By Colby Smith

You’re about to dive head first into a giant sea of dorm life, new faces, challenging classes, that really cute shower caddy you bought at Target, scavenging for quarters, and, obviously, a whole lot of ramen. Maybe your nerves are getting the best of you, but you’ve probably seen seasons four through seven of Gilmore Girls, and know that as long as your roommate isn’t Paris Geller, you’re going to be just fine. However, “just fine” isn’t exactly the college experience you were hoping for. If you are planning on absolutely crushing your freshman year at York, here are a few helpful tips:
1. Get to know everyone in your dorm hall as soon as possible. Like it or not, the people you live next to will be the people you see everyday. Putting off getting to know your hall mates only leads to weird half-smiling eye contact when you pass each other in the hall, and, inevitably, an all around boring floor to live on. So go ahead and ask your neighbors what TV shows they like, what their major is, plan a Taco Bell run together, and compliment them on their room decor, because you know they’ve been thinking about it since high school graduation. Who knows? Maybe the next time you are missing home or you just need one more quarter to finish drying your laundry, your dorm family will be the ones to come through for you.
2. Try out for everything and get involved. One of the best aspects of attending a school York College’s size is the opportunity all students have to be involved in all of the unique activities, clubs, and events York has to offer. Often, freshman will put off being involved because they are too intimidated or have the mindset that there will always be next year to be active on campus. College is the time to figure out what you are good at, so what do you have to lose? Nothing ventured, nothing gained! Every second you put off auditioning for choir, you may be absentmindedly depriving the world of the next Beyoncé, and, if I may be so bold, how dare you?
3. Be a teacher’s pet. Believe it or not, your professors don’t sit around in Knockturn Alley, practicing dark magic and planning for all your quizzes and projects to fall on the same day. They genuinely care about you as a person and want you to succeed in your chosen field of study. My most sincere piece of advice academically is not only to attend classes, but also go visit your instructor’s office when you’re struggling. Let them know when you have questions and need guidance, or maybe just mention to them how much you enjoy their class. Unfortunately, York doesn’t award a house cup at the end of the year, but it does offer an awesome learning atmosphere and some pretty incredible student/teacher relationships when you seek them out. Not to mention, YC has been Horcrux free since 1890.
4. Embrace the community of York College and all of its functioning parts. While YC professors are wonderful and altogether some of the most fascinating people you will meet, there are several other individuals who put in a crazy amount of time and effort behind the scenes to make York College run as smoothly as it does. These individuals include the custodial and maintenance staff, the admissions office, cafeteria employees, financial aid, and so many other people who are involved with York College because they share a common passion for sharing God’s intentional and relentless love with others, inevitably allowing York to be the close knit family that it is. So the next time you’re hanging out in Mackey, stop by the admissions office to reminisce with your recruiter about your first campus visit, and buddy up with the Cafeteria Staff and thank them for all their hard work. Why would you not want to be best friends with someone who can hook you up with mysteriously delicious mini gummy bears?
5. Be prepared and willing to grow. A wise group of musical teenagers once said, “High School wasn’t meant to last forever.” Oh boy, were they spot on. While Troy Bolton may deny it, the most meaningful events in your life probably haven’t happened yet, and that alone is one of the most exiting things about college. However, those moments don’t come easily. They require time, effort, and quite a bit of inconvenience, but I promise you will come out of York College a better person if you allow yourself to be pushed. Make friends with people you have nothing in common with, wake up a little earlier for Sunday Morning Bible Class, and most importantly, go ahead and dive head first into that giant sea of college unknowns. Your York College family is swimming right along with you and won’t let you fall behind!