A First Year Survival Guide

KC Mautner '12Co-Editor-in-Chief

So you’ve made it to Scripps. Congratulations! But that doesn’t mean that life became any easier. In fact, it probably became more confusing, what with trying to figure out Claremont and Core and everything in between. To help you out on that venture, I’ve been enlisted to dole out some tidbits of advice on surviving your first year of college. By no means do I claim to be an expert. Heck, lately I’ve been spending my Saturday nights holed up in Honnold Mudd, trying to understand critical race theory and marginal costs (I’m a party animal, I know). That being said, I’ll do my best to impart what little wisdom I’d like to think that I’ve gained from being at Scripps for over two years now.

Core Yes, I know it’s a lot of reading. And yes, I know it’s tempting to drown out the lectures through Facebook. But sadly, just like all of your other classes, your grade in Core will haunt your transcript for years to come. Grades aside, you’ll end up discussing many of the themes and texts of Core in classes down the road, so it really is in your best interest to get the best possible understanding you can of these texts now.

Writing 50 I understand that every first-year’s experience with Writing 50 varies based on the section and the professor, but I can honestly say that Writing 50 was one of the most helpful classes I’ve taken so far in college.

-Talk to your professor! I guarantee that he or she is intelligent and willing to help you not only write a good paper, but become a better writer.

-Don’t start your papers the night before they’re due. The sooner you get started on your paper, the more time you’ll have to think about it, let the topic settle in your brain, etc.

-Write an outline before you start your paper, with a clear beginning, middle and end in mind. If you don’t know where you want your paper to end up, it will just turn out to be a mess, both structurally and organizationally.

-Whenever I finish writing a draft of a paper, I like to print it out and edit it by hand, rather than on my computer. It’s not only a good way to catch any grammatical mistakes, but also a way to figure out if what I meant to write ended up being what I actually wrote.

Social life Be outgoing. Make friends in new places. That being said, at a school as small as ours, reputations—especially negative ones—can stick with you much too easily. Just like your grade in Core can haunt your transcript for years to come, an unflattering reputation can haunt you for the remainder of your college years. I cannot underemphasize the importance of being outgoing and sociable, but at the same time, be the Scripps women that you are and make smart choices. Please.

Meeting people from the other campuses When I give tours, I always tell the prospective students that they can make Scripps as much or as little of a women’s college as they want it to be. It’s possible to spend all four years here taking all of your classes at Scripps, joining clubs and organizations that are Scripps-only, and staying on the Scripps campus on the weekends. On the other side of the coin, it’s also possible to take most of your classes off-campus, join 5C clubs and organizations, and spend time on the other campuses on the weekends. If your goal is meeting people from the other campuses, then the ball is in your court. You have to make the effort to get to the other campuses. Though it may seem like a treacherous journey to go all the way to Pomona for a social event or club meeting, trust me when I say that it will be worth it.

Places to go in Claremont I have to confess that I’m a Yogurtland fanatic, though I assume that all of you have visited Yogurtland by now (if you haven’t, GO! Yogurtland is sort of like Disneyland, except better). Shameless plug for my favorite frozen treat stop aside, I understand that the Claremont village seems excessively small (two streets for a college town? Really?) but in the small selection of stores in the village, you’d be surprised at how many of those are winners. For example:

-The folk music store: Not only is it owned by Ben Harper’s family (yes, that Ben Harper), but the folk music store is super fun and quirky. Check it out!

-Some Crust Bakery: Croissants, cupcakes, cookies… what’s not to love?

-Viva Madrid: If you have not yet discovered tapas, Viva Madrid is the place for you! The restaurant pairs seemingly weird combinations in small-sized plates, making for a delicious evening out.