I have now completed two years of first days of classes, final exams, running out of Café Cash and Thomson meals. With two more to go, I’m excited about the new things I’ll learn and the different adventures I’ll embark upon.
As a junior that has been extremely involved on campus, I have some tips, tricks and stories to tell all of you freshmen about.
Surviving on campus isn’t hard—you’ll learn how to get through the day on three hours of sleep and the slow days for the laundry room on your own—but there are certain things you should know that will really help when it comes to surviving college.
GET AS MANY CULTURAL EVENTS IN AS YOU CAN. I repeat: get in as many cultural events as you can in the beginning. I realize you have four years to get those things done, and believe me—they aren’t hard to get, so why should you try to get them all done at once? I’ve got many good reasons for you.
First, it takes away the stress of having to do them. When junior and senior year comes and your workload is heavy and you live off campus, you won’t have to worry about making it to cultural events. It will all be done and out of the way.
Another reason to get them done early is that you’ll have so much to tell your parents when you go home for the summer. I got 16 of my cultural events done first semester freshman year, and I had so much to tell my parents about. I learned about politics, discovered a new genre of music, challenged my comfort zone and so much more.
Not only were my parents and friends impressed with the things I got the chance to do, but I was impressed with myself. I felt very well-rounded, intelligent and cultured.
Lastly, but less important, getting your cultural events done early will make you happy every time you log on to DegreeWorks. Seeing that green check mark beside something will make you feel accomplished.
One of the best things I did to prepare for college was reading the book How to Win at College. It was assigned for my ACAD class and it really helped me know what to expect.
A plus was that it was an extremely easy read. I encourage all of you to invest in a copy—you won’t be sorry you did. (I actually still have mine if anyone is interested!) One thing the book told me that I now disagree with is that I can’t do it all.
When it comes to club involvement, it said not to overwhelm myself with things I wanted to be involved in. “You can’t do it all,” it said. While it may be impossible to do everything you’d like to do, I don’t think you should limit yourself. The more you do, the more fun you have, the more people you meet, the more successful you’ll be.
Take it from someone who takes 18 hours a semester, works four jobs, and is involved in 532463x clubs (and holds officer positions in three of them)—you can do it if you want it bad enough. It’s all about time-management! (You’re going to hear that a million times your first year.)
My most memorable moments at Winthrop are hanging out with my best friends at 3:00 in the morning. That’s when the best talks, stories, and laughter happens.
It’s in those times that I can feel life’s simplicity wash over me and I remember what I’m doing here.
College is such an awkward time for a person. We’re all stuck in this stage where in some situations we’re expected to be mature, professional adults, while at others we’re expected to be spending our times eating junk food, playing X-Box and goofing off with friends.
Because this awwardness exists, and won’t go away, I think it’s extremely important to remember who you are. This means remember your morals and values. However, it’s also extremely important in your college years to be open-minded—to seek new adventures and possibilities. In college, you build a foundation; you build yourself and figure out who you want to be.
There is so much more advice I could give, but my space in this paper is limited. Therefore, I’d like to close with this: Dream…and then make it happen. You’re in college! This will literally be one of the best times of your life and you have so much new unlimited freedom.
Think of things you really want to do and then do everything you can to make them happen. Study abroad, learn how to code, be the president of your favorite club—all of these are ambitions that anyone can meet. There are literally no limits to what you can do.
Need more advice or want to ask questions anonymously? Email me anything—I’ll be glad to help! It’s firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy transitioning!