Part two of “The First Year”

Hello freshmen. This is the first week of the rest of your lives, or maybe just the next four years. You will be experiencing all kinds of new things. Hence the reason for the second installment in the series entitled “The First Year.” This week's column will discuss the freshman 15, alcohol consumption, the fresh-meat syndrome, dating and heartbreak and unwanted pregnancy.

Along with the emotional three that was discussed last week, freshmen have to contend with so many other issues. Some of the subjects I will be talking about can end your stay at the University of Alaska Anchorage if you let them. You can recover from any of these topics if you are aware that they can occur and are prepared to deal with them.

People say that the freshman 15 is a myth, but I have experienced it and have seen it happen to others. The freshman 15 refers to the weight you gain your first year of college. Not everyone gains the extra weight; however, some students gain more than 15 pounds. The cause of the freshman 15 is mainly usually bad eating habits and lack of exercise, but beer drinking can also be a factor.

Another problem freshmen face is alcohol poisoning. According to the evening news, alcohol poisoning occurrences are higher the first year of school. Furthermore, the rate of underage drinking is increasing on college campuses. Alcohol is everywhere.

UAA is a dry campus. However people are going drink anyway, on or off campus. Please be careful. If you choose to drink remember these five things: don't drink under-age, don't drink on campus, keep it in moderation, drink with people you know and never leave your drink unattended.

The fresh-meat syndrome relates mainly to females. This means you are the new catch on campus and the guys are going to stop at nothing to be the first to bed you. I know it is sad, but ladies it happens all the time. Watch out. You are less likely to become the next victim of this crime against females if you do the following things:

  • Ask yourself why you have become so popular with the guys all of a sudden?
  • Don't believe everything a guy tells you.
  • Respect yourself and your body.
  • Don't date or get into a relationship when you are lonely. Guys can smell desperation and will take advantage of it.
  • Remember, who you are is enough.

The social games you played in high school still exist. You may be on a bigger campus, but the games are still the same. The only difference between then and now is that the people are older. Don't think that every guy or girl you meet is going to be the one, because they aren't.

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You are going to have your heart broken this year. Don't let it destroy you. Deal with your feelings right away. Tell yourself that it was his or her loss and believe that you will find someone better. You deserve to be treated well, provided that you treat others well. Good self-esteem is the key to surviving heartbreak. Good luck.

Lastly, ladies, unwanted pregnancy can happen to you. All it takes is one mistake in judgement. Pregnancy doesn't have to stop education, it will however make getting an education more difficult. Before pregnancy happens, ask yourself a few questions about the guy you want to have sex with:

  • Am I ready to be a mother?
  • Do I want to be tied to him the rest of my life?
  • Will he be here for the baby and me if I get pregnant?
  • Will he make a good father?

This year is really important and the decisions you make today will affect the rest of your life. Think before you act and weigh the consequences of your actions.

`Til next week be safe.