Freshman year of college will be the most enriching experience of your life. It’s full of meeting new people, exploring new places, learning new topics, and discovering your independent self. You will never experience anything like college. Lafayette College is one of the best, if not the best, place for these new experiences. Before you know it you will not be able to imagine your life without Lafayette and the people that are part of this community. There are, however, a few things you should know before your freshman year at Lafayette College.
1. Do not worry about meal swipes
As freshman you get the option of choosing 20 meal swipes or an unlimited number of swipes. If you choose 20 meal swipes, do not stress, you have enough. Your eating habits will change in college, and more often than not, you will not use all 20 swipes; most likely, you will skip a few meals or opt to eat somewhere near campus.
2. There is A LOT of reading
You are no longer in high school. Your textbooks will become your best friends, and your teachers will assign more reading than you have ever received. Yet, you will soon find out that the readings will only help you for the upcoming pop-quiz or exam.
3. You won’t have time to be homesick, especially during orientation
Being away from home for the first time is difficult to fathom and nerve wracking. At Lafayette, however, you will not have time to be homesick. Especially during the first few days of orientation, sleep is cherished. Then between classes, clubs, and sports free time will be rare.
4. Your professors are some of the smartest people you will ever meet
This is probably of not much surprise but you will be shocked at how much they know. they will usually be able to answer almost every question that comes their way. It is easy to see that they are genuinely passionate about the subject they are teaching. They are also some of the most understanding and caring people you will encounter at Lafayette. You are learning from the best.
5. The most shocking news you will hear is that the campus outline is the shape of a whale
Yes, you heard it here. The outline of Lafayette’s campus is the shape of a whale. How else do you think the Vineyard Vine whale’s unique shape was formed?
6. It’s a small school
Word travels fast and you will see your hookup from the night before. So be wary of your actions.
7. The Bushkill parking lot is straight out of a horror movie
Beware: If you are planning to bring a car on campus you will most likely be assigned parking in the Bushkill parking lot as a freshman. Not only is it a hike off campus, but it is the sketchiest place around town. My roommate and I traditionally ubered to her car and even the Uber drivers were petrified at the sight of that parking lot.
8. 8ams are terrible
You may think that 8am classes are not that bad considering your high school started then, or even earlier, but trust me there is nothing worse than being the only person awake in your dorm building. The only thing that will get you through the early class is thinking about the long nap you’re going to take later in the day.
9. The farmers market in downtown Easton is worth climbing the steps
Downtown Easton is absolutely beautiful, especially in the late-summer/early-fall time. The farmers market takes place every weekend and the food is exceptional. Everything about it is Snapchat/Insta-worthy. The steps back up to campus might be treacherous but it will be worth the soreness.
10. You can get anywhere on campus within 10 minutes
As long as you allot 10 minutes of walking time between your classes, you will most likely make it on time. Just put a slight pep in your step and you can get from The Fishers to the gym within 10 minutes.
11. Do not join every club at the involvement fair
The involvement fair is a great opportunity to see all of the amazing clubs Lafayette has to offer. They are all appealing and getting involved is very important. But save yourself the time and effort of signing up for practically every club. Simply sign up for the few that specifically match your interests and passions; you will not have enough time in the day to attend the 15 club meetings you signed up for. It can also get tiring deleting the thousands of emails all year from clubs you don’t end up joining.
12. It’s okay if you don’t find your squad within the first year
Everyone is looking to make friends the first year. More often than not, your friends within the first month of school will be made out of convenience, perhaps through your orientation group or the people on your floor. Don’t be afraid to branch out and befriend people from other dorms, clubs, or classes. Your “group”will form naturally, not through forced friendships.
13. You will be in awe of Lafayette’s beautiful campus
You cannot get enough of this campus. No matter what the weather is, Lafayette’s campus is stunning. Make an effort to especially see Skillman Library at night. It glows in the dark night sky. It was featured on Parks and Recreation as the Leslie Knope Library for a reason.
14. It’s okay to stay in for the weekend and catch up on homework
Deciding to go out or not can be a very tough decision to make. It requires a lot of contemplating and sometimes even a pros and cons list. Know that it is okay to stay in your dorm just doing homework, watching a movie, or hanging out with friends. No one will judge you for not engaging in the party scene, and sometimes a weekend in is just necessary. Just because you are now in college does not mean that you have to have those “wild college nights” every weekend.
15. Be semi-wary of the sushi at Lower…
The food at Lafayette is generally good, yet some meals can be questionable in look and taste. For instance, the sushi at Lower may cause some concerns. The vegetable roll is always a safe option that never fails to satisfy.
16. Become bffs with Orlando.
17. There are always opportunities to voice your opinions
Lafayette always gives students the opportunity to express their likes, dislikes, and new ideas. Surveys are constantly sent out and teacher evaluations are taken into serious consideration. Lafayette makes a lot of effort ensuring their students are happy, so don’t be afraid to voice any concerns you may have—changes can take place.
18. Do not wear your lanyard around your neck— it screams freshman
During the first week you will be tempted to wear your lanyard (holding your checkpoint, keys, and student ID) around your neck out of convenience, but trust me the jingling keys around your neck will stick out. Heres a tip: try tying your checkpoint onto a hair tie around your wrist— it will be easily accessible.
19. Don’t be discouraged if you can’t find the parties your first weekend here
The parties will be hard to find at first, especially for freshman. But don’t get discouraged: as you make more friends and familiarize yourself with the social scene you will find places to go on the weekend. You will eventually know your way to the houses with all of the parties by heart.
20. Your freshman year will go by way too fast
Take in every moment. You will never experience this year full of firsts ever again. Before you know it you will be looking back on the myriad of things you learned within just nine months, and you will wish to relive almost every moment. Enjoy your freshman experience, there is nothing like it.