/ The Daily OrangeWomen & Gender
From one SU female to another, tips on everything from stereotypes to campus culture
It’s hard to believe I started my career at Syracuse University four years ago this month and am about to embark on my last semester of college. Needless to say, waves of nostalgia and self-reflection have become commonplace in my daily thoughts.
Hindsight bias makes it easy to look back at my time on campus and think about the details that young women on college campuses should be aware of.
In light of my recent epiphanies, I want to share some helpful advice and suggestions for other young women who are new to SU — or, refresh the rest of Syracuse women — on everything from gender stereotypes and campus culture to general safety and politics.
Build strong friendships and continue to make time for friends amid school, activities and other relationships. Take advantage of the amazing people on this campus and create a network of solid, go-to chicks you can rely on whether you need serious advice or want someone to walk with to the bars or a frat party, depending on your age, of course.
In terms of sex and safety, know your options. The Advocacy Center on campus is a helpful resource that offers free and confidential services to students who have been affected by relationship or sexual violence. It also has both prevention and education programs.
Students Advocating Sexual Safety and Empowerment is an organization that promotes these ideals by raising awareness and hosting events like “The Vagina Monologues” in February. It also gives out free condoms and vagina-shaped lollipops. You can follow SASSE on Twitter at @SASSEsyracuse.
Being a sports fan is not a dude-only realm. SU is a thriving place for students to experience athletics at its best — and its worst, depending on the season — and in no way does this exclude the women on campus. As a student at SU, get in touch with your sports fandom and commitment to the Orange without being intimidated by traditional cultural norms around gender and sports.
For example, eating lunch at Chuck’s Cafe is not overrated by any means. It shouldn’t just be a place to visit after midnight on a Thursday. Guys aren’t the only ones who crave burgers and beer.
Sororities and greek life can be fun ways to meet people and find a sense of home at SU, but they are not necessarily for everyone. It might feel like everyone on campus is participating in recruitment or pledging come January, but only about 20 percent of the SU student population is involved with greek life. Explore your options and trust your instincts, but also keep in mind that your activities don’t define you.
Know your roots. SU is home to countless notable alumni, many of them being women. From Comedian Lisa Lampanelli to all-star Actress Vanessa Williams to highly-esteemed Author Joyce Carol Oates, it’s important to be knowledgeable about the rich history of Orange women in order to become one.
This fall is a crucial time to be politically aware and active given the upcoming presidential election, especially for first-time voters. The university has a number of ways to get involved politically through different clubs, organizations and community projects.
There’s no shortage of opportunities to be locally aware of political concerns, and this can also help frame large-scale, national matters. In addition to the national election, if you’re registered to vote in Syracuse, be sure to do research in order to make informed local voting decisions.
Krystie Yandoli is a senior women and gender studies and English and textual studies major. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or followed on Twitter at @KrystieLYandoli.
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