a d v i c e
July 31, 2009Page
w w w . O R E D I G G E R . n e t
–Your money will be at your fingertips with achecking account and Visa debit card.
–As the closest financial institution to CSM,we’re located just off-campus.
–There is a Credit Union of Colorado ATMlocated in the Ben Parker Student Center.
Easy money transfers
–Wire money from home toschool when you need it.
–Take advantage of our Bill Pay andother free, secure online banking services atwww.cuofco.org.
–We also offer Visa Platinum Credit Cards tothose who qualify, savings and money market accountswith great yield rates, and low-rate loans.
Ditch your bank and join
Credit Union of Colorado!
You’re already qualified! You’re eligible to become a member ofCredit Union of Colorado, thanks to being a CSM student.Open a checking account with us and you willget all the benefits of being a credit unionmember combined with the easy accessour CSM branch offers.
Credit Union of Colorado atColorado School of Mines
Locations throughout Colorado including:
1800 Jackson Street, Golden CO
This credit union is federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration.
From saying bye to your folksto trying to remember 50 names
at once, the haze of the rst day
of university can be something of asurvival challenge.
You could have spent the morn
-ing cramming every one of your be-
loved belongings into the car trunk. You could have spent a number of
hours on the motorway with your
family, either being calmed by them
as they reassure you that you’ll sur-
vive this monstrous experience – or
you giving comfort to your folks,
explaining that while you may haveown the nest, but you still lovethem. The following lines probably
serve either scenario: “the semes-ters are short,” “it’ll be over be-fore you know it,” “it’s not that far
away,” and so on.Once that ordeal is over,your rst task may well be todispatch your parents. They’ll
want a tour of your new ac-
commodation, maybe a quick handshake with the warden/ senior resident, and then it’stime for the goodbyes. Afterunloading the car, you mightsimply say “goodbye mom/ dad,” not as a farewell, but an
instruction. Then you’ll move on to claim
your key and… don’t panic! Your new abode may appear
to resemble more of a bombshelter or a storage facility for
Goodwill rejects than home
sweet home, but it will look
much more like the cozy place youhad been dreaming of, once youinstall your clutter into its connedspace.My undergrad residences roomhappened to be the most gar
ish shades of duck egg blue and
lime green imaginable, but it soon
became home to for a wonderfulfreshman year of adventures. Inany case, your communal spaceswill be decorated in all mannerof DIY ways over the rst term.Whether it be with a pyramid of emptied cans or any number of strange collections, freshman ndtheir own unique ways to make
The best piece of advice I gotfor starting Uni was to pack a door
stop. In the 450 person residencein central London, when ‘at home’ Ileft my door open and got chattingto anyone strolling down the hall.It’s a small gesture but an essentialone, conveying that you are friendlyand ready to meet new people.
Next, there’s time for a few
eeting introductions and sheep
ish handshakes, before you areshipped off to some social event.
Here are two challenges for you to
overcome: rst, try to remembera succession of names, subjects,home-towns and other little tidbitsof information being bowled at you.Just have an interesting couple of questions to hand, or some en
-gaging things to say for yourself
– maybe your summer holiday oryour gap year. But don’t go on toomuch. No-one warms to an intrep
id gapper who can’t stop blather
ing on about how much he/she hasfound him/herself and how they’veseen/discovered/healed the worldblah blah blah. But this tactic reallyworks. It’s those kind of details thatstop everyone meshing into oneamorphous mess. Just be carefulto stay on the right side of attentive
Starting at Mines
and curious, and not on the wrongside of obsessive stalker.
Do have a blast, but make
at least a token attempt to stayhealthy. The notorious freshman uis pretty self-explanatory. Throw aload of youngsters from all over thecountry, and, in fact, the world, intoclose quarters and the rst timebeing away from home (read: direfood) – and you haven’t got theeasiest pathway to healthy living.Perhaps you should even bring thecold remedies and Echinacea withyou in advance.
