August 22. T-Minus 45 days until Freshmen Orientation Day at Elon University.

To get you ready for one of the best years of your life, two of our rising-sophomore staff members, Paige Pauroso and Mackenzie Grace Murray, have their top ten tips for making the most out of your freshman year at Elon.

1. Be Outgoing

Orientation week is a whirlwind. Before school even starts you're going to be meeting loads of new students, from the ones living on your hall to the ones in your orientation group to the ones you'll randomly bump into along the way. Make sure you get to know as many people as possible: this is the perfect chance for you to start finding where you fit in on campus. Introduce yourself to your neighbor or ask your orientation group some questions about themselves. You never know, you might meet some of your closest friends this way.

2. Get Involved

Elon has everything. From ballroom dancing to rugby to improv. comedy, there are more than 100 clubs and organizations for any interest that you have. Joining different organizations is a great way to stay busy doing the things you love and its the best way to make friends with similar interests. Elon students are notoriously over-involved (in a good way!) so stop by the Organization Fair at the beginning of the semester to learn about as many club information meetings as possible. After the meetings, be sure to get really involved in all the clubs you fall in love with.

3. Keep Track of Your School Work

As much as you are denying it during the summer, you're coming to college in the fall to get an education, not to socialize. That being said, it's easy to get caught up in all the fun and forget about your tests and homework. To combat procrastination, try and do a little bit of school work each day. This way, everything you need to get done won't be an unbearable mess for you to deal with late Sunday night (been there, done that- you DON'T want this to happen to you). If you plan your time out, you'll be less stressed and will have more time for friends.

Bonus Tip: Try studying in the "Harry Potter Room" (you will learn what/where this is the second you step on campus, I promise). The room's set-up, with all the comfy armchairs and long study tables, makes it feel like you're right in Hogwarts.

4. Utilize Your Meal Plan

Qdoba. Chick fil A. Biscuitville. Are you hungry yet? Because you have all of these food options, and more, on campus. So study up: Look at your meal plan ahead of time to get familiar with it. Most freshmen have all-access, which allows you to eat at all of the dining halls, but you can use your meal dollars at any of the retail food places. If you have All-Access Plus 7 or Plus 14, you have extra retail swipes each week, which means more Qdoba or Biscuitville! But remember: you only have a certain amount of retail swipes each week, so plan wisely!

5. Don't Be Afraid to Call Home

Confession: We called or texted our moms everyday of freshmen year (and honestly that will probably continue all four years.) Most college freshmen get homesick, but many are too afraid to admit it. Instead of ignoring your homesickness, give Mom and Dad a ring. You'll feel much better after you do. And let's be honest, you will totally get brownie points for checking in with your parents.

6. Have an Acorn Cookie

Acorn cookie or heaven on Earth? You decide. This is an Elon delicacy that you will soon be obsessed with. They are the perfect snack for when you're cramming for a final exam or when you're rewarding yourself for doing well on a paper. You'll soon find yourself craving an Acorn cookie anywhere from at 3 in the afternoon, to 2 o'clock in the morning to right when you are waking up. But it's alright: we all go through it. And what's better than a sweet treat that's only $1.89 AND can be paid for with meal dollars? The answer is nothing.

Bonus Tip: If you have a sweet tooth like we do, be sure to also check out Smitty's Ice Cream. You can't go wrong with any of the flavors.

7. Be Flexible

Adjusting to dorm life can be difficult. Prior to college, some of you might not have ever shared a room or even a bathroom. When you come to Elon, it's more than likely you'll have a roommate and will be sharing a bathroom with your suite or with your hall. Sharing such personal space is a huge adjustment. College might also be your first time doing laundry, checking your own mail or even planning your schedule. In situations like these, be flexible and don't stress! You will soon learn how to handle your new college life and your routine will become natural over time.

8. Get To Know Your Advisor

From class registration, to a four-year plan, to switching classes (sometimes dropping a class) your advisor is there for you! Elon has a great faculty that is eager to help you have a successful first year. Don't be afraid to email your advisor or stop by their office with any questions or concerns regarding your major, class schedule, or even just general questions about Elon. Sometimes we like to visit our advisors just to chat and catch up on life (and that is totally not lame at Elon, we promise!)

9. Say Yes

This is going to seem silly but say "yes" to every opportunity Elon is going to throw at you in your first year. Your new school is great about having fun speakers (Steve Wozniak of Apple fame, Poet Maya Angelou, and even broadcast journalist Anderson Cooper), performances (SNL's Jay Pharaoh and Kate McKinnon, to name a few) and even camels (for Hump Day) come to campus. So when someone asks you to go to one of these events, turn off the Netflix and go! You'll never regret seeing someone talk about something they are passionate about or seeing an amazing performance. You might even get to meet them.

10. Be Yourself

This is the most important one of all. College is a time where you will become the adult you are meant to be. It's an amazing time in your life where you learn so much about yourself and what matters to you. We're sure you've all been told that college is a time to "reinvent" yourself. But instead of reinventing yourself, become your best self. Try new things, meet new people, be bold, be courageous, be YOU! Strive everyday to work towards the adult that you want to be and your college experience will be a wonderful four years.

So Class of 2018, have a great year! From personal experience, we know it is going to be one of the best times of your life.

- Paige and Mackenzie


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