An Open Letter to ALL UMASS Dartmouth Incoming Freshmen

An Open Letter to ALL UMASS Dartmouth Incoming Freshmen

Dear Incoming Freshmen: Welcome to My World.
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Dear freshmen,

As an incoming college freshman, I'm sure you're feeling one of two ways: 1) Oh no... college... this is scary. I won't know anyone, and I'm going to be on my own for the first time. What if I don't know where to go or what to do? My classes are going to be so hard and I'm going to get lost and I should probably just stay home, or... 2) OH MY GOD COLLEGE I CAN'T WAIT TO MOVE IN I FINALLY GET MY OWN SPACE I'M AN ADULT MY DORM IS GONNA BE SO COOL ROOMMATES AND PARTIES AND ADULTING YAY. Either way, college is a new experience that can be life changing for all of us. However, attending college at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth will provide you an experience like no other.


As an incoming UMASS Dartmouth student, there are a few things you should know upon arrival. Typically, we have more male than female students. We have students representing 43 of the 50 United States, and 48 countries across the globe. We have over 75 undergraduate areas of study, two pre-professional pathways (pre-law and pre-med), and an undeclared track in four different major areas. We have over 150 student run clubs including Greek Life (fraternities and sororities), the Black Student Union, and an a cappella group. There are endless opportunities for student involvement, as well as ample opportunity to create new clubs or groups if we don't already have something that interests you. We are home to a multitude of betterment and awareness organizations including Active Minds, Eovove, and Global Health Collaborative. There are also multiple opportunities for student employment and professional advancement. The university offers many paid positions, work study and other, including library staff, the student activities department (SAIL) and undergraduate teacher's assistants.


You can find all of that information on our school's website. However, what you can't always find on our school's website is the real deal about some of this stuff. This might be the fun stuff, like that you can almost always find a crazy party if you look hard enough, or the not-so-fun stuff, like the fact that you're at least somewhat likely to fail an exam or two during your time on campus. But there's other things that some of us veterans wish we knew when we were walking in your shoes. First, the freshman quad is the least impressive of the living arrangements, but what did you expect as a freshman? You get two parking lots and a volleyball court and us seniors think that makes us even. The dells are.. crazy. To this day, I'm not entirely sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing, but you've been warned. As a freshman, you will more than likely get rejected to at least one party. You'll get over it, and everyone will move on with their lives. No one, and I mean literally not a single person on this campus calls the dining hall "The Marketplace." Short for "residential dining hall," it's res. That's it. Additionally, you don't know anythingggggg until you've had a Rose cookie. One day, you'll meet Rose. You'll eat a Rose cookie. Then you'll know. Networking is crucial. Get yourself out there and meet people, and never burn your bridges. You never gonna know who's help you're going to need one day. We offer hundreds of clubs. Go out of your way to research them and then check them all out at the Corsair Fair. I promise you, you will regret not being more involved as you cross that stage on graduation day (which, even though you like don't even go here yet, is waaaaay closer than you think). Go to those study sessions. These classes are too expensive for you to waste your time retaking them because you dun goofed the first time around. Utilize your resources: books, clubs, the school website, staff, students. If you don't know something, please ask. Any staff or student will gladly direct you. Upperclassmen want you to experience all things that they didn't get the chance to, and they always have the inside scoop. Your RA is your friend, but remember that friendship is a two way street. Most importantly, this isn't high school anymore. This is the real world. This is your world, and it will be whatever you make of it. Now, I know you've all seen the movies, but let me tell you- college is not what you see on television. It is real and it is wonderful. Don't take it for granted. Your time here will fly by. Spend it wisely.


Sincerely,

A Senior

Cover Image Credit: http://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/redeemingamericaspromise/pages/453/meta_images/original/o-GRADUATION-facebook.jpg?1471243956

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To The Girl Who Had A Plan

A letter to the girl whose life is not going according to her plan.
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“I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” - William Ernest Henley

Since we were little girls we have been asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” We responded with astronauts, teachers, presidents, nurses, etc. Then we start growing up, and our plans change.

In middle school, our plans were molded based on our friends and whatever was cool at the time. Eventually, we went to high school and this question became serious, along with some others: “What are your plans for college?” “What are you going to major in?” “When do you think you’ll get married?” “Are you going to stay friends with your friends?” We are bombarded with these questions we are supposed to have answers to, so we start making plans.

