- Illustration by Molly Austad
How do I avoid the dreaded freshman 15 without an eating disorder or drug problem?
The simplest answer is moderation. One easy way to stay fit is to register for a workout or sports class each semester. Including a friend can help keep you motivated. In addition to keeping you in top form, it could also boost your GPA as long as you actually show up to class. Also, don't go alcohol crazy your first semester in. This can easily escalate to alcoholism, legal trouble, or a reputation you could have a hard time living down. Drinking is a huge factor in collegiate weight gain, largely because freshmen don't take into account the calories consumed in alcohol. Oh, as you can imagine, hangovers make it far less likely you'll actually make that gym appointment, too.
How do I deal with the Antichrist as a roommate?
There are various types of personality types that drive anyone up the wall, especially when you're stuck in the same tiny freshman dorm room with them. Crappy roommates include the 24/7 Snoozer, the Psycho Gamer, the Drunk Skunk, the Love Bug (gag), the Homebody, and the One With a Crush On You (flattering, but WTF roomie?). Luckily, there's a universal solution to dealing with them all, and that is communication. It is on your shoulders to tell your problem roomate when you are upset or annoyed with them — after all, how will they even know you have a problem with them if you never voice it? Once you bring up the conflict, they will more than likely change their ways. If they don't, you should speak to someone working for residential life at your school. Depending on the seriousness of the situation, you may be switched to a new dorm or get a new roommate.
Where can I study without getting distracted?
No matter how you like to study — in a quiet setting resembling the inside of a padded cell, in relaxed and casual groups, or in a comfortable place where you can show up in boxers — you have options. Your school's library is a popular choice, unless you run into a lot of friends and acquaintances there, which would render it extremely counterproductive. Do some research online and find some 24-hour restaurants or coffee shops near your school. Most IHOPs, Starbucks, Jim's, and Denny's are open 24/7 and have free wi-fi, but check first to make sure. My biggest piece of advice to you about studying environments, however, is to avoid studying in any place you could sleep in (your bed, an overstuffed couch). A textbook under the pillow has long been ruled out as effective study practice — even when the exam is in the morning. — Maddie Rau