Column: A Senior’s guide to surviving your first year of College

By Alexis Wenzel

Welcome to Ripon, First Years. You will hear a lot about Ripon in the first week and on move-in day, and a lot of the information will be forgotten in the mess of new material given to you.

Here are some easy to read, easy to save for another time tips for your first year of college.

You can find a lot of ways to save money and a lot of activities to do in Ripon. You have heard a lot of small facts during orientation about campus and its surroundings here are some opportunities you might have missed. On campus a lot of free things to take advantage of such as the pool and gym in Willmore, and the library, which has several floors with quiet study areas and games you can play.

Dormitories have lounges and kitchens that are available to spend time in, and Scott Hall has a ping-pong table. Most lounges have TVs that you can connect your laptop to watch shows or movies with friends. A lot of other cool places on campus are easily accessible and free of cost; if you have more questions about places to hang out you can always ask a resident assistant (RA).

Different student groups around campus also host events, such as social, Greek and diversity groups. These events are usually free and allow for opportunities to meet new people and become more involved on campus. Some of these events have free prizes that you can win or snacks that are free of charge. To join these groups, Greek life hosts events to get to know new students, and other groups on campus hold meetings weekly. All these times and dates are posted on the calendar on your Ripon portal.

You can also find a lot of great places to visit off-campus. While the town does host small music events and different festivals that are free, they also have great food places, and stores downtown to shop at.

Another great tip is to get reward cards for places in Ripon to save money and get deals. Among the places they are available at are Kwik Trip, Webster’s, Walgreens, Dominos and Kmart.

These are just a few of the great things I have discovered in Ripon in the past three years, and everyday I find more fun activities here, so don’t be afraid to explore the town and campus. And remember to always be yourself, as cliche as that is. College is the best place to start being the person you want to be without pressure and judgement.  Everyone here is doing the same thing!

Have a great first year!