Freshman year is a once in a lifetime experience. All of the suden, you’re in a place where something is always gone. Whether it’s an intellectually stimulating lecture to a full fledged concert, there is something on campus that you will want to go to and that you didn’t plan for. And freshman year is going to be your best chance to seize whatever opportunity presents itself and have an awesome experience.
I rememember the first night on my floor. We had a meeting, the 40 of use, with our RA, and were walking back to our rooms when suddenly, we get invaded by the floor above us. Bearing small plastic bins, they declared we were going to a rousing game of human bowling. We loaded a lucky floormate on a skateboard, launched her towards stacked bins, and kicked off our freshmen year and more importantly, freshmen relationships, with a bang (which, luckily for our human bowling ball, was a metaphorical bang and not a physical one).
I remember my first time attending Conquest, which is a spirit rally we have every year during rivalry week with UCLA. I didn’t know about it, and suddenly on this Thursday night, I found myself listening to a favorite band from my childhood, Third Eye Blind, live. Another weekend, I found myself hectically going back and forth between Relay for Life and Springfest, our springtime concert. I don’t think I ever knew about anything I did more than a day ahead that year.
Another result of my haphazard scheduling was my “whatever, I’ll try it” approach to Greek rush. Despite not planning to join a fraternity, I let my roommate drag me out to rush and ended up falling in love with the fraternity I am still in today. Heck, I’ve been president and am now serving on our national executive board! With these guys, I’ve also gone white water rafting, skydiving, and wakeboarding randomly. These have been some of best experiences, and helped me get my college experience started off right.
The worst thing that you can do is shut yourself off to these opportunities. No matter how busy you feel freshman year, this is your best chance to do all these fun, random things. College only gets busier, and you have to conduct yourself with a feeling of happy-go-luckiness (just not with respect to your grades!). I think doing this will not only lead to the most amount of fun possible, but will also serve as a catalyst for the friendships your are going to need to get through the next 4 years.
Remember, you’re an engineer, not a robot. Get out there and have fun.