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Freshmen face many chal­lenges. For some, it’s their first time away from the family com­pound. For others, it’s learning that Tide Pods aren’t just for eating. Most have ques­tions: “What should I major in?” “How much should I 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 Hillsdale freshman. 

What should I major in?

After deciding who you’ll marry, what you major in is the biggest decision you’ll make at Hillsdale. As a student, you are encouraged to major in a field that interests you. If you enjoy numbers, major in math. If you enjoy being poor, phi­losophy is for you. 

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

Ask tons of ques­tions, put Curious George to shame. But bear in mind that the whole purpose of asking ques­tions is to show your pro­fessor how much your intellect exceeds that of the troglodytes in your class, and asking a question means there’s some­thing your pro­fessor can teach you (pre­pos­terous!). So your “ques­tions” should really be state­ments, long-winded and rambly if pos­sible. This tech­nique, much like oil painting, is an art form that can be mas­tered. Its “Mona Lisa” is the CCA Q&A session. 

How much should I study?

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

How do I make friends?

Making friends is hard — just ask anyone on a deserted island. For­tu­nately, there are a few nifty tricks to help reduce the req­uisite dif­fi­culty in acquiring new school chums. One quick way to get acquainted with someone is to discuss 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 acknowledge their exis­tence again. 

Where can I get help for my classes?

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 more gooder. Tutors can assist you with any kind of paper, whether it be a history paper, English paper, or toilet paper. To help former public-school stu­dents, Hillsdale also has a Reading Center. 

Hope­fully these tips will 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 just might live up to the hype. 

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