Sunday, August 10, 2014

4 Things Every Rising Freshman Should Know

I can't believe I'm going to be a senior. When people say, "Oh my land, how does it feel to be almost done with school?" it is all I can do to keep from covering my ears and screaming as I run away. Just last week my parents were dropping me off at college for the first time and we were all crying.

First of all, I'm not done yet. I am going to enjoy every day that I have left of school! I am even living in a dorm as a senior...because I want to. When else in my lifetime am I going to have the opportunity to live on a floor with 50 other guys? Never. (Unless I go to prison, which is not part of my plans.)

Second, I remember when I was a freshman the rising seniors wrote notes on Facebook or on their blogs giving advice to the little kids at the bottom of the totem pole. Being young and slightly less mature, I thought, "The nerve of those stuck-up seniors! I can do this college thing all on my own without their advice!" Three years later, I stand corrected. I also have four things to say that I wish I could have told myself when I was starting school.

1. Don't be afraid to say "no." College is a place where commitments will pop up left and right. I guarantee that in your first month of school, you will be asked to sign up for clubs, try out for plays, audition for chapel bands, go to social gatherings, and help people you don't even know with their homework. It is so easy to get bogged down and not enjoy your college experience because you have no breathing room. "No" is a word that is hard to say but will ultimately be your ticket to survive and thrive at school. 

2. Don't be afraid to say "yes." In high school, I was in the play Cheaper by the Dozen. The father in the story is an expert in time management and is trying to get his large family to save time. At the end of the play, one of the kids says, "Dad, it's great that we're always saving time...but what are we saving time for in life?" That father says, "For doing what you love!" That always stuck with me. The reason you should say "no" at school is to make sure you have enough time to say "yes" to the things that you love, whether that's playing video games with your roommate, going on pick-a-dates, or getting ready for a world-class Airband act.

3. Post-it Notes are your friends. Worried that you will have trouble staying organized at college? Buy several different neon-colored Post-it Note pads and some fresh Sharpies and go to town. They are fun to stick all over your room, and you will feel great when you use those nice felt tip markers to cross homework off your to-do list. (If anyone from Post-it or Sharpie is reading this blog: I expect my share of profits for the free advertising!)

4. Never judge a professor before you have had him/her in class. I have had several experiences where students have made a professor sound like the Devil incarnate. I go into the class with horrible expectations...but usually, I end up loving that professor. Pretend classes are like movies; don't let anyone (even your best friend) spoil them for you. Sit on the front row with a smile on your face. The professor won't be able to do anything but think you are the best student he/she has ever had!

There you go! I will leave you with a picture of myself as a freshman. Yes, that is a Post-it Note on my head. Good luck and have fun!

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