11 Tips For The Baylor Class Of '22 From The Experienced Class Of '21

11 Tips For The Baylor Class Of '22 From The Experienced Class Of '21

Cuz college can be tough!
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I know your thoughts all too well. College is a few short months away and it's one of the most exciting milestones in your life. But let's be honest, underneath the smiles and longing to move away from your parents is a feeling of anxiety and fear; a fear of the unknown. If you're like me, Waco, Texas is a long way from home. I came from Long Island, New York and coming to a school in Texas was one of the most nerve-wracking things I have done.

But, coming to Baylor has been one of my best decisions I have made thus far. It has been such an incredibly rewarding experience. Baylor University is such an amazing college because (as cliché as it sounds) it becomes your home; it's more than just a college... it's a community. It's comprised of loving students and professors.

I wish I had the opportunity to learn some inside tips before arriving to Waco in August. So, class of 2022, here are 11 things you should know about college from the Class of 2021!

1. It is OK to not know anyone coming into college

I did not have a single friend coming to Baylor with me! I was so nervous for my mom to leave after helping me move in. The thought of being on my own in a new and foreign state without a single friend horrified me. But fear not, freshies, you will make friends. The first night at Baylor I made a friend named Kayla and became friends with my roommate. Once classes start, remember everyone is feeling the same way you are. Go out of your comfort zone and introduce yourself to a friendly face in your first class because I promise a friend can be made anywhere.

2. You might not love college right away

For me, when I arrived at Baylor, I immediately immersed myself in activities on campus and spent time with people I had met. It was a really great feeling to finally be off and on my own. But, after about two weeks, I was incredibly homesick and wanted my mom. These feelings are normal. Give yourself some time to adjust to this new environment. It is really tough to adapt to a life where you are accountable and responsible for yourself. Do not be too hard on yourself. Eventually, you will adapt to this new lifestyle and find yourself loving it.

3. Do not skip class

Even though you no longer have your mom or dad to force you out of bed and to school, skipping class in college is a really bad decision. You will fall behind in work very quickly if it becomes a habit. So, to avoid that, get in the habit of always going unless you are extremely sick. When the semester comes to an end you will thank yourself for that decision. Plus, you are paying to go to school, so why waste money?

4. Get to know your professors

The best way to help your grade in a class is familiarizing yourself with your professors. Take the time at the end of the first day of class and introduce yourself. Go to their office hours; this will not only help you review, but you will become a name not a number to your professor. This will be helpful when you need letters of recommendation. Building relationships with your professors will also show them that you care about their class and are putting forth effort.

5. Call your family

When you go to college, you will soon realize that the annoying little brother or patronizing older sister is something that made your day feel complete. Homesickness and missing your family will be something you learn to adjust to, but, in order to alleviate the homesickness, call your family, even better FaceTime them! It will really help you feel better on a tough day.

6. Get involved

The easiest way to meet people in college is to become involved in clubs, sports or organizations. You will be able to form friendships with people who have similar interests as you, and it will also give you something fun to do during your downtime.

7. Do not overload yourself with classes

Taking too many hours of class will affect your grades in those classes. In order to help yourself succeed, take a good amount of hours but not too many that you will feel overwhelmed. For me, 15 is the magic number.

8. Stay healthy

It is very easy to not watch what you are eating. With free meals and Late Night hours at Penland during the week, it is very easy to give into your cravings. Try to balance your meals and avoid overeating. Also, a good way to spend free time is going to the gym or going for a run.

9. Organize!!!

Origination is a key to college. Invest in a planner and write all your homework, tests, and appointments in it. Organize your books and keep them neat. YOU ARE AN ADULT NOW! There is no excuse or exceptions for late assignments. It can be very easy to lose track of what you have due on which day, so just stay organized and avoid procrastinating.

10. Make time for yourself

You can become very rundown. Trying to keep up with all the homework and studying while also attending office hours and going to the gym and making time to eat and also spending time with friends and attending your club meetings or team practices can leave you feeling spread thin. Allow yourself some downtime to relax and unwind. Watch Netflix or just listen to some music to destress yourself.

