College 101: A Guide to Healthy Relationships for Freshmen

Sun, 08/21/2011 - 23:00 -- admin

Photo from http://www.flickr.com/photos/desalesuniversity/

If MTV’s Real World has taught us anything, it’s that when strangers cohabitate, things get a little interesting. As you meet your first roommate, register for classes and move away from home, here are some changes in relationships to keep in mind to have an awesome first year away at college.

Dorm Life
Whether you’re living with one roommate or a group of suitemates in a same-sex or co-ed residence hall, dorms supply you with plenty of interaction with other people at all hours of the day. In addition to making friends during late night games of pool and ice cream socials, you’re likely to hit it off with someone from your dorm and maybe even begin dating.

All schools and residence halls have specific rules about dorm room sleepovers, but there are some other precautions you may want to take. If you live with roommates, don’t forget to be considerate of their space. There isn’t any reason for your new partner to have access to your room without you and your roommates’ permission. If your partner lives in another dorm or off campus, escort him or her to the door of your hall so that the dorm security knows that you are responsible for your guest.

College Parties
One way to decompress from a stressful week of studying is to go out and enjoy yourself at a party. Going to a party alone isn’t very fun, or safe, so bring along a friend or two in case you need a designated driver or someone to save you from unwanted flirting. One thing that hasn’t changed now that you’re in college is the level of respect that you deserve. Always remember that no means no and that you have the power to decide what you want to do and what you don’t.

Your Digital Self
In the midst of a frenzy of friend requests from orientation group members and new friends from your classes, there are some safety precautions to take in your online life. Never post your address or phone number on your profile. Some universities publish directories with everyone’s contact information online, so check with your school that your personal information is not available to the public without your permission. Class schedules can be exciting and posting it to Facebook is a quick way to find out if you have class with anyone you know, but be sure to leave out any information about where you’ll be at a given time.

Student/Faculty Relationships
College grades, just like high school grades, should be based upon the work you’ve produced and the effort you put forward in class or on an assignment. It may sound like a myth, but inappropriate student/faculty relationships happen. If you ever feel like a professor or teaching assistant is overstepping a professional boundary or is taking advantage of their status on campus, alert a dean your university police department.

What other advice would you give to incoming college freshman to make this transition a little easier? What questions do you want answered about your first year of college?

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