Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Make the most of freshman year

By Ryan Flamerich

Freshmen, let me start by welcoming you to the University of Alabama. Roll Tide! Congratulations on becoming Alabama’s Class of 2014. Let me also answer a few questions you might have.

The food in Fresh Foods is pretty good, but Bryant is the best. Cell phone coverage is spotty in the Ferg, but it will be nonexistent on Game Day. Also, there is a shortage of parking on campus, and you will get a ticket if you park in the wrong place, even if it’s only for a minute.

Now, as many of you are just settling into your new surroundings, I want to stress something that many, including myself, wish someone had stressed during their early days on campus.

GET INVOLVED! Studies show that students who get involved early are more likely to succeed than those who don’t.

This is especially true on Alabama’s campus, where our residence halls are second to none. They give students amenities like privacy, recreational facilities and kitchens. However, they also allow students to separate themselves from everyone else.

I know countless stories of students who never strayed from the daily cycle of going to class and back to their room. Many grew dissatisfied and transferred or dropped out. Some still remain miserable in a shell of isolation they have unknowingly built for themselves. Don’t let it happen to you.

Alabama has over 200 organizations, and you have the ability to make your own if you don’t find one you like. Recently, the SGA launched an initiative called Before Bama. It is a survey all freshman were invited to take, and within a week the student organizations that best matched the answers the freshmen gave would be returned in an e-mail.

For upperclassmen, a link to this survey will be on the SGA’s new website set to launch near the start of the school year. If surveys are not your cup of tea, you should check out the Student Involvement Office and the Office of Greek Life on the third floor of the Ferg. In those offices, there are a number of officials who can help you find your place on campus.

GET OUT A MAP! During Bama Bound, you hear all about the benefits of going to class, and what to do and not to do on campus. However, what the counselors don’t tell you while registering for classes is to look to see where your classes are. One of the biggest mistakes freshmen make is not looking to see where their classes are in relation to each other. Without a bike or the Crimson Ride, getting from some parts of campus to the other in ten minutes is nearly impossible. Keeping the distances small can make all the difference in your freshman year; especially when old man winter comes to town.

START IT RIGHT! Your freshman year is critical when it comes to your GPA. Even more so than high school, your GPA is everything. The GPA students have when they exit their freshman year is usually very near the GPA they have when they graduate college. If you can get through your freshman year with an A average, you are on good track to keep it.

DON’T LISTEN! One of the biggest questions students of all academic levels have is whether they are going to graduate on time. I hear it time and time again: “I took a class that I did not need,” or “I took a class that doesn’t apply to my new major.” Many blame their advisors and others blame the world.

Nevertheless, take your future by the hand. Look up your major and any major you may be thinking of in the Undergraduate Catalog. In there, you will find all of the courses you have to take to graduate with semester plans for most majors. Also, it lists courses that are prerequisites for other courses, and shows you courses that you can take as electives. All majors on campus are designed to be completed in four years, but it is your job to make sure it happens!

Finally, HAVE FUN! Your freshman year is going to be one of the best years in your life. Don’t hold anything back because you will regret not giving it your all later.

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