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The Antelope

The Antelope

What to expect from your freshman year at UNK


Keegan Francl

Freshman year at UNK is like going through middle school all over again.

It’s exciting and awkward. 

You’re moved out of your previous home and surrounded by new and maybe even familiar faces. That girl on your high-school’s rival volleyball team is now your new bff.

The dorm atmosphere almost feels like you’re at summer camp: scrunched in small spaces with people who you see almost every day. They become your family and if you’re lucky enough, the friends you make your first year become your best pals through the rest of your college experience. 

But then it’s awkward because you find out that the classroom etiquette you learned in high school suddenly doesn’t apply anymore. It turns out your professor doesn’t actually care when or if you have to go to the bathroom. 

Just go. 

Or if you’re like me, you find out that you’ve been ignorant about a lot of things and now you have to reassess your entire worldview. 

Even worse, you leave your microwaved burrito in too long and now the entire dormitory is ordered to evacuate at 2a.m. There’s nothing more humiliating than your colleagues seething at you through the fabric of their blankets while you’re holding a burnt Dollar Tree burrito like a guilty criminal – the criminal who stole their precious hours of sleep.

And what do you do about your roommate who slurps her smelly garlic mashed-potatoes at her bedside every night while watching Criminal Minds? Nothing in high school prepared you for dealing with someone who uses your shampoo without asking and turns the thermostat to 78 degrees. Patience, love, and compromise is key, my friends. 

Nevertheless, you’re excited! Finally, your campus offers clubs that relate to you! Study abroad! Naps without your mom yelling at you to clean the house! Freedom! Cafeteria food prepared at your convenience! Student discounts! Sorority and Fraternity life! Educators who actually care about and help you! 

My friend Madison and I were cooking fat steaks at Cottonmill park last night and reminiscing over our four years here at UNK. Madi was my freshman year suitemate and we’ve been close friends ever since. We are expecting to graduate together this December. 

As we laid in the grass and got comfortable amongst the dead leaves and mosquitos, I asked Madison what she would change about her college experience, if she could. 

It took her all but two seconds to reply, “I wish I would have gotten more involved”. 

I found her response ironic considering I begged her hundreds of times to go to club meetings with me because I didn’t want to go by myself. Don’t be like Madi and don’t be like me. Go with or without a friend. Either way you will find your ‘tribe’. Your future party memories will never compare to times like the entire CTW 4th and 3rd floor willingly gathering in the small lounge to play cards together every night for weeks straight. 

It is easy to slip in to the boring vortex of regrets and “I wish”s. Upon graduation you’ll receive your degree, but then what? What else did you do? What do you remember?

Go join that club. Stay up late with your friends. Cruise Kearney at night. Play intramural sports. Start your own clothing brand. Write for the Antelope newspaper. 

Famous poet Ogden Nash put it best when he said that, “it is best to not sin at all but if sin you must be pursuing, well, remember to do it by doing rather than by not doing.”

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