The List of NOTs for Your Freshman Year

You may have a to-do list or things you are eager to do once you’re in college and things you’re excited about for your freshman year. I personally find it more effective if you have a list of NOTs. This way I can list and never forget what I shouldn’t do and don’t miss what I should do at the same time! It adds a fun twist to your challenges. It could also be called the bucket list of NOTs.

Do NOT stay in your room with the door closed all the time. You’re gonna live in the dorms, pretty much the best place to meet new people, other freshmen! There is a suggested “open door policy” the first couple of the days before and after classes start, but I believe you should take advantage of that every day. There might be a lot of great people on your floor, but how are you gonna meet them if your door is closed? It just doesn’t look welcoming…not many people will think to knock either. Be open, keep your door open!

Do NOT end your first semester without getting involved. And this doesn’t necessarily mean joining a club. You could volunteer for a one-time thing or a great cause, attend to some of the club events, play ultimate on central campus–the little things count! You will feel great, trust me.

Do NOT burn food in your room/kitchenette. Oh, microwaves. If it smells in your room, it possibly will smell on the hallway…and people near you will hate you a little, especially your roommate. For example, the smell of burnt popcorn; that goes everywhere and stays for a long time. The smoke detector won’t “detect” it but other people might. You don’t want to be that person, right?

Do NOT end the year without attending a sports event. Football, basketball, soccer, volleyball…come on! Find that Cyclone inside of you and join others fans as they cheer for I-S-U. Oh, and try to get student section tickets. That’s the zone! Football insanity, Hilton Magic (Bball), I’m already excited!

Do NOT miss VEISHEA. There are many, many things happening during VEISHEA week, so there’s no excuse. Tournaments, concerts, shows, food, the parade, cherry pies…the first (and last) VEISHEA as an ISU student is always the best one, I believe. Enjoy one of the biggest on-campus celebrations in the country!

Do NOT get crazy with all the free stuff on campus. If you start out by controlling yourself the first day…you won’t have a bunch of pamphlets, cups, key chains, buttons and other things all over your room to get rid of by the end of the year…like I did, haha! It’s just to save you that little problem.

Do NOT end in bad terms with your roommate(s). It is possible that your roommate is not what you expected him/her to be, or the relationship is not what you actually wanted it to be. Present tense, if you’re not liking your roommate right now, if he/she does things that annoy you or simply you don’t mesh well together…there are solutions or an easier approach than explode, insult them or say things you’d probably regret. Rules are important, if those are not followed, try having a talk…if that doesn’t work, talk to your CA or both of you do so…they’ve dealt with this scenarios before. Now, if that doesn’t work…get to an agreement until you go your separate ways. But do not fight with’s just tiring and will probably affect your everyday attitude. You’re too nice to be in a bad mood!

Do NOT get used to saying yes. This includes getting involved, classes and your everyday life. It’s exciting to try new things and have people ask you for help–which means you know what you’re doing. You’ll find yourself saying yes to a lot of things, but you could also over compromise yourself. Focus on what makes you feel right…you can try new things every now and then, but not all at the same time! Time is crucial, use it well.

Do NOT end the year without going Campaniling. “You’re not a true Iowa Stater if you have not gone campaniling” is what you may hear around…and that’s true. There will be a mass campaniling event homecoming week and you shouldn’t miss it!!! Actually…I’m just kidding. But it’s a tradition you should try when the time comes. If it happens as a freshman, congratulations! I’m proud of you! 🙂

Do NOT fail a class. Freshman year is overwhelming. It’s a new lifestyle that you have to get used to. You’ll need to adjust and get the hang of things…so make sure you’re putting your everything in there. Failing a class will most definitely crumble that “bridge” you’re building. If you see yourself having a difficult time with a class, get some help, ask questions, read some more, get a study group together, talk to upperclassmen…there are many, many things you could try to make your life easier!

BOOM! There you go, a little list that could probably help you out this first year of adventures! You could add, scratch some things off…that’s fine, we’re all subjective human beings. A fun twist to your freshman bucket list!

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