How to improve during your next 40 days
Well, we haven’t seen any tray use in Bear’s Den lately, which makes us pretty proud. However, with First 40 nearing its end, there are still a few things you need to know before we let you roam free like the baby bears that you are. So here are a few helpful tips to continue easing your transition into the Wash. U. community.
1. Go to office hours.
Although they may seem intimidating given that many of them either know six indigenous languages or are walking encyclopedias of every insect species on the planet, professors are your friends. Go to office hours and develop a relationship with at least one professor. And that way, when your senior year rolls around, you have someone who can both write you a recommendation and provide you with some much-needed guidance.
2. Befriend upperclassmen.
This does not (only) mean befriend upperclassmen because they are 21 and can buy you alcohol. Upperclassmen have gone through the same anxieties you are experiencing now and are a wealth of information to be tapped into.
3. Explore outside your floor.
It is easy during those first 40 days to fall into a routine: wake up, go to class, eat lunch with floormate #1, go to another class, eat dinner with floormates #2 and #3, go to a frat party with floormates #1-20. The floor is always a comforting community to have when you arrive at Wash. U. but make sure that you are pushing yourself to meet other people and join new friend groups. Plus, you may need an escape at any moment from the awkward floorcest that is bound to happen. One way to do this is to join a student group; you’ll already have something in common with the other members.
4. Your RAs are people, too.
I know it is hard to believe because you could have sworn that the resident advisor from Dardick 4 was a robot, but RAs are human beings. Talk to them not simply as advisors but also as friends who are interested in your lives. You are going to miss their presence when you become a junior and have no one texting to make sure you are still alive after that brutal exam.
5. Avoid the lunch rush at the DUC.
There are a number of places on or near campus to eat lunch without waiting half an hour in line: Bear’s Den, Stanley’s Cafe in Lopata, Holmes Lounge, Subway. DUC food will soon get old, so spice up your day with an alternative food joint. Hint: Cheap Lunch in Lopata is not just for engineers and is just as cheap as it sounds (which is especially wonderful if you’re chronically low on meal points!).
6. The Circ is not a limousine.
Unfortunately, some of you have yet to realize that the Campus Circulator is not your personal limousine service. Almost two months into the school year, it is time for you to learn that the circ makes specific stops, and no, your destination of choice on the corner of “I’m late and I’m oblivious” is not one of them.
7. Wear layers.
Those of you from the Northeast can ignore this message, but all of you Texan and Hawaiian natives need to prepare yourself for a harsh winter. Sweaters are meant to be layered, and jackets are meant to be zipped all the way to the top. Brace yourself mentally and sartorially for what is about to come. Also, remember heavy winter coats are not acceptably worn until the end of October.
8. Explore St. Louis.
Those free Metro passes are given to you for a reason. Break out of the Wash. U. bubble, take the Metro and realize that St. Louis can be pretty cool if you venture farther than the Delmar Loop. Visit City Museum, catch a Rams game or go to Grant’s Farm. Invest in a bike if you can.
9. Rethink your involvement.
Now that you are feeling a little bit less lost and a little bit less desperate for friends, it isn’t too late to reconsider what extracurriculars you have joined. Drop the ones you aren’t feeling and take up another that might seem more your speed. It’s never too late to reassess your involvement at Wash. U.
10. Don’t stress about pre-med (yet).
Many of your professors just returned your first chemistry exams. You may have seen numbers at the top of your tests that you thought were only used for Celsius ranges but never for grades. Don’t stress too much over your first exam grade; just because you did poorly on one exam doesn’t mean you can’t go to medical school. Everyone is struggling to adjust to college expectations, and if worse comes to worst, you can always drop pre-med and join the humanities with the rest of the StudLife staff.