What can the Class of 2026 expect from Bucknell?

Sioban Nerz, Contributing Writer

Many returning students are noticing strange changes to campus. Some experience the rumbling ELC as a herd of Smith Sharks pursue the blood from the uncooked caf chicken. Others hear slithering tongues of Vedder Vipers, debating how to work the printers in the library. The fear of many has been confirmed: the Class of 2026 is on campus. While some seasoned students don’t want to interact with the new students, others remember their own experiences as first years and want to help the incoming class transition into college life. As a former McDonnell Mustang myself, I can relate to the incoming class and seek to give them advice.  

First, since many students are unaccustomed to living by themselves, they have a tendency to walk outside without their key card and get locked out of the building. Instead of digging through a messy backpack, I recommend getting a lanyard. It is preferable to have one in a bright color, such as University orange, so it can be found easily. Additionally, students should proudly sport their lanyard with their dorm shirt. This way, upperclassmen can easily find you and kindly escort you to your dorm. Furthermore, all this swanky gear will signal to other first years that you are one of them and they will want to be friends. 

On the subject of making friends, my best piece of advice is to befriend your RA. One can do this by making noise complaints against their neighbor and by reporting alcohol in their dorm. Befriending your RA provides a wonderful chance to also become buddies with their friends. What upperclassmen doesn’t want to hang out with a first year? Another tip for making friends is to keep your door open. If you’re talking loudly to parents, people walking by will know you are family oriented. If you are changing before a shower, this will show you are not afraid to be vulnerable. An open door shows an open heart and is a great way to make lifelong friends. 

Now that your social life is worked out, let’s talk about grades. Start by buying all required textbooks from the University bookstore. Although they may seem pricey, one cannot beat the authenticity of obtaining a dirty torn loose leaf Econ 101 book from a University sponsored business. Moreover, after digging into the assigned readings, you may find your class boring. Although some advocate for caffeine to invigorate the mind, coffee is unnecessary as many first year dorms have study systems in place to keep students awake. Many times when students find themselves falling asleep, they are jolted awake by the fire alarm, provided by kind peers who have decided to burn their popcorn at 2 a.m. 

Overall, navigating college is tricky, so I hope you heed my advice. I wish the best of luck to the first years and hope you have a great time at the University.

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