Get advice from someone who knows

A new semester is upon us, a fresh 15 weeks of academia is underway. Early morning classes are in session, a new crop of wide-eyed freshmen have arrived and new goals have been ambitiously calculated

A new semester is upon us, a fresh 15 weeks of academia is underway. Early morning classes are in session, a new crop of wide-eyed freshmen have arrived and new goals have been ambitiously calculated all around.

With the overwhelming parade of new people, schedules and experiences that are an invariable part of any new beginning come the accompanying problems and uncertainties that inundate the minds of students.

It’s not easy to walk in the shoes of a college student. Juggling personal and academic lives and fighting to maintain success in each one can be a true struggle. That’s where I come in.

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Gina. Consider me the Dalai Lama of Temple University. Well, maybe I’m not quite that worldly and wise but I do know a thing or two about surviving college life and life in general.

Somewhere between a few blinks of the eye and a blurry drunken night or two I’ve reached my junior year. Just like many other students, I’ve experienced the kind of worries and confusion that has made the road a little rockier. I’m here to assist anyone who is experiencing the same ups and downs, highs and lows and in-betweens that I’ve frequently encountered during my time here. From the most trivial of worries to the most urgent of conundrums, I’m here to help remedy the problem.

As a native suburbanite striving for self-discovery in a big city, I’ve done the fraternity party thing, the dorm thing and the common missing-multitudes-of-classes-thing. I’ve pursued passions, failed, succeeded, crammed for finals at the last minute and had more humiliating experiences than I’d like to remember.

I join my fellow Temple students in their quest for clarity, for success, for love and happiness. I’m here to help you with the best of my knowledge and wisdom to eliminate any confusion that may have invaded your life.

A roommate feud? A broken heart that needs mending? A wacky professor? A frantic mind in need of consolation? Homesick? I’ve got the answers.

It’s my promise that my advice will be well-thought out and researched and granted with the purest of intentions. No problem is too small and no worry too petty. Any question qualifies for good advice, so go ahead; send them in.

For now, I’d like to offer a few words of advice to help all of you, especially freshmen, get through the first few weeks of school unscathed. Here are four ways to make the best out of your new experience:

Concentrate on classes – As the semester progresses it becomes increasingly easy to lose focus on school. Try to hit it hard right off the bat. The worse you do in the beginning of the term, the harder it will be for you to catch up. Also, cramming is a big no-no. Freshman year is crucial and if you have a poor first semester, it can be extremely hard to ever recover.

Don’t go crazy over the food – “Freshmen 15” is no myth. You’ll find an array of eateries, most offer a lot of food that is generally unhealthy. When choosing your meals, select healthier options that will give you energy and keep your waistline at a reasonable width. Also, if you live on or near campus, make an effort to workout at the IBC, located on 15th Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue. It offers a variety of exercise equipment that will help you shed some pounds and prevent them from packing on.

Don’t party … too hard – The city is rich with possibilities for entertainment and fun. Instead of attending on-campus frat parties every weekend, try to go into the city and explore what there is to see. Partying too hard can be a disastrous cycle that can destroy your motivation to go to class and ultimately be detrimental to your grades. Instead of routine partying, go sightseeing, or visit one of Philadelphia’s many charming neighborhoods like Old City.

Get to know people – Temple’s Main Campus has a considerably large student body – 22,000 people, to be exact. If you are a freshman this semester, you’ll soon discover if you haven’t already, just how diverse Temple students are and how many people there are to interact with. Try to meet as many people as possible. Don’t be shy, get out there and socialize.

Gina Sicilia can be reached at

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