Plans, like going to college with our best friends and getting a degree we’ve been dreaming about. Plans, to get married as soon as we can. We make plans for how to lose weight and get healthy. We make plans for our weddings and children.

SEE ALSO: 19 Pieces Of Advice From A Soon-To-Be 20-Year-Old

We fill our Pinterest boards with these dreams and hopes that we have, which are really great things to do, but what happens when you don’t get into that college? What happens when your best friend chooses to go somewhere else? Or, what if you don’t get the scholarship you need or the awards you thought you deserved. Maybe, the guy you thought you would marry breaks your heart. You might gain a few pounds instead of losing them. Your parents get divorced. Someone you love gets cancer. You don’t get the grades you need. You don’t make that collegiate sports team. The sorority you’re a legacy to, drops you. You didn’t get the job or internship you applied for. What happens to you when this plan doesn’t go your way?

I’ve been there.

The answer for that is “I have this hope that is an anchor for my soul.” Soon we all realize we are not the captain of our fate. We don’t have everything under control nor will we ever have control of every situation in our lives. But, there is someone who is working all things together for the good of those who love him, who has a plan and a purpose for the lives of his children. His name is Jesus. When life takes a turn you aren’t expecting, those are the times you have to cling to Him the tightest, trusting that His plan is what is best. That is easier said than done, but keep pursuing Him. I have found in my life that His plans were always better than mine, and slowly He’s revealing that to me.

The end of your plan isn’t the end of your life. There is more out there. You may not be the captain of your fate, but you can be the master of your soul. You can choose to be happy despite your circumstances. You can change directions at any point and go a different way. You can take the bad and make something beautiful out of it, if you allow God to work in your heart.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Patiently Waiting With An Impatient Heart

So, make the best of that school you did get in to. Own it. Make new friends- you may find they are better than the old ones. Apply for more scholarships, or get a job. Move on from the guy that broke your heart; he does not deserve you. God has a guy lined up for you who will love you completely. Spend all the time you can with the loved one with cancer. Pray, pray hard for healing. Study more. Apply for more jobs, or try to spend your summer serving others instead. Join a different club or get involved in other organizations on campus. Find your delight first in God and then pursue other activities that make you happy; He will give you the desires of your heart.

My friend, it is going to be OK.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Beavers Photography

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Fall In Love With Failure In Order To Be Successful

Make failure your key to success.

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The world is full of 'no's.' From your parents saying no to you not being able to go out with your friends, to getting denied from the college you really wanted to go to. The word 'No' is defined as 'the negative answer or decision; getting the opposite of what is specified' according to Google.

If any of you follow Gary Vaynerchuk (better known as Gary Vee, famous entrepreneur and motivational speaker) said once that you need to 'fall in love with failure.' Accepting failure and how you handle that failure, really determines your destiny. (It does sound cheesy, but it is very true).

So many people let failure defeat them. You might say that failure might not defeat you, but inside it still does. Failure is a daunting feeling that makes you feel less than who you are. Or that you do not have enough potential for something. But here is the thing…YOU DO HAVE THE POTENTIAL FOR SOMETHING.

I love failing. I know, it sounds crazy, but I like failing. Why? Because it helps me narrow down my options, and shows me what is meant to be, and what isn't. Failure is a sign from God saying, 'No, there is another way you can do this, you just haven't found it yet. Keep pushing forward'. I am a firm believer in 'if it's meant to be, it's meant to be, and if it isn't, it isn't'. Failure is like your guide through life, helping you stay off the roads you aren't meant to go down. And when failure does come to you, you essentially find another way.

For example, when you apply for college, you apply to several schools. (Unlike me, only applying to one). So, when I got a response back from the college, they denied my application. I was devastated because I had painted this whole picture in my head of myself there, and that it was the 'only way' to be successful and get to where I want to be in life. Well, I let myself be sad for a solid five minutes, but then I branched out my options, knowing that it is okay and that God didn't want me to go there as well, thus why I got denied. Failure really pisses me off, but it fuels the fire/drive for success I have.

My message to you is take that failure, accept it, maybe laugh at it! You will find another way for success. Just keep working hard, exploring, and making a difference, and you will end up where you need to be, regardless of how you get there.

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