5 Pieces Of Advice For College Freshmen

5 Very Important Pieces Of Advice I Wish I Knew As A College Freshman

Upcoming freshman: here's what you need to know.

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Thinking about your upcoming freshman year of college can be exciting, but it can also be scary. From moving out of your home and leaving friends to becoming independent can definitely be a scary jump, but here are a few things I wish I would've known (or believed when it was told to me) that can help you through your first year.

1. This is just the beginning 

A lot of people see graduating high school as "the end of an era," but although it is the end of a very important period of your life, it's just the start of something better. College is where you're going to meet the people you'll spend the rest of your life catching up with. It's where you're going to build your career and take you places that you couldn't go without your degree. It's where you're going to find yourself because of the countless opportunities it gives for self-expression. In high school, you were stuck around the same people five times a week, and although you have your identity through that experience, you're also going to find out so many things about yourself that you wouldn't have dreamt of knowing before

2. Everyone is looking for friends 

When leaving most of your friends behind, it gets overwhelming thinking about having to look for a new group of people to hang out with, but here's the thing, EVERYONE is feeling that exact same way. You're not the only one leaving friends behind, almost the entire freshman class is too. Everyone is looking for an opportunity meet new people and create friendship groups, so it's quite easy to make a few new friends right off the bat, as long as you're putting yourself out there as well.

3. Don't be afraid to change your major 

Throughout high school, I had my sights set on one particular major that I truly thought I would love because it was what I enjoyed doing in high school. But after a few classes and an extensive program evaluation sheet, I soon realized that that major was probably not the right choice for me. You might think that changing your major may put you a few steps back, but changing mine put me a few steps forward!

4. Get involved 

You may have heard that all throughout high school, encouraged to join clubs and teams to put on your resume. I thought all of that ended when I got to college because I never realized the importance of them. They're not only a shiny trophy to put on your resume and make you look good, but they also come with wonderful opportunities to meet new people, get to know your new town, and to get you out of your comfort zone! Clubs benefit you because they make you well rounded and push you to try things you haven't, wish is definitely something you're going to need over the next few years.

5. Enjoy every moment (yes, even the bad) 

Last but not least, enjoy every moment! This is a fresh start to completely turn your life into what you want it to be. It's important to have fun and make memories, but it's also important to embrace those nights where you feel lonely or those days you feel stressed because you learn from them and appreciate what you have so much more! College is about learning from every aspect of your life, not just the academic side, so it's important to make sure you enjoy every side of it!

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To The Nursing Major During The Hardest Week Of The Year

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

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To the Nursing Major During Finals Week,

I know you're tired, I know you're stressed, and I know you feel like you can't go on. I know that no part of this seems fair, and I know you are by far the biggest critic of yourself. I know that you've thought about giving up. I know that you feel alone. I know that you wonder why in the world you chose one of the hardest college majors, especially on the days it leaves you feeling empty and broken.

But, I also know that you love nursing school. I know your eyes light up when you're with patients, and I know your heart races when you think of graduation. I know that you love the people that you're in school with, like truly, we're-all-in-this-together, family type of love. I know that you look at the older nurses with admiration, just hoping and praying that you will remain that calm and composed one day. I know that every time someone asks what your college major is that you beam with pride as you tell them it's nursing, and I know that your heart skips a beat knowing that you are making a difference.

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that a failed class doesn't mean you aren't meant to do this. I know that a 'C' on a test that you studied so. dang. hard. for does not mean that you are not intelligent. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

I know that nursing school isn't fair. I know you wish it was easier. I know that some days you can't remember why it's worth it. I know you want to go out and have fun. I know that staying up until 1:00 A.M. doing paperwork, only to have to be up and at clinicals before the sun rises is not fair. I know that studying this much only to be failing the class is hard. I know you wish your friends and family understood. I know that this is difficult.

Nursing school isn't glamorous, with the white lab coat and stethoscope. Nursing school is crying, randomly and a lot. Nursing school is exhaustion. Nursing school is drinking so much coffee that you lose track. Nursing school is being so stressed that you can't eat. Nursing school is four cumulative finals jam-packed into one week that is enough to make you go insane.

But, nursing school is worth it. I know that when these assignments are turned in and finals are over, that you will find the motivation to keep going. I know that one good day of making a difference in a patient's life is worth a hundred bad days of nursing school.

Keep hanging in there, nursing majors. It'll all be worth it— this I know, for sure.

So, if you have a nursing major in your life, hug them and tell them that you're proud of them. Nursing school is tough, nursing school is scary, and nursing school is overwhelming; but a simple 'thank-you' from someone we love is all we need to keep going.

Sincerely,

A third-year nursing student who knows

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Why Fordham Should Have a Safe Space Policy

On a campus committed to it's student's safety, why is emotional safety left out?

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Last year college Republicans were asked to leave Rodrigue's coffee house for provoking members by wearing pro-Trump attire within the shop. The reason they were asked to leave was because Rodrigue's upholds a "safe space" policy, which can be boiled down to the simple phrase: "No racism. No sexism. No homophobia." In the eyes of the members and patrons of Rod's, Trump embodied all of these things. Regardless of the politics of this specific incident, the phrase and policy seems redundant because this rhetoric can't possibly be allowed anywhere else on campus. Right?

As this incident made campus as well as national news Father McShane addressed the events in an e-mail to all students in which he made it clear he did not condone the approach of the College Republicans, as well as stated that Fordham has no official Safe Space policy and insinuated if it did this would silence voices on campus.

Let's examine what a safe space policy means and why it's important to so many members of the Fordham community. It simply means homophobic, sexist, and racist imagery and speech are not allowed. On a campus with racial minority, female, and queer students who chose to be members of the Fordham community as well as study here, live here, and pay obscene amounts of money to be a student, it does not make sense for these individuals to be subjected to abuses related to their identity. How can you focus in class when your professor misgenders you, a student makes a disparaging comment about your religion, or you fear for your physical safety due to the way you present yourself? Bigoted rhetoric is oppositional to academia.

Fordham is a private university, not a public one, and could easily legislate a basic safe space guideline on campus. I understand many of us that a safe space policy would protect do not experience outward aggression often, if at all, as the University does take steps to ensure our safety. So why no official policy? The answer is simple to me: money. Fordham receives hefty donations from conservative alumni whose own political ideology is contrary to the safe space policy. The choice to not outwardly support minority students is a decidedly economic and political one, despite Father McShane's plea for political peace on campus.

And what is wrong with silencing hateful voices? Tolerance is an incredibly important value, but should tolerance really extend to the intolerant? I found the logic behind not installing the policy as it would politically oppress individuals, incredibly interesting and telling. This means your politics are fatally bigoted and I would take a critical look at that. It's intrinsic to our perception of our school to remember that colleges are businesses and it is sometimes their prerogative to meet economic needs above the needs of their student body. However, this is hopeful. As patrons of this business, we can demand more of them and the most effective way to do this is economical. Invest money in places such as Rodrigue's to expand their voice, have your parents write letters to the school, tell at-risk individuals to not apply, and encourage alumni to earmark their money for minority student initiatives or withhold it unless the school legislates a safe space policy.

We as a student body should care for one another and above all respect the personhood of everyone on and off campus. Consider honoring the policy in your own lives and social circles, and demand Fordham to officially do the same.

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