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How to pass your first year

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The students visit each other by walking near the central hall. | Facebook

Freshmen face many challenges. For some, this is the first time they have left the family compound. For others, it’s about learning that Tide Pods aren’t just for eating. Most have questions: “What should I specialize in?” “” How much do I have to study? “Why is my voice changing? To answer these questions and more, I have compiled this collection of wisdom gleaned from my three years as a freshman at Hillsdale.

What should I specialize in?

After deciding who you are going to marry, what you specialize in is the biggest decision you will make in Hillsdale. As a student, you are encouraged to specialize in an area that interests you. If you like numbers, study math. If you like to be poor, Philosophy is for you.

How do I let my teachers know how smart I am?

Ask tons of questions, shame Curious George. But keep in mind that the only purpose of asking questions is to show your teacher how much your the intellect surpasses that of the troglodytes in your class, and asking a question means that there is something your teacher can teach you (absurd!). So your “questions” should really be statements, long and rambling if possible. This technique, like oil painting, is an art form that can be mastered. Her “Mona Lisa” is CCA’s question-and-answer session.

How much should I study?

A good rule of thumb is to study two hours for every hour spent in class. This is good advice, but note that our courses are 50 minutes. Also note that 50 is less than 60. I bet you feel pretty stupid that you ever studied.

How can I make friends?

Making friends is hard – just ask anyone on a desert island. Fortunately, there are a few nifty tips to help reduce the difficulty required to acquire new school buddies. A quick way to get to know someone is to chat about music. This serves to break the ice and see how you get along. I use this technique all the time. If I meet someone and their favorite song isn’t Kidz Bop “WAP (Waffles and Pancakes)”, I will never recognize its existence again.

Where can I get help with my lessons?

One of the many academic resources available to students is Sigma Chi Keg Night. Another lesser-known resource is the Writing Center. The Writing Center is here to help you write better. Tutors can help you with any type of paper, be it story paper, English paper, or toilet paper. To help alumni of public schools, Hillsdale also has a reading center.

Hope these tips help you crush your freshman year. If everyone in the Class of 2025 follows my advice to the letter, this year’s “best and brightest” freshman class may well live up to the hype.

Nick Treglia is a junior studying history and applied mathematics – because he wants a job after graduation.


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