I know this time last year, I was stressed and overwhelmed with knowing college was around the corner. This time I will be a sophomore, and I'm ready for this new year! I decided to write an open letter to all the incoming freshmen coming to Harding this year in hopes that it will encourage you to have a great year.
1. Be ready for change.
Everything is about to change. Things are going to be different in your life and that's okay! Your friends back home may change, and you may change... it's all a part of growing.
2. Do not stay in your comfort zone!
If you stay in your comfort zone and let being shy hold you back, you will never grow. You'll probably end up spending every afternoon and weekend in your dorm room! Be smart, but say yes to things that scare you!
3. Manage your time.
This is the big one. When anyone asks me what college is about, I tell them time management. It's all about time management! Do not procrastinate. As crazy as it seems, you will have plenty of time on your hands to get everything done. It's just that most college students that are struggling are just wasting their time. Get a calendar and plan everything out.
4. Helpful hint:
For me, I set apart an hour or two to go to the second floor of the library and find a cubby to work in. I would turn my phone off and work on my list of things to do. Some of it may not be due for weeks, but I'm making a dent in it! Some days, I would go and finish everything and have a week completely free. It's only an hour or two a day of studying! I had time to watch Netflix shows, hang out with friends for hours, make a trip to FroYo, etc. Work somewhere quiet every day for an hour or two and you will have no worries, a lot of time on your hands, and a 4.0 GPA.
5. Go to class and listen.
I shouldn't have to say this, but I do. So many people talked about struggling in classes. It was usually paired with people that either skip class, or just play on their phones during class. It's only a 50-minute class!
6. Eat at the caf.
Yes, everyone says the caf is horrible, and it's not worth it... but it is! The food isn't that bad! You'll meet people, hang out with your friends, and eat unlimited ice cream. Don't say you hate it just to fit in! (And you will save money.)
7. Curfew and chapel are blessings!
Curfew brings you together with the people in your dorm and creates a feeling of community. Chapel is a place to relax, worship, and take a break. And I promise, if you set time for God in your day, you will do just fine.
8. Open your mind!
Be willing to meet new people everyday, talk to people that scare you (again, avoid the comfort zone), and listen to God.
9. Stay positive.
I can't stress this enough. Do not make room for negativity or you will be miserable. Last year, I learned that life is what you make it, so make it happy! You decide how your life goes. Do not complain! Do not put yourself around negative people! Do not forget that God is with you always.
With love, your friend,
P.S. You can do this.