Opinion: Advice for incoming freshmen


Alexandra Tinline headshot

Alexandra Tinline

This was the last week of Destination Kent State (DKS), where all the incoming freshmen spend a couple of days in Kent, go through orientation and create their schedules.

I attended it in May of 2014, with my best friend and roommate of two years, Hannah. After a day of icebreakers and mock classes with other incoming students, we were the weirdos that took a handful of popsicles from Eastway and hid in our dorm room. We talked about what it was going to be like to be in that awkward, half-grownish stage of our lives, being independent and away from home.

Flash forward four years and this upcoming semester will be my last fall at Kent State. What I’ve discovered is that college is nothing like I thought it would be, as all of you incoming Flashes will soon find out. So, freshman, this is for you. And don’t try to hide, we know who you are by the lanyards around your necks.

Here are some tips and things you have to look forward to while attending this fine establishment:

  1. If you are a girl, most people will assume you are a fashion major. You are probably a nursing student, though.

  2. You’ll never fully understand the saying “packed like a can of sardines” until you attempt to ride the PARTA in the winter, when it’s -17 degrees and every other campus has been closed except for the main one.

  3. The golden rule is the 6th inch rule; it’s the neighborly thing to follow.

  4. If you want to do anything productive, stay away from the fourth floor of the library.

  5. You are always in spitting distance of a Starbucks.

  6. No one is judging you for sleeping in past 1 pm.

  7. The Fork in the Road food truck will change your life.

  8. You will witness a black squirrel running across campus with an Auntie Anne’s pretzel in its mouth.

  9. You will probably change your major at least once.

  10. The library is and always will be the tallest building in Portage County.

In all seriousness though, Kent State has been that cliché for me. I have been able to find my passions and myself. When I started my freshman year, I came in as a hospitality management major. If you know me, you would laugh in my face at the fact that at one point in my life I wanted to work in the service industry.

After my first semester, I quickly learned that that career choice meant I had to be nice to people and smile on purpose, because the customer is always right, even when they are not. Yeah, hard pass on that one.

College is a place that shows you all the things you don’t want to do or be as you grow and change. I don’t want to be stuck at a desk or stuck in a routine. That’s why I fell in love with journalism and you too will find what you want to live for. You will find your people. You will find your dreams. You will find yourself creating memories.

And before you know it you will find yourself being me, with your time up and the clock ticking, telling you are an adult now. While that sounds dark and luminous, like the end of a twisted college horror movie, it’s not. My last bit of advice is to enjoy every hot mess, hysterical, restless, fun, debt-filled moment and remember to always wear flip-flops in the shower.

 Alexandra Tinline is an opinion columnist. Reach her at [email protected]