Finally, when you get back to
your residence and you enter theearly hours with your newly-foundfriends, bear the following piece of advice in mind. People often tendto stick together and fall into theircomfort zones in a pretty shortspace of time. So make the mostof your enthusiasm. Invest in thatdoorstop, and you may nd thatyour hospitality results in your room
being the social centre of your
corridor. Meet lots of people anddon’t just attach yourself to a smallenclave of like-minded freshers.“Don’t be like me and end up stuck with the same morons,” advisesone recent graduate, who unsur
prisingly wishes to remain name
less. “Yeah, don’t get stuck”, her(also anonymous) friend agrees. It’sgood advice; there are hundreds of other freshman - and second, thirdyear or grad students at this smalluniversity waiting to be acquainted
with you. They are not strangers
– they’re just friends you haven’tmade yet (cheesy as it sounds).But the best advice is just take iteasy. If you arrive late, have forgot
ten your favourite teddy, think that
everyone’s staring at you, or your
room stinks of damp, just take itin your stride. In terms of expecta
tions, it’s probably best just not tohave any. Being a freshman can bereally daunting, especially that rsttrip down to the canteen for dinner.I remember speaking to a verygood friend who went to Uni a yearbefore I did. She said she was pret
ty bored and wiling the hours awayon her newly-purchased laptop.When I had spent a couple of daysin my gaudy yellow room, I kind of
knew what she meant. For a lot of
people, the whole week is haze of unbridled euphoria. But for manyfreshman, student life doesn’t pro
vide an instant sensation of hedo
-nistic elation. For most, orientation
is about getting used to new sur
roundings, new people and a newstage of your life. Just enjoy it.Starting University really isn’tthat scary, honest. All the clichésapply (“you’re all in the same boat”being just one of them), but to steala metaphor from a recent acquain
tance – it is just like a buffet. Useyour rst week at university, andespecially your rst day, to be anadventurous eater. Get a taste of as much as you can. Just paceyourself; no-one wants indigestion.Bon appétit!
SURVIVAL ESSENTIALS:Don’t forget to…
Bring: a stash of passport/ government issued photos and a
notebook. They’re a must for the
stream of forms, I.D. cards, andmembership cards you’ll be receiv
ing in your rst week, and a to dolist will help you get all that admindone in time so you can start relax
ing and settling in.Read:
Starter for Ten
, by DavidNicholls, or if this is too English
for you, try
A Question of Attrac-tion
, the American title of the samebook. It’s a witty and entertainingread about one spotty student’srst year at university in Eng
land. You will laugh, cry, andcringe following the protago
nist’s faltering steps into life asa freshman in the 1980s. Sharein his encounters at the ‘Tartsand Vicars’ fancy-dress partyalong with his hapless attemptsto woo the girl of his dreams. Alternatively watch the funnylm version of
Starter for 10
produced by Tom Hanks. Visit: all-consuming Face
book. It will become your virtualhome once you enter student
life, so you may as well start
making friends now! Create agroup for your specic courseat your university and start net
-working.Join: at least one truly wackysociety. When you’re at orientation,
talk to all the clubs and societies,you’ll surely leave with handfulsof freebies. But don’t forget the
societies that will overwhelm you,both in terms of their number, their
bizarre breadth, and of courseSPAM! That said, any club, and es
pecially any sport-based club, is agreat way to build teammates intonew mates. Societies and clubs
have a great
sense of sharedcommunity and
are fabulousat organizingsocial events
and introducingpeople to one
another - you
may even nd you socialize morethan play.Enjoy: Mines is a uniquelyWestern school, not a typical col
lege, with nearby hiking, camping,bicycling, kayaking, y shing, rock climbing, and white-water raft
ing. For skiing and snowboarding,there are about a dozen major skiareas within 1-4 hours drive fromcampus. Denver and Boulder arewithin 20 miles of campus, offering
all the attractions of a large met-
ropolitan area. The social environ
ment is informal and friendly, andthe academic
not cutthroat.Mines attracts
ambitious andmotivated stu
dents, staff, and
faculty, but we
are not only about work; Mines of
fers 18 varsity sports and over 50club and intramural teams. Stu
dents are active in more than 100clubs and organizations includingmusic, student government, Greek Life, religious, cultural, special in
terest, and professional groups.
PHOTO COURTESY OF: WWW.DAMNILIKETHAT.COM
Starting University is just
like a buet. Use your rst
week at university, and
especially your rst day, tobe an adventurous eater.Get a taste of as much asyou can. Just pace yourself;no-one wants indigestion.Bon appétit!
Students are active in
more than 100 clubsand organizations.