8 Things I Wish I Would've Known Before Coming To College

8 Things I Wish I Would've Known Before Coming To College

College is not like high school.

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I am currently a freshman at Washington State University and let me tell you, this year is flying by. With only eight weeks left in the semester, I have been doing a lot of reflecting on my first semester and a half and really thinking about what I can do to make the most out of the last few weeks of my first year of college.

While I have learned everything from speaking Spanish, how cells replicate DNA, and the chemical composition of more substances then I can list, I have also learned a lot of life skills. I've learned the exact amount of time it takes to do a load of laundry, how to budget my money so I can fuel my coffee addiction, and I have perfected the art of mac and cheese making. Using all of these newly developed life skills, I have compiled a list of my top eight things that I wish someone would have told me before I started college, and hopefully, I can save so future freshman from making some major mistakes.

1. Skip class, you still might pass.

Everyone always says that if you skip class there is no way that you'll pass. I have found this to be very untrue, at least for me. If you have to skip every once in a while, you'll still probably get an okay grade, but if you make a habit of skipping you'll start running into some problems.

2. Homework comes before partying.

I have seen so many people go out and get back home at 2 am only then to start their homework. You came to college for school, not a party. Just do your homework, I promise it will not take as long as you think.

3. College guys really are not worth it.

Don't get me wrong, there are many great, respectful guys out there and if you're lucky enough to find him in college then I 100% support that. Just don't waste your time on a guy that only texts you in the middle of the night to "come hang."

4. Talk to people you might not usually talk to.

College gives you the opportunity to connect with people from all over with different backgrounds. Take advantage of this time to meet people and build relationships with people that you might not ever connect with.

5. Enjoy your time living in a residence hall.

Residence halls are so much fun. There aren't many times in your life that you have all of your closest friends living in the same building cooking together at 1 a.m. Residence halls are like their own little community and it is so fun to be a part of. I promise you are never too cool to go to residence hall programs.

6. Put yourself out there.

It can be hard to balance academics with a social life, but always find time to do something fun or try something new on campus. You never know, you might just find your best friend in the process.

7. Be aware of the money you're spending.

Things did not just suddenly become expensive when you came to college, they've always been expensive you just weren't buying them yourself. Be aware of this and be aware that you don't have an unlimited supply of money. Treat yourself, but don't treat yourself every day.

8. Take more photos.

I wish that I would have taken more photos. There are so many memories and events that you'll go to in college and it is so fun to look back on the pictures and remember all of the fun you have had.

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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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