counselor’s name should come up as a link leading you to all of their contact information.

Go out and explore what campus has to offer. Your O-Staff wasn’t lying to you about all of the cool things to do around campus. Do something different every day, eat lunch with someone who you haven’t really gotten to talk to around your hall, ask that cute guy or girl out to Starbucks between classes! NMU has over 300 clubs. Check them all out at nmu.edu. And not only do we have a club for any of your heart’s desires, there are so many places to go off-campus. Sugarloaf Mountain, Hogback Mountain, Dead River Falls, Black Rocks, McCarty’s Cove and Tourist’s Park are just some of the places that are a must-see before Marquette goes icy, and yes, you southern out-of-staters, it gets icy. When it does get a little snowy, check out Marquette Mountain, where most people go to ski and snowboard, and meet some chill people.

Last but not least, go out on weekends. I don’t necessarily mean drinking and getting belligerent, because drinking isn’t everybody’s thing, but do something. Get together with a few friends from your classes and go see what Campus Cinema is showing for the weekend, it’s usually something new, some movies they show aren’t even out on DVD. Don’t spend too much on homework, just because we’re all here to better ourselves for the dream jobs we want, shouldn’t mean locking ourselves away in our rooms studying and missing all of the beautiful scenery Marquette has to show you.

Stop being so worried and start enjoying NMU.