Editorial | Take care of yourself during syllabus week

To thy happy children (of the present),

Now is the time of year when young, wide-eyed freshmen come to campus, eager to start their college experience. The University has gained a reputation of “work hard, play hard”; Illinois has multiple top globally ranked programs with party scenes to match.

In the typical freshman tradition, most students are probably going to embrace the party school atmosphere. Especially in the first couple days of classes, some professors are going to focus more on the syllabus and course structure than the grunt work of the course.

But as the mother figure of the University, I ask you to please take it easy. You will have four years and plenty of time to go out and enjoy the Champaign nightlife once classes become more relaxed and you better understand how to study.

You don’t need to go out every night of the week this early. It’s also not the best way to make friends when you can hardly talk to each other over the booming music at a party. You will have many semesters with varying difficulty and newfound friends to do that.

As a freshman, you are new to campus. Chances are you’re still getting used to getting around, so finding your way to a fraternity house you’ve never visited in the middle of the night isn’t exactly the safest idea — especially if you don’t have a group of friends who know campus too well either.

You might not know your limits yet, and that’s ok. But don’t feel the need to push yourself too far, especially if you have class the next day. Regrets come from late nights before early lectures, no matter what year in school you are in.

If you’re interested in rushing a fraternity or sorority, save the late nights for when you find your new sisters or brothers. Going out with your pledge class is a good way to get to know other people. You’ll be assigned a pledge mother or father who will become a mentor for helping you get acclimated to campus life.

You’ll probably also have socials set up for you so you won’t need to find a party where you don’t know anyone. Still, in these situations, take it easy. You don’t want to be remembered as the wild freshman at that one party.

We’re not telling you not to party. It’s difficult to not be at least somewhat curious, especially at a big party school like this, but try to stay in a couple nights and get to know the other people in your dorm or major. You’d be surprised how well you can get to know people during a night in with a movie and pizza.

You could also take a night to relax. You’re probably already overwhelmed from constantly adapting to campus life. You should feel free to just take a night to watch Netflix and not feel as though you’re missing out on anything.

Whatever you choose to do this week, have fun and stay safe.

Love, Alma