11. Enjoy your time

Freshman year went by faster than I thought was possible! Enjoy every second at school because before you know it, it will be time to take your senior picture in front of Pat Neff Hall wearing your green robe. Do not take any moment for granted!

Cover Image Credit: Olivia Blablo

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To All Incoming Freshmen, When You Get To College, Please Don't Be THAT Freshman

I am pretty sure we all know who I'm talking about.

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As we are all counting down the days to return to campus, students are looking forward to meeting new people and reuniting with old friends. And then, there is the freshman.

We have all been there. The eagerness and excitement have been slowly building up through months of summer vacation, all waiting for this moment. I understand the anxiousness, enthusiasm, and insecurities. The opportunity to meet new people and explore a new area is very intriguing. But let's be real, you are here to make memories and get an education. So here are a few pieces of advice from a former college freshman.

1. Don't be that freshman who follows their significant other to college

This is the boy or girl who simply can not think for themselves. The 17-year-old puts their own personal goals and interests aside to sacrifice for a six-month high school relationship. This will more than likely end at an end of semester transfer after the relationship has been tested for a month or two in college life. So if you want to really enjoy your freshman year, make your own decisions and do what is best for you.

2. Don't be that freshman who lets their parents pick their major

"You are not going to school just to waste my money."

This is a statement you might have heard from your parents. As true as it might seem, this is definitely not a good way to start your college years. If you are not majoring in something you can see yourself doing, you are wasting your time. You can major in biology, go to medical school, and make the best grades. But if deep down you don't want to be a doctor, you will NOT end up being a good doctor. When it comes to picking your major, you really have to follow your heart.

3. Don't be that freshman who gets overwhelmed with the first taste of freedom

Yes. It is all very exciting. You don't have a curfew, you don't have rules, you don't have anyone constantly nagging you, but let's not get carried away. Don't be the freshman who gets a tattoo on the first night of living on your own. Don't be the freshman who tries to drink every liquor behind the bar. Don't be the freshman who gets caught up being someone that they aren't. My best advice would be to take things slow.

4. Don't be that freshman who starts school isolated in a relationship

I'm not telling you not to date anyone during your freshman year. I am saying to not cut yourself off from the rest of the world while you date someone. Your first year on campus is such an amazing opportunity to meet people, but people are constantly eager to start dating someone and then only spend time with that person.

Be the freshman who can manage time between friends and relationships.

5. Don't be that freshman who can't handle things on their own

It is your first year on your own. Yes, you still need help from your parents. But at this point, they should not be ordering your textbooks or buying your parking pass. If you need something for a club or for class, YOU should handle it. If you're having roommate problems, YOU should handle it, not your parents. This is the real world and college is a great time for you to start building up to be the person you want to be in the future, but you can't successfully do that if your parents still deal with every minor inconvenience for you.

6. Don't be that freshman who only talks to their high school friends

I know your high school was probably amazing, and you probably had the coolest people go there. However, I believe that college is a great time to be on your own and experience new things. Meeting new people and going to new places will allow you to grow into a more mature person. There is a way to balance meeting new friends and maintaining friendships with childhood friends, and I am sure you will find that balance.

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Dan, The Renovation Man

How my dad turned a friend's death into a stunning new home

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I remember the exact day when I found out he had cancer. I was home on fall break, in the car with my mom when her phone rang.

It was my dad.

I watched as her face fell and she started spouting off medical questions and words of comfort.

Hanging up, she turned to me and told me that our close family friend, Fr. Thom had brain cancer. It was aggressive and made the outcome of death not really an if, but a when.

Fr. Thom had been my dad's childhood priest and Catholic school principal growing up. In the little town of Huntington, IN, he was well-known for being a kind man, giving up everything for someone else without hesitation.

Like the time he let my seventeen- year-old Uncle Steve drive his brand new Berlinetta Camaro.

After my dad left the boonies aka Huntington, they lost touch.

