College lessons from a senior to a freshman

Mariah Niemiec, Staff Writer

Welcome to college. Throw away your Hollywood-simulated images of what the experience should be and start from scratch. Leave behind the doubts of your high school teachers, and cut your ties with your hometown for a while. This will be good, I promise.

Don’t waste time rushing back to your dorm after class to hide under the blankets. Netflix doesn’t have to be your only friend. You have heard it before, and here it is again: College is a time to reinvent yourself. Take your lunch to the Union – don’t be afraid to eat alone. Enjoy your morning coffee under that pretty tree you noticed on campus. Create havens outside of your comfort zone, and especially outside of your dorm.

Don’t be afraid of your advisors. The panic you feel about the major you’ve chosen is something they can help you with. It is what they are trained for. They can help narrow down your interests and point you toward a career path.

Stay up all night studying if you have to. You can catch up on sleep tomorrow, or the next day… or eventually. You tell yourself you’ll get up early and do the work before class, but we all know that is a lie.

An agenda or planner of some kind will save your life. Designate days for just going to the library to go over your notes. Nobody likes being put on the spot by a professor, but being prepared for the question makes it a little more bearable.

Get involved. Don’t become a passerby or simply someone in the background. Immerse yourself in the culture your college has created for you. You’re in a place with people from all over the world simultaneously trying to accomplish similar goals. That’s the recipe for lifelong friendships.

Stay organized. Pick a day of the week for cleaning your room, top to bottom. Life is much less stressful when you don’t have to wade through piles to get to your bed. Lay out your clothes for the week to save time in the morning. You’ll be tired from those all-nighters.

Take advantage of the resources on campus. You have full access to a massive gym and library included in your tuition. Use them! The library has seemingly endless aisles of knowledge that can only put you ahead. Working out once or twice a week will help to clear your head and to ensure a good night’s sleep.

Try to leave campus at least three times a week. I’m not just talking about a trip to Walmart or Taco Bell. Find a friend who has local roots and see the town through their eyes. There’s more to life than what the college brochure advertises.

Most importantly, take a moment each day and pause the madness that is college life. Look around and realize these are the years shaping your future. Remember what you’re here for and don’t waste a second of it. Before you know it, it’s senior year and adulthood is coming at you like a freight train.

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