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  • Writer's picture The Vindicator

We Meet Again

A warm welcome to our new and returning CSU students!

Written by Jake Ryan

It’s everyone’s favorite time of year: school! What better way to start the year than with a look back on the first month, and a welcome from your favorite Cleveland State arts and culture magazine?

Welcome Back!

First and foremost, we would like to extend a warm welcome to all first-year students. Congratulations, you did it! You made it past the hardest part of college, the first week. It can certainly be overwhelming in those first few days. Some particularly terrifying things are:

  • Receiving emails from professors with schedules and syllabi — an intimidating outline of the next few months, all in one convenient Word doc.

  • Trying to navigate and find classes

  • Deciphering the many abbreviations of the Innerlink

  • Going to the dining hall for lunch and expecting food, then being met with a whole lot of not-that-much.

You may have been overwhelmed and thought, “there’s no way I can do this, it’s too much.” However, as the days went on and turned into weeks, you got into a groove. You didn’t give up and here you are. You did it.

That is certainly worth applause. Anyone who has ever gone to college wishes they would have known just how overwhelming it can all be before they sent in that first application letter. Hey, now if somebody asks you for advice about what to know in the first year of higher education, you know what to say.


Quick piece of advice: do not buy or rent books until at least one week into classes, unless you are absolutely certain that you will need them. In some cases, books or other course materials could be available at the library, so you do have options. At this point it’s probably too late to do anything about the fall semester, but heed the warning for spring.

To our fellow “been there done that”s, welcome back. How was your summer? If yours was also very warm, welcome to the club. Getting back in the thick of things is another one of the most challenging aspects of any level of education. After three months of doing nothing aside from a summer job or the occasional pool day, taking notes about anything unrelated to beaches is a task that no person wishes to perform.

Sophomores, make sure you declare your major soon if you haven’t already done that. We wouldn’t want you getting behind now, would we? Some of you seniors have graduation and “the real world” to look forward to in just a couple months. That’s scary. You know what else is? Midterms. It’s never too early to start preparing. By the time you’re reading this, midterms are just around the corner.

Now for some general pieces of advice for all students. Studying is important, but it can also be difficult if you don’t know what to study or how to go about doing it (one of those great mysteries of life). That is why our good friends over at TASC, on the second floor in Berkman Hall, are here to help.

Don’t need tutoring but still feel stressed? Check out the Counseling Center. Despite the fact that it’s above Rascal House, it is part of our school. Don’t want to have to deal with people? Then go on an adventure looking for Rune and Thor, our wonderfully golden therapy dogs. You can typically find one or both of them in the Student Center. Unfortunately for those of you who are allergic to dogs or simply don’t like them, we don’t have any other therapy animals.

Things to Do

But enough about stress and tests: let’s focus on something more fun. A quick piece of advice to our previously-mentioned new students, do things. College, as with most things in life, can get boring if you don’t have any activities to break up the monotony of note-taking.

We’ll start with school-related suggestions. Clubs and sports are the first things that come into anyone’s mind when they think of school related activities. Aside from being a great way to meet new people, learn life skills and being something to put on a resume, clubs can teach you a lot about yourself. Maybe you didn’t realize you had an undying passion for writing until you pitched to your favorite arts and culture magazine, The Vindicator. That’s the great thing about college: you have the freedom to choose your path.

Not a film major, but you like movies? Join the Film Makers Club. There isn’t a chess major or minor, but there is a chess club. Just because MagnusFest was on a Thursday this year, doesn’t mean it’s too late to join! Better late than never.

Head to the Rec Center. There’s nothing better after a long day of classes than getting out all of your anxiety and pent up frustration by deadlifting 580. You could hit a punching bag and imagine it’s the quiz you just took. Creativity is key.

Not in a sport but want to watch one? Go to a game. As you probably know, students get free tickets to all regular-season sporting events. Support your fellow students and head to a game. Not to brag or anything, but we’re pretty good at sports around here. Especially football.

"That’s the great thing about college: you have the freedom to choose your path."

Outside of the school sphere, being in the heart of downtown Cleveland has its perks. Take advantage of the fall weather with a nice evening walk to decompress after classes. Might as well, before we’re knee-deep in snow. Hop on the bus and end up somewhere random. While we don’t necessarily encourage unplanned excursions, we do encourage a good journey once in a while. Of course, if none of those sound like any fun, you could always take a nap. Works every time.

Regardless of who you are, what activities you enjoy, what you study, whether you’re in a club or on a team and whether or not you’re allergic to dogs, we’re glad you’re here. To leave off with one final piece of advice, to our commuter friends: get here early so you don’t lose a parking spot. If it happened once, it will happen again. And of course, good luck and thank you for reading.

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