The past several months have been stressful for freshman on the forty acres, but they have grown accustomed to life as Longhorns. Immersed in the hectic world of college, they started off as confused tadpoles, wandering aimlessly. Nearly finished with their first year, these tadpoles are now angsty teenage-leap frogs who wander with just a little more purpose.
Story by Zoya Zia
Constantly surrounded by events and people, freshmen experienced a roller-coaster of emotions. Academic stress and existential dread have led to late nights and early mornings. Here are just a few amateur lessons they have learned.
Pancakes Are a Must
Breakfast items are known as comfort foods. This comfort is most important before a major exam or nerve-wracking interview. ” Within the first bite, they open doors to happiness nobody even knew existed. Do not be afraid to eat pancakes at brunch or right before dinner. Let nothing stand in the way.
Seek New Study Spots
Once freshmen eat pancakes and ignore their responsibilities for half an hour, classes,office hours and meetings pile up. Phones send multiple reminders at once. Each ping mutters “get your life together” under its breath. However, a change of environment may help. The University of Texas at Austin is huge and has seemingly endless venues for studying and procrastinating.
The Marauder’s Map Is Real
Walking across campus, freshmen run into familiar faces. Some people are easy to greet, giving you the option of a smile or casual peace sign. Others are at that strange “acquaintance” stage. They probably saw you waving at them and just didn’t wave back. Just like Harry Potter has a Marauder’s Map to know where his friends and frenemies are, students have pure coincidence. It’s best to get used to awkward run-ins.
Don’t Stop the Music
Freshmen and upperclassmen alike enjoy their favorite tunes in between classes. Music is integral to college life. Kanye West, Zayn Malik and Rihanna single-handedly sent airwaves in the form of overplayed songs and basic Instagram captions. Regardless, freshmen listened to music in hard times and better times. Headphones in place, they often lip-synced and strutted to the beat.
Freshmen quickly change their pace to a run towards free shirts and hand-sanitizer. They have learned to seize opportunities for freebies. Losing the blessing of free public education changes the game. Perhaps one of these days, they will win that Torchy’s $5 gift card.
Will you have time for Torchy’s? Is it better to stay at the Union? Only your schedule will tell. As soon as a professor mentions a test date or deadline, freshmen collect their thoughts and stop zoning out. If they ignore responsibilities for too long, the stack of assignments may seem insurmountable. However, freshmen can succeed. They just need well-kept schedules and multiple reminders.
Power to the Tower
On the worst days, the Tower shined bright (like a diamond, but slightly less beautiful). Feeling nostalgia for the past and uncertainty for the future, freshmen looked up to the monumental structure at night and remembered exactly why they deserve to be at UT.
Treat Yo’ Self
Speaking of what freshman deserve, relaxation is arguably as important as work. Productivity matters, but so does happiness. Freshmen struggled with this at the beginning of the year. However, when they came back to school after winter break and spring break, they knew just how to treat themselves with extra coffee, frozen yogurt and naps.
From Fury to Furry
It is such a treat to greet amusing animals. Whether through therapy dogs or strange squirrels, nature became a way to de-stress. Some of that freshman angst withered away when furry friends were mentioned in any context.
Listicles Kinda Waste Time
Angst returns when freshmen take a look at their to-do list. Time-management is a crux, and perhaps reading listicles every ten minutes detracts from overall productivity.
Freshmen are aware of this reality and many others. As experienced Longhorns, the Class of 2019 has come a long way. The journey ahead looks daunting with deadlines and pleasant with pancakes.