A freshman's guide to the Newman galaxy

By: Austin Schwartz, Staff Writer

A new school year has begun, which means there are a lot of new students on campus. When I was a freshman many years ago, there were a lot of things that I didn’t know. Entering college can be daunting, especially if you are far from home, so I wanted to make a list of tips that I wish someone had shared with me so I didn’t have to learn them on my own.

Here’s my version of the Freshman’s Guide to the Galaxy:

Free food: Many events at Newman offer free food for those attending. As a college student, you will have to deal with tight schedules and budgeting. Free food events should be a “must attend.” Jet Friday offers free donuts and coffee in the Student LIfe Lounge of Dugan. Watch for upcoming events like these in your email and the NU Body Groupme.

Geese colony: Lots of geese reside on campus. This means there is poop littered across the sidewalks, so be prepared to play hopscotch. The majority of the geese poop can be found on the south side of campus. The Adorers of the Blood of Christ have a large pond, which encourages more geese to visit the area.

Restrooms: In high school, we were all accustomed to raising our hands and asking permission to use the restroom. We are considered adults now, so it’s okay to get up and go.

Student fees: Most incoming students wonder what the mysterious “student fees” that we have to pay go towards. They’re used to pay for campus events designed for your enjoyment; The Back to School Bash and Spring Fling are examples of these events. (You’re actually paying for your free food.)

Study sessions: You will want to pull together study groups with your classmates. There are many great spots on campus to meet up, and one of the more popular is Bishop Gerber for its convenience and comfort. Some other good study spots you might check out: study rooms in the library, tables spread throughout DeMattias(explore sometime), and the picnic tables outside Sacred Heart when the weather is nice.

Homework: All professors have a “late work” policy. Don’t let that stress you out. If you have an emergency, most are willing to work with you if you communicate with them.

Office hours: Your professors want to help you succeed. Pay attention to your syllabus and know their office hours. They are there to help you. If they didn’t want to, they would go home.

Emails: Newman is doing its best to not clog your email. It can be overwhelming to look at your inbox, but keep up to date with your messages. You don’t want to miss out on upcoming events or class information from your professors.

Library: The library in Dugan has more to offer than the books on its shelves. It also has an online data system, study rooms, computers, and a friendly staff willing to help you if you have questions.

Mental health: Newman offers mental health assistance for those struggling with stress, anxiety, depression, etc. If you need help, don’t be afraid to ask. At the bottom of every syllabus is information for free therapy and counseling.

Clubs: There are lots of opportunities out there for you to get involved. Joining a club doesn’t mean you are stuck in it. Take the time to explore and see what you like; reach out to different clubs or attend meetings. You might find something you like and make new friends. Some of the most popular clubs on campus are MCLO, ASA, HALO, NUMPC, Sloppy Joes (NTC), and many more. To find a list of clubs and meetings, visit the “Student Activities” page on the Newman website.

SGA: The Student Government Association is a collection of students who want to improve student life. You don’t have to be a member to attend the meetings; They are open door. If you want to start an initiative, go to the meeting. Senators represent the student body, which you are a part of. You also can run for office this fall or wait until spring to run for next year’s. The meetings are from noon to one on Tuesdays in the Dugan Conference Center.

Sleep: In all honesty, you are going to get less than you like. It will be hard to find time to rest due to homework and busy schedules. Find time to nap or meditate.

Restaurants: With a busy schedule you’ll want inexpensive food that you can acquire late at night. West Street, of course, has a McDonald’s that is open 24 hours. It also houses a gem known as Rene’s which serves homemade Mexican food 24/7.

Coffee: Newman no longer has a coffee shop on campus. While you can still get straightforward coffee via Campus Ministry, the Refuel Station, and other organizations, the best places to get that morning boost nearby are the Scooter’s, Dunkin’ and QuickTrip stores on West Street.

Cafeteria: If you do eat at the cafeteria, the deli station at lunch is the best option in my opinion. I’d also suggest going during breakfast whenever you can because it’s always good. Dinner can be a bit spotty. A student favorite is the chicken tenders. On steak night, the cuts are usually medium-welldone, but our amazing kitchen staff will bring you in the back to give you a rare cut if you request it.

Fun: You are going to college to gain an education, but you are living to have fun. Enjoy your time here. Make sure you have a hobby that helps you destress.

PHOTO: Courtesy photo, University Relations