Freshman Advice On Classes, Food, Parties and Sleep – Part 2
In Part I, we began giving you a taste of what it’s like to be a freshman at a big university by talking to Holy Cross freshman Christopher Abell about making friends, having fun, and living in a college dorm. In this second part of a two-part series, Chris shares his experiences with college classes, sleeping, and avoiding starvation away from home. Here’s what he had to say on the matter:
Chris is very lucky to have an R.A. who strives to maintain some sanity in the dorm. With a few early classes, Chris needs all of the sleep he can get. (See his schedule below.)
“Getting up early isn’t a problem if you don’t party too hard the night before,” he says. “And so far, the homework hasn’t been too bad. There’s more reading than high school, but you can get away without reading everything because the professors go over the material in class.”
Although Chris didn’t get all the classes he wanted, (“Psychology is popular and fills up quickly.”), he did get three out of four. His biggest class has about 25 people and his smallest has about 10.
“The smallest is a basic acting class, and it’s nice to get such personal instruction from my professor,” he says. “He’s a professional actor, so it’s cool to have him be able to concentrate on me individually so much. It’s not like a regular class; we stretch, do speaking exercises, do improv and act out scenes. It’s my favorite class.”
One especially cool high-tech advancement is that most of the teachers have Web sites for their classes. Chris says that the school uses Blackboard, a Web-based tool for teaching and learning. It allows you to take tests, participate in online discussions (think “virtual classrooms”), send email and pick up class assignments.
“Everyone here has a computer,” says Chris. “And probably 95 percent of them are laptops.”
Although Chris says it’s not too hard to maintain healthy sleeping and eating patterns during the week, the weekends are another story.
“It’s easy to oversleep on the weekends and miss a meal,” he says. “People end up ordering a lot of pizza or Chinese.”
So what ARE the food options on campus?
The main dining hall, which is open from 7 a.m. until 7:30 p.m., offers burgers, chicken, stir fry, a deli, pizza, pasta, a salad bar, desserts, etc. For breakfast they offer eggs, waffles, cereal, fruit, meats and so on. It’s all-you-can-eat, which is especially nice for starving students.
“There’s another place that’s more like a food court,” Chris explains. “It has a grill, Chinese and Italian food – more like fast food. It’s not open as long as the main dining hall though. There’s also this place that’s like a mini version of the main dining hall, which is open till 11 p.m.”
Chris says that during the week, he’s pretty good about making sure he gets three meals a day. A typical week for him might look something like this:
Monday, Wednesday, Friday:
Wake up at 8:15 a.m.
Class at 9 a.m.
Class at 10 a.m.
Class at 2 p.m.
Class at 3 p.m.
Tuesday and Thursday:
Class at 3 p.m.
Free time: Sleep, study and/or hang out with friends.
So what does Chris suggest incoming freshmen do to prepare for their new academic setting and the crazy hours and eating options it presents?
“Bring your computer, a fan, a lamp, a fridge, an alarm clock, and of course, money,” he advises.