The Freshman Guide to Daemen Survival

By Anne Brady

So you've made it.  The days of stressful college applications and biting your nails because of pending acceptances and the tough decisions that followed are over.  Congratulations, you're a freshman at Daemen College.  FINALLY!  So now what?

These tips and tricks from your professors (Jeremy Hall, coordinator of the math department); RA's, (Helen Lawrence, sophomore and RA of Canavan's first floor) and fellow Daemen freshmen (Kenya McInnis, Sarah Pascell, Alicia Tos, Kaleigh Ratliff and Laura Ronayne) are here to help make surviving your first semester just a little bit easier.

With all the expectations you've likely built up before you've arrived for the first day of classes, there are bound to be plenty of misconceptions.  From the work load -- "I thought that because I had taken college classes before I came to Daemen I would be doing really well, getting A's and B's, but that was not the case when I got here," Kenya said -- to time management. "I thought that I was going to have lots of free time," Sarah anticipated.  "It isn't like that at all."

It can be hard to strike the right balance between friends and schoolwork.  "Hang out with your friends as much as possible," advises Alicia, “but don't forget schoolwork! You're not paying all this money just to party."

Having trouble making friends? "I recommend getting out and getting involved," Helen offers. "It's important to be a part of what Daemen has to offer.  It makes living at and/or going to Daemen a much more fulfilling experience.  The friendships you make in college last a lifetime!"

Resident or commuter?

Resident -the advantages: "Not having to worry about parking," says Kaleigh.  Helen likes getting to know the people she lives with.  "I love meeting someone new each trip down the hall."
Disadvantages: Helen hates being so far from home, Alicia misses her dog, and Laura hates the fact that there are no bath tubs.

For commuters.

Disadvantages: It's difficult to find a parking space.  Sarah says the worst thing is having to get up extra early, especially for morning classes.

Advantages: Saving money! Says Sarah: "I don't have to pay to live at home, or pay my mom to make me dinner."

Speaking of food, are you hungry? Find out what your peers think of campus food.
"I go to wick almost every day," says Professor Jeremy Hall.
Best foods: "The salad bar's always kind of nice," Prof. Hall notes.  "It's consistent." 
Kaleigh and Alicia recommend the grilled cheese, and Kenya is a fan of the ice cream and the fried chicken with hot sauce.

Foods to avoid: Kaleigh is not partial to the buffalo chicken wing pizza. Professor Hall doesn't like "any of that tofu garbage," and Kenya's not thrilled with the unseasoned food.  You'll have to try them all for yourselves.

Tired of Wick food? Try eating somewhere new.  On campus, Cyber Cafe and Cup-O-Joe are the hot spots.  There are also tons of restaurants near Daemen.  Denneys, Starbucks, Spot Coffee, Mighty Taco, Taco Bell, Ziggie's tacos,  Merge (vegan/ vegetarian) and Mcdonalds (Sarah says "the dollar menu is a college student's best friend!),  just to name a few.

While you're out, why not go do some shopping or catch a movie; the Boulevard Mall is just minutes away from the Daemen campus.  Also, on-campus activities like TGI Fridays in Cyber Cafe can help you meet lots of new people.  (Plus, there's FREE FOOD!) It's important that commuters stay for these social events, because it's easy to fall into the trap of simply going to classes and then heading home. That's not making the most of what Daemen has to offer.

The biggest mistake freshmen make, according to Professor Hall, is thinking "college is to get a job.  That's how they view it.  Not to become a better, more intelligent individual." His advice is to "Keep an open mind about your future and your goals, and don't be so discouraged when you have to change your plan to match your ability."

One last tip: Always verify information you get from the "student pipeline." People at Daemen are genuinely helpful,  but don't be fooled; upperclassmen don't  have all the answers, either!)

College can be a huge adjustment.  But if you feel like you're floundering, don't give up.  It will get better, and soon you'll be wondering why you ever doubted yourself or your decision to come to Daemen.

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