As the last full month of school approaches, I'm in a state of disbelief. Disbelief that my freshman year of college is almost over. How the months have flown by and how this weekend I will register for my fall classes. There's many things I have learned and I have experienced many things. This year has had its high and low moments, but they are still memories from my first year of college. As this semester draws to a close, I have some advice for the next class of college freshman that will begin to embark on this new journey come August.
First, don't make the typical "I'm totally a freshman" mistakes. These can be defined as, especially here at SVC, as the following: wearing your laynard around your neck, wearing your Grafitti Dance shirt to class, using a tray in the cafeteria, being super early to class, and saying that you're a freshman, etc. It'll be alot better if you just take my word for this, trust me.
Continuing, don't panic at your grades. I learned within my first few weeks that the grading scale in college was different than the one I was used to from high school. When I got a 90 on a paper, I thought I had a B. While a B isn't bad, I was surprised to learn that it was actually an A. Also, if you don't do so hot on an exam, don't panic. You (hopefully) will have plenty of chances to bring it back up. Just buckle down and tell yourself you are going to do better on the next one.
Do what you want to do in college. If staying up all night isn't your thing, but all your friends are, you don't have to. If all your friends were to jump off a bridge, would you jump too? Also, if your friends want you to go somewhere that you aren't comfortable with, play it smart and stay put. This is gonna sound super parent-like, but don't give into peer pressure. But, remember it's okay to have some fun too. Also, you are bound to find some club or group that you like. Get involved with it, and enjoy it. I figured out that Campus Ministry and theatre are two things I love with my whole heart. You'll make friends in these clubs that will be your friends for the next four years. Cherish your time with them.
Next, similar to the previous, be true to yourself. If you aren't the kind of person that wants to party til the cows come home, don't try to be. Be uniquely you. You are who you are and if people don't like it, well, that's their loss because you're pretty cool, I think. Also, don't be someone you're not. If you're not this super tough kid that doesn't have a care in the world, then don't be. By being who you truelly are, you are opening yourself up to those around you. This will allow them to want to be friends with you for who you really are, not the facade you put up to impress others.
It's okay to have problems. Don't try to pretend that's nothing wrong with your life. We all have times when we struggle in our lives. That's okay. You'll get through it, I promise. When things get rough, talk to someone about it or pray about it. Putting it out there will probably make you feel alot better. In addition, be there for others when they need you. No one wants to be that person that is always there for people, but when they need someone to lean on, they've got no one. College is hard, no matter what you major in. Yes, some majors are harder than others, but they all present their own difficulties at times.
Moving on, be willing to make friends. If you think you can survive with just being friends with your roommate and a few other people, think again. Especially at small schools, everyone knows everyone. I have so many friends that I honestly never have to worry about eating alone or not seeing someone I know in one of my classes or while walking to class. Shutting yourself off from those around you will not be benefically in getting used to college. It'll just make everything a 1000 times harder if you don't have any study buddies or people to hang out with.
Lastly, enjoy it. You only are a freshman once in your college career. Make the most of it. Try something new, branch out. Everyday presents a chance for a new experience, so take advantage of it while it lasts. Enjoy all the things that are just for freshman because once you're a sophomore, you aren't going to be able to enjoy those things anymore. Don't spend every waking moment studying in the corner of the library. Instead, take a break and go have fun with some friends or go to some event on campus. You never know when an event will bring you new friends or a new experience. Have a great freshman that you'll remember for the rest of your life.
Good luck my friends as you graduate and get ready for the next big step in your lives. Before you know it, you are gonna be sitting where I am. On a dorm bed somewhere, with someone who was once a stranger in the room with you, getting ready for the end of the semester. But until then, make the most of your seniors year and make the most of your freshman year.