There are many things that happen only once in a lifetime, freshman year being one of the many such occasions. This one year, in all likelihood, gives every green student a few good slaps in the face. Having gone through and reflected upon the experience, as well as been once an RA in the freshman area, I would like to share some "lessons" that I find most relevant. Now brace yourself!
Lesson #1: Sleep is never eno... Zzz
Nope, it never is. In many occasions we would find ourselves sitting at the desk at 2 a.m. and cramming for a 7:45 exam of the next morning. Happening more regularly is the struggle with class assignments, because of both that there are generally fewer examinations than homework assignments, and that we are more likely to "leave the exam to fate" (A, B, C, or whatever) than forgoing an assignment (an automatic F for most of the time). Unfortunately, freshmen are especially likely to experience sleep deprivation, and in the hard way. I think it is somewhat inherent to the nature of this transitional stage (and thus is rather inevitable), the only variance being how much it affects each individual. Students have less class time in college, but the workload for each class is significantly more. We are left with more freedom in using our time, and without proper management one is bound to suffer. The tip here is to learn how to manage our time efficiently, and not wait until the last minute to do anything.
For any freshman at Lycoming College, I would suggest taking ARC-100: Success Skills Workshop. I have gained considerable time management skills from this class, as well as many other helpful learning tools.
Lesson #2: You do YOU
That does not mean being irresponsible. Neither does that mean ignoring what other people think or how other people feel. It means to evaluate every situation and do what YOU think is the best. It can mean doing what you want instead of doing what you think others want you to do. It can mean doing something that makes you happy despite whatever gossips. It can also mean not judging other people based on how they chose live their lives. It means focusing on what is IMPORTANT TO YOU.
You can be different. You can think differently. You can live differently. And so can anyone else. Freshman year is usually one full of drama, so don't let trivial things distract you. Embrace the real values, and you will definitely not regret it later.
Lesson #3: You can still find real friends in college
I was not sure if I would have to mentioned this point (if you feel like "duh" and don't feel like wasting anymore time, please skip this paragraph). A former resident of mine said he learnt that introverts could still find real friends in college, thus I feel the need to debunk the myth (that they cannot). Statistically speaking, 30-50% of the world's population are introverts, so please do not ever think that "introverts" means "loners." If you are afraid that in college people might be more practical (as they have gotten older) and do not care much about others, you have to work on fixing that. While it is true that college is the time when most of us are busy figuring out and pursuing our paths, so is it that we all go through this together and understand each other's hardship. It is the commonality that brings people together, whether it is passion, personality, field of studies, or favorite music, personal habits, or the most random thing you could think of. One things we students here at Lycoming have in common is the Warrior spirit, and I will not be surprised if one day in the future I meet a Lyco graduate for the first time and talk to them as if we were some good old friends. Spend time getting to know other people, and you may find some of the best friends in your life.
Just a bit about me. I have a rare personality, and statistically speaking, there is a mere 3% chance of me finding someone with the same personality type. Nevertheless, I was blessed to have met the best- and also first-ever roommate, who has so many things in common with me (but is way more amazing and inspirational). I'm grateful for having known and become friends with him. A shout-out to whomever that did the housing assignment that year!
This photo is of the bulletin board I made at the end of my RA term, which was only completed with the contribution of my crazy (yet loveable) formal residents, and also the inspiration for this blog post. There are a couple of other lessons that I also like, and some "insider" ones that I know the Blueburys (my guys) will feel deeply resonated with.
If you are going through your freshman year, hold your head high and believe that you can triumph anything. If you will soon be starting your college experience, I hope my advice finds you well and helps your future journey.
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