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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When You Make A Girl An Aunt, You Change Her World In All The Best Ways

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest girl in the world.

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My brother and his wife recently blessed our family with the sweetest bundle of joy on planet earth. OK, I may be a little bias but I believe it to be completely true. I have never been baby crazy, but this sweet-cheeked angel is the only exception. I am at an age where I do not want children yet, but being able to love on my nephew like he is my own is so satisfying.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a very protective person.

From making sure the car seat is strapped in properly before every trip, to watching baby boy breathe while he sleeps, you'll never meet someone, besides mommy and daddy of course, who is more concerned with the safety of that little person than me.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her a miniature best friend.

There is something about an aunt that is so fun. An aunt is a person you go to when you think you're in trouble or when you want something mom and dad said you couldn't have. An aunt is someone who takes you to get ice cream and play in the park to cool down after having a temper tantrum. I can't wait to be the one he runs to.

When you make a girl an aunt, she gets to skip on the difficulty of disciplining.

Being an aunt means you get to be fun. Not to say I wouldn't correct my nephew if he were behaving poorly, but for the most part, I get to giggle and play and leave the hard stuff for my brother.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her the best listening ears.

As of right now I only listen to the sweet coos and hungry cries but I am fully prepared to listen to all the problems in his life in the future.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the best advice giver.

By the time my nephew needs advice, hopefully, I will have all of my life lessons perfected into relatable stories.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a number-one fan

Anything you do in life sweet boy, I will be cheering you on. I already know you are going to do great things.

When you make a girl an aunt, she learns what true love is.

The love I have for my nephew is so pure. Its the love that is just there. I don't have to choose to show love every day, I don't have to forgive, I don't have to worry if it is reciprocated, it is just there.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest person in the world.

I cannot wait to watch my precious nephew grow into the amazing person that I know he is going to be.

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I Wonder If You'd Be Proud of Me

Or if you even think of me at all.

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I wonder if you'd be proud of me.

My first thought when I wake up in the morning is whether or not you still think of me. I think about if I am wearing the right outfit if I were to see you that day. I think about if I am saying the right thing for you to want to want me again.

Throughout my day, I think about whether or not you're happy. I wonder if the feeling in my heart of missing who I thought you were is making its way to you. Sometimes I think about what I did to make you hate me as much as you do.

Sometimes when things get really hard, I think about picking up the phone to call you. Time keeps passing from the last time I saw you and during that time I've painted a picture of you that would probably only disappoint me in the end. Your phone number still sits in my phone and I go to your contact, wanting to call, but knowing that at the other end is not the person I used to know.

I wonder if you watch me. I wonder if the posts I make, pictures I post, and articles I write are viewed by you and whether or not you care to even search my name. I wonder if you ask people about me or if you care to know the person I am today.

Without you, I have changed. It has been two years and though time will only continue moving on without you, I wonder what would have happened if I didn't make the choices I made to make you react in the way you have.

When the sun shines bright on the flowers blooming around campus, I think of your jokes and sarcastic wit. When the rain pours from the sky and keeps me imprisoned within the walls of a building, I think of ways I felt imprisoned by you. When clouds form shapes in the sky that I can make stories out of, I think of the way life could've been.

Sometimes I write to you. They are the letters I can never send because I have to remind myself that though we knew each other once, you do not know me anymore. The picture in my mind of who you are now is someone who'd love me with open arms, but I know that there's no truth in that. It's only my wishful thinking out to break my heart once more.

I wonder if you hear me when I try talking to you. I wonder if the words I tell God are making their way to you as you go on living the life we always talked about when times get tough. I wonder if you're talking to God about me.

As I watch the sunset, I think about the last moment I was with you. As that chapter ended, I was only wishfully thinking that walking away would save me from further pain. In the end, I don't know about how life would've been different had it not happened.

When my picture of you gets too bright and I share it with others, I am reminded of reality. The screaming, crying, pushing, shoving, and hitting touches my skin once more in the form of flashbacks that push me further down into the depths of a depression. I am reminded of the hundreds of suicidal thoughts and letters that I've written once before.

No matter what, my heart still yearns for a hug. A hug where I can bury myself into your body and feel safe. A hug where I forget every worry in my mind and focus solely on the love.

I wonder if you'd still love me if I changed myself to be the person you've always wanted me to be. I wonder if you'd forgive me for walking away, even if it was for me to change to be a better person. I wonder if you'll ever even read this.

Days like today, I want to go back in time. I sit on the benches around campus and look up at the sky, down at the cars passing by, and listen to life move on all around me as I remain stuck. I hear people talking, see them laughing, and wonder if there's any way I could one day feel as alive as they do.

The truth is that I was never enough for you. No matter how much I changed, kept notes of what you liked so I could be like that, or just kept my head down and moved silently, nothing was ever enough.

No matter what, though, I still yearn to be loved in the way that I picture you should've loved me. Closure does not exist. You were the ones who were supposed to hold me down. But now I am nothing to you...I was always nothing to you.

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