The Best Thing College Freshmen Can Do Is Get Involved

My Biggest Advice To Incoming Freshmen — Get Involved!

Campus involvement is so important!

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Thinking about college and your future plans can be frightening. I know before I came to Mizzou I was really scared. What was I supposed to expect? How different would things be? Would I like it here? Despite all the nerves that I was feeling, there was still this anticipation inside me, and an overwhelming feeling of excitement to start something new.

There were a lot of things I was uncertain about before arriving at Mizzou. Wanting to be in a sorority and get involved on my campus was not one of those things though. I wanted to go through formal recruitment at Mizzou and join a Panhellenic chapter. Growing up, I was constantly involved. I was a cheerleader throughout almost all my childhood, as well as in high school. I participated in executive councils, national honor society, young life, other clubs, and did community service all while still continuing to do really well in school. I wanted to carry on these habits in college and get the best experience I could during these four years.

I started off college right away getting involved by going through formal recruitment and accepting a bid from a sorority chapter. Rush was an intense and very long week, but I loved it! It was a hard process meeting with all these chapters, putting on my best attitude every morning even after really long days, and not showing that I was nervous. When I was down to my top two houses, I remember being anxious not knowing which one I would get. I only hoped I would get the best house for me and my personality, and that everything would work out the way it was supposed to. Throughout the week, everyone kept emphasizing the phrase "trust the process." I didn't know what that meant until after I accepted a bid from Alpha Phi.

Looking back on my experience with rush, I realize how thankful I am that I decided to join a sorority. After less than a year, I can say that I've met so many amazing people. I've met girls my age who I can honestly say are my best friends and older girls who have inspired me to become the best version of myself. I love being involved in my sorority and having a purpose on campus. As a freshman, I already have appointed positions in my house, and I'm able to contribute my ideas to the chapter.

I'm constantly busy and my schedule is always packed! Whether it be a sorority event, work, clubs, community service, classes, homework, or just hanging out with friends I always have something to do. Being involved at Mizzou was the best decision I ever made though. Being in my sorority and having campus involvement has made me feel like I have a purpose here. I feel connected to the people on this campus. At a big college like Mizzou, it can be hard to feel connected when there are so many people you don't know. For me, being in organizations like my sorority make the campus feel smaller and less overwhelming. It's helped me call this place my home.

A sorority might not be the right decision for you, but I can say without a doubt there are so many options in college. Being involved is so important! Here at Mizzou, there are over five hundred organizations to join. You can join clubs that involve your major, religious groups, rec sports teams, music groups, and so much more. Being involved allows you to do better in school and raises your overall happiness level. There is something for you out there and I can't express how important it is to find that club or that organization that matters to you.

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An Open Letter To My Daughter As You Leave For College

You're going to do great things, believe in yourself.
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Today was your first day of college, the first day of a new chapter in your life. I know you have to be filled with so many emotions right now. There is so much I had left to teach you and show you and tell you. Here's a few things I want you to remember.

First, I know the house already feels empty without you here. From the moment you came into my life, I knew God had blessed me with a lifelong friend. Life was not always easy however I knew I always had you. You are and will always be my world and my reason for my existence. I know we have not always seen eye to eye on everything and we have had some fights, but please know everything I did was for you. I did the best job I could raising you and, even though it may not have seemed like it at the time, the rules I set and the times I grounded you were for you, to help you not hurt you. One day when you have your own children and you will understand that. You will set rules and boundaries for your children to teach them so that they grow up to be responsible, respectable adults.

College is going to be a whole new experience for you and I know you will excel. You have an amazing future ahead of you. Family is the most important and most precious thing in your life. You may not always see eye to eye with them, but no matter what they will always be there for you.

Always be proud of where you came from. No matter where life takes you, your hometown will always be home.The friends you make in college will be lifelong friends. However, just remember that not everyone you meet is your friend and there are people out there that will try to hurt you in some way or another.

Know that I am always here for you. I will be by your side and will support you in all you do. You will meet people who will do anything to watch you fail. Don't let them get to you. There are going to be times when you are scared, just know that even though I may not always be with you physically, I am always by your side cheering you on in everything you do. Follow your dreams no matter where life takes you. Being happy is one of the most important things in life. You are going to stumble, you may even fall but you have to pick yourself up, dust off and try again. In the words of Rascal Flatts "You get mad, you get strong. Wipe your hands, shake it off. Then you stand." That line will be relevant many times throughout your life, remember it.

You will succeed, I promise that. Your smile can light up a room and you have such a big heart. No matter what, never let anyone dull your sparkle. I love you so much and you will always be my baby no matter how old you get.

Make me proud, although you already have.

Love,

Mom

Cover Image Credit: Mother's and daughters retreat

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Now That Freshman Year Is Over, I Can See That Life DOES Go On And Get Better

It's a roller coaster, but it's worth it.

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To all the graduating seniors that are graduating high school, you will soon become a freshman. As a current freshman, I understand the joy and excitement of starting college. Who wouldn't? It is a fun, new adventure. However, once I got to college, my dream was ruined (yet improved) at the same time. To start, my original roommates hated me, so I moved out and dealt with that drama while adjusting to some hard classes (Chemistry, I am pointing right at you).

The worst week of college was when my roommates and I would fight while stressing over the mountain of homework I had to do. It worked out because I live with a better roommate and I am somehow managing the workload the best I can. But let's face it, everyone is struggling in college. Luckily, I have an amazing support system. In my Chem class, I ran into people I knew from other clubs, and though we started off as strangers, we became best friends. I mean, who else can I rant about my horrible Chem professor to? In fact, in most of my classes, I've been lucky to have or make friends because you can relate to each other in so many ways.

It is so hard to strike that work/life balance since my pre-nursing track requires a lot of courses. Some courses cause you to stress and second guess your life choices. But guess what? Life goes on and life gets better. Not all of my professors have been bad. It has been the opposite as most of them have been really good and fair. I know how hard it is to dwell on the bad grade or bad class but you can't. College makes it easy to go insane, especially when some classes are meant for weeding students out. No matter how hard a class is don't give up on your dream career but it is okay to consider if this is what you truly want to do. One bad day of studying won't define you, you will think you did worse than you probably did.

Do me a favor, believe in yourself and don't let the anxiety get to you. Try to have a solid work/life balance and enjoy yourself because before you know it freshman year will be over.

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