Upperclassmen weigh in on freshman life

President Thomas Keefe addresses freshmen at an orientation event. Photo by Kaity Chaikowsky.

The first week of school has brought a large amount of nostalgia into the University of Dallas community. Each day calls to mind memories of years previous: the anniversary of the day you met your roommate, the day you missed curfew on your first night out in Rome and the time you missed your first class because you were wandering Catherine instead of Carpenter.

Those first days brought lots of good memories but also many lessons worth passing on in hopes of bringing even more good memories to the most novel of the UD students — our freshmen.

As the biggest class in the university’s history one can only imagine how many new names each of the freshman have been trying to learn and keep straight. Though a stereotype of a new school is difficulty making friends, at UD, it’s more likely that everyone’s so friendly that it’s overwhelming deciding who you want to hang out with in the evening.

“Go to more clubs and lectures,” sophomore Mary Katherine Johnson said. “Even if you think you won’t be interested go anyway. I made a lot of my friends by going rock climbing.”

Johnson also recommended that you don’t shmoop and, instead, actually spend time with the core texts. This is a tip most of the upperclassmen would agree with, but most likely didn’t follow themselves.

“Shmoop when you need,” sophomore Raphael Cavanna said.

But Cavanna agrees with Johnson about being social. He wishes he had been able to be more outgoing and social in those first few weeks of freshman year.

If you find yourself having no trouble with being social there are some important rules a few of the upperclassmen girls hope freshmen always remember.

“You should never leave a party alone,” junior Madeline Reilly said. “Boys, be gentlemen and walk girls home.”  

Juniors Anna McCall and Totti Zubillaga agree and remind freshmen that girls have to stick together and should never leave each other alone, even if they aren’t friends. UD is a safe community, but that doesn’t mean things don’t go wrong.

“Stay single all year,” McCall said with a laugh.

Though she was joking a bit, the message still holds merit: Make friends. You have the rest of your life to find that perfect someone, hold out and just enjoy getting to know everyone.

Junior Charlie Buxton, who successfully committed to remaining single through freshman year, warns of other pitfalls.

“Just because you have money at the beginning of the year, doesn’t mean you will at the end,” Buxton said.

The girls added after that that the most important part of college is school.

“Someone is paying for this,” Zubillaga said. “Make sure you aren’t wasting that money. Go to class. Do your homework in the afternoon so you can go out at night.”

The girls also offered more advice such as taking up smoking as a way to make friends and not being alarmed if you see other students in trees.

There is plenty more good advice out there and funny stories to be heard. The best advice upperclassmen can give freshman?

“Introduce yourself to people you don’t know,” McCall said.

This campus is full of people excited to take the freshmen under their wings, be it in clubs, at parties, or to lend Lit Trad books to. Take advantage of that.


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