This all changed my seventh grade year when Fr. Thom had some legal allegations thrust upon him. He called my dad, a lawyer, who immediately took up the case.

And that is what brought him into my family's life.

After the (false) allegations, his close-knit community of friends began to thin.

He lost his parish, the majority of his diocesan paycheck, and unfortunately some of his spirit. No charges were ever filed, but the truth was that it didn't even matter. The damage was done.

My family took him under our wing, inviting him to family dinners, birthday parties, and cookouts.

Those closest to him knew him to be an avid cook, a lover of cocker spaniels, and an intense researcher.

Flash forward to this year.

He was diagnosed with cancer in October and my father accompanied him to every doctor's visit.

As though the attorney, father of four, does not have enough on his plate..

With a multitude of other health issues, he started being admitted, released, and readmitted to the hospital.

I went with my mom and dad to see him Christmas Night. He was asleep from all the drugs in his system, but he still looked the same.

Even with a bald head.

Even lying in a hospital bed.

He was still the man with the toothy grin who brought his three cocker spaniels over for dinner from time to time.

He was still the cook who would, without hesitation, tell my mom her lasagna was not truly Italian cuisine.

He was still the priest who told me that there were some theological historians who believed dogs went to heaven.

--

He died a few days after Christmas.

My dad was with him.

For some reason after his death I thought it would all stop. My dad could take a breath and remember his friend.

Wow--if I knew how wrong I was.

First, we had to plan the viewing and the funeral.

My brother, my mom, and my dad, and I walked his casket down the aisle and sat in the front row where the family would sit.

Next, was the estate. My dad was the executor and handled it all. Thankfully our neighbor Linda helped out. She was a god-send.

All of the estate's earning would be donated to Fr. Thom's choice of charities.

Finally, came the house.

When first walking in to Fr. Thom's mid-century modern home, one might think "Oh, I don't think there's too much work that needs to be done."

Well that person is foolish and ignorant of how real estate works.

Everything had to be cleaned, updated, cleaned again, painted, and probably cleaned again.

The list of things that I did included: cleaning a bathroom walls and ceiling, scouring a shower that had never seen a scrub brush, stripping wallpaper, planting flowers, lining cabinets with liner, and cleaning out the garage.

I probably did the least of my family. Compared to my dad, I did nothing.

He took this project on with the strength of an army.

He only hired people for things that he would be ridiculous to even attempt, i.e. installing countertop.

He picked out paint colors, flooring, appliances, lighting all while working full-time.

To say that this project has been stressful, is an understatement of the century. My mom and our neighbor Linda have been invaluable assets to him, but a man can only take so much. This whole summer it has been the house 24/7 as it constantly weighs on him.

The thing is that he didn't have to do this. Fr. Thom didn't ask him to redo his house. He didn't ask that all the appliances be stainless steel. He wouldn't of cared if the landscaping added curb appeal!

But, my dad did it because he felt obligated too.

It was almost like an unspoken promise to an old friend.

On August 7, the house was officially listed to sell.

Our neighbor Linda did an impeccable job on the write up of the house describing,

"This mid-century modern ranch overlooks scenic Indian Village Boulevard from floor-to-ceiling windows beneath beamed Arts & Crafts cathedral ceilings. The open-concept living and dining space has a centerpiece three-side stone fireplace in distinctive sandstone tones. This post-war, baby-boom 1950s ranch offers mid-mod utility, richly stained wood architecture, built-in bookcases and an updated gourmet kitchen with gleaming black granite countertops."

Hower, I am mostly partial to how much the shower gleams in the moonlight.

My dad put his heart and soul into this house and it looks sensational.

So, if you're looking for a new home or just weirdly obsessed with looking at houses like me, check out the link below!

https://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sale/Indian-Village-Fort-Wayne-IN/73189424_zpid/142540_rid/globalrelevanceex_sort/41.061151,-85.156467,41.037655,-85.187367_rect/14_zm/

Good job, Daddy-O.

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