Syllabus week and the first few weeks of classes are some of the best times to be a Slippery Rock student. Whether you are an upperclassman returning to friends separated by the summer, or a freshman ready to make new ones, it is an exciting time. There are clubs to join, meetings and classes to attend, and dorms to decorate. However, this time of the semester, especially for freshmen, is a time where students are still learning the ropes. For many members of the freshmen class, this is their first time being away from home for any extended amount of time. While that is an amazing opportunity for growth and learning, it also is an opportunity to make a lot of mistakes.
A long-standing staple in the history of The Rocket is our weekly reporting of the police blotter. As a public service, we publish a list of arrests made by the borough and campus police. Very often the first few blotters we run include the names of 18-year-old after 18-year-old on the receiving end of an alcohol violation or disorderly conduct. While the number of page views each week indicate that many students enjoy reading the blotter, we have yet to meet a student who has enjoyed being listed in it.
The blotter is far from the only place where the mistakes you make freshmen year will last. Police records, broken hearts and bad GPA’s can all have lasting effects even after you graduate. Mistakes are part of the learning process and the mistakes you make will help you grow as a person, but some have much greater consequences than others. While there are a very limited number of off-campus activities in the Slippery Rock area, you can still have fun this weekend while being smart. Common sense and a little bit of discretion will go a long way. Having fun is also always secondary to your studies. A bad freshmen year GPA can hold your overall GPA down for the rest of your college career even if you do well after.
Overall, these first weeks are going to set the tone for the rest of the semester. Good choices now can set you up for college success. Make sure to start the year off right.