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Calvin welcomes Class of 2017 to campus

Photo by Rick Treur.
Photo by Rick Treur.

The Chimes staff would like to welcome you to your first year at Calvin College! We’ve been in your shoes, and we get that the transition is exciting, scary, nerve-racking and a whole smorgasbord of other emotions. We want you to know that we have gone through everything that you are going through and know how you feel, so we’re going to help you get through your first few harrowing weeks of college.

Our first piece of advice is also the most important: invest in a good winter coat. Trust us, it might be 88 degrees and sunny now but it could easily snow tomorrow. Expect snow from October to April and maybe even May.

Yes, it will be May before you know it because freshman year will go by in a flash. Make time to hang out with friends, and treasure those late nights at Steak ’n Shake. Don’t get so caught up in your studies that you forget college is just as much about learning to engage other people as it is about learning to engage your textbooks.

Speaking of textbooks, the campus store is here to serve you, but make sure to check out Amazon.com first. Although, at the end of the day, an $80 calculus textbook is just as painful as a $30 calculus textbook.

But whether or not you like calculus, try to appreciate the beauty of the diversity of a liberal arts education. Who knows, core might give you a class that you actually learn to love or introduce you to a cool professor that you might never have met otherwise.

And since you have to take so much core anyways, don’t worry about your major quite yet.  Many people switch majors multiple times while at Calvin. In fact, none of us are graduating with the degrees we thought we would four years ago.

But that isn’t the only thing that hasn’t worked out the way we planned. Friend groups fluctuate; don’t be afraid if your friend groups change dramatically. None of our friend groups

are the same as when we came in. And don’t worry if a friend group doesn’t magically appear your first month at Calvin or if old friends seem to be drifting away. Our office door is always open. Except when it’s not.

Anyway, be sure to talk with people who look different than you, think differently than you and believe different things than you. Your liberal arts education doesn’t stop at the classroom door. Becoming a well-rounded person involves more than being forced to take an arts class — who we interact with shapes who we are.

One interaction many students spend a great deal of time thinking about is a romantic relationship. Being a whole person does not require a significant other. So while it’s great to find someone you care about, make sure finding a significant other doesn’t get in the way of having a life.

Now on to the meat of our article: food. Some of our favorite options are pasta bar at Commons, UpperCrust and Taste of India at Knollcrest. Also don’t forget about the sack lunch program in case you are stuck in class through lunch.

One thing you should never do while stuck is class is nod off — even if you stayed up until 3 a.m. writing the essay you procrastinated on.

However, not everyone learns this lesson by their senior year of college. We’re currently writing this article at 1:30 a.m., fueled by half a pizza and not enough caffeine.

So follow our advice better than we did, and maybe someday, if everything goes right, you can find yourself sitting in this office giving advice to the Class of 2020.

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