By The Tower Staff
Dear bright eyes and excited hearts who have started a new chapter in their lives,
Congratulations on almost making it through your first semester of college. Enjoy what you are doing right now because before you know it, you will be packing up your first dorm room and moving back home for the summer. Before you get too far into your college career we have some advice to offer as fellow students, classmates, and friends.
College is amazing. Really. Every cliché that you have heard about moving away and going to college is true, as we are sure you have come to realize. You will meet so many new and amazing people, you will learn more about yourself, your professors will push you harder than any teacher that you had in high school, you will go to parties and make mistakes along with lifelong memories. You may even get your heart broken once or twice.
People always say that college is a place to “start over” or “become a new person.” While this is partially true, keep in mind that you will be tested in school and in order to overcome adversities, you need to be comfortable with who you are. Do not pretend to be someone that you aren’t in order to fit into a crowd and do not be the person that you think you should be. Instead, be the most raw, genuine version of yourself; the person you wanted to embrace in high school but were too scared to be judged. It is never too late to start being yourself, so don’t feel bound to the decisions that you have made thus far. College is beautiful because there is no need to worry about “fitting in.” There is a group for everyone, you just need to search for them.
Parties are fun but lets not forget that we are in school to learn. Do not get dragged into situations that make you uncomfortable or stressed. Learn the power and the beauty in the word “no”. Make friends who stick with you at bars and parties to make sure that you are safe. If you are not the type to hook up, please do not feel pressured to get with random people because we promise you, there are plenty of people in the same boat as you, you just need to find them.
If you have a background of faith that you enjoy or if you are religious, hold onto that because it will be your saving grace (literally) when the waters get rough. It is very easy to feel lost and lonely at times but remember that you are never alone. God will have your back and help you through your struggles and rejoice with you during your successes.
Your roommate doesn’t have to be your best friend. Roommates are difficult sometimes, but living with a complete stranger (or maybe a friend in your case) is a learning curve, so remember to be open-minded, honest, and willing to compromise. There is nothing that compares to a candid talk about life at 3am after a long night of studying, or movie marathons over a big bucket of popcorn. These moments will make your heart smile and life will make sense for a little while. Also, get over nudity… it happens.
Call your parents. Nothing will make them happier than you reaching out to them. I know life gets crazy at school and it seems hard to find time to make a call, but they miss you and want to know how you are doing. It’s okay to be homesick, everyone experiences it at least once or twice. Just remember that there is nothing that a night of Netflix or good company can’t fix.
As you surely have realized, most of the people that you meet during orientation and your first week of school will not be your best friends. Friend groups are constantly changing and adjusting so if you don’t like where you are, don’t be afraid to explore around and meet new people. You may meet your best friends in the most random situations, so be open! You grow where you are planted so make sure you have good company and a good environment that will nurture you and help you continue to grow.
Make friends with your RAs because you never know when you are going to need someone to talk to and it’s always extremely helpful to be a familiar face if you ever get caught up in some trouble. RAs aren’t just there to bust you for alcohol, they actually hate that part of their job! They want to help you and be there for you as you make your adjustment to life on campus.
Get involved on campus. Try new clubs that you would have never thought to be a part of previously. It’s a great way to make your time on campus worthwhile and meet new people. Remember that your college experience is in your own hands and you get out what you put in.
We hope you all enjoy your freshman year! It will go by so fast so be sure to cherish the little things. Good luck!
A just as confused Tower Staff