A Love Letter To College Freshman

loveletterIt’s possible that the first weekend of your college career just passed and you’re questioning a lot of things about this whole ‘college thing’. Everyone said this would be the best years of your life so why do you feel that way? Are you thinking, ‘why do I miss home this much?’ or ‘I don’t know if I can do this…’ It’s possible that you are very unhappy right now, it’s also possible that this past weekend was the best weekend of your life thus far. Either way, I’ll be honest with you – it’s going to be hard. I mean, it may even suck at times. College, is not meant to be glamorous. It is new, it is uncomfortable, you will feel emotions you’ve never felt. You will deal with types of people you never dealt with before. It’s not natural to live in a building with hundreds of girls and guys the same age as you. It will take you a few months, maybe even a year or so for you to appreciate the reasons why it is the best years of your life. Take a deep breath and give it time. I’ll say it again… it may take a few months or even a year for you to appreciate the reasons why it is the best years of your life. It’s hard…the adjustment to college is hard and it’s okay if you hate it right now but I promise you…it. will. get. better.

If you love college or hate college, here is a Love Letter To College Freshman that you NEED to read.  – I found this on http://www.moreloveletters.com and I couldn’t have said it better!

Dear You–

It may just be you & I up and awake in the world right now.

Just you… the quiet of a new dorm room… the glow of the laptop screen… this love letter… and a feeling webbing deep in your stomach that you may never get used to all this.

Ever.

It’s not true. You’re going to do just fine. You’re already doing just fine even if it’s one of the hardest things to convince yourself of when the tears are brinking and you just want to go back home: Back to comfort. High school. A boyfriend & friendships now sitting in the pile of “long distance.” Bonfires. Summer. Familiarity. Anything but this.

It’ll be the best four years of your life… that’s what they’re telling you, right? That—if done right—these next four years will sculpt you & change you & make you ready for the real world. Truth told: this is the real world. It’s yours. Stop thinking otherwise. Don’t let a moment more slip away.

These next four years are yours to be entirely & completely selfish.

To figure out “you” and how “you” make this world a better place. So start…

Start at the coffee bar. That’s a good place to start. Just visit the coffee bar and treat yourself to something sweet—you’re in college. It’s something to celebrate.

Knock awkwardly on the doors of your new neighbors. Everyone is waiting for someone to make the first move and plan a powwow. Be that person. Decide that tonight it is the football game and tomorrow it is popcorn and a movie night in your room. Pick a movie that is both drama & comedy, with traces of home & familiarity in it for each of you.

Befriend your RA. They are not the enemy. They are here to make every ounce of this easier for you… and they’d really appreciate the chance to try.

Call home when you have to. Cry your eyes out. Take slow slugs of the broth of homesickness in the morning.

It’s ok… It’s ok…

Let the homesickness in. Don’t push it out. Talk about it. Embrace it. It will head south eventually… I promise.

Write letters. To your friends at other schools. To your long distance boyfriend. To teachers back home. Glitter the maps with your cursive to one another. Give one another a reason to track back the campus mailbox for something other than a free pizza coupon. You’ll keep those letters for years & years. You’ll one day say that there is nothing like those letters you’ve kept stacked in a box beside your bed.

And on the note of friends… step away from Facebook for a little while. Not forever. Not for always. Just enough time to be present to the here & now. The meeting of new faces. The conversations at parties. The ice breakers that, yes, you clearly don’t want to do but should anyway. Be there for it. All of it. Don’t sit in the feeds of your friends back home; start new chapters that would make them proud.

Follow. Just follow wherever this year takes you. You’ll change. It’s inevitable. But don’t shy away from the change or the chance to develop into a better friend… a better leader… a better somebody. Accept it. When people grow distant and old relationships don’t fuel you anymore, just accept it. That’s life. It’s always happening. Clear away and cut the ties you need to cut… make room for Better & More. You’ll find best friends in this place…

Don’t go crazy looking for them. You’ll find one another and in a year from now you’ll wonder how there ever was a whole two decades of Not Knowing One Another. For now, just meet people. Sink into it naturally. You’ll get there. I promise. Just find the places where people are and start there.

A club. A meeting. The newspaper. Something. Anything. Not just for social purposes– your resume is going to start mattering sooner than you think… take it seriously.

And classes too—Go. To. Them. 8am or not—Show. Up.

Study. Try harder than you’ve ever tried before. Consider a time management course. Take at least one course that interests you… thrills you… makes you think. & don’t rush to choose a major. There’s time to get your feet wet with the muds of it all.

Most of all, embrace it. All of it. The new opportunities. The events on campus. The free stuff. The chance to grow apart from everything you’ve ever know. The chance to be someone you have always wanted to be…

Sit down during this first week of college… take out a piece of paper… and write it all down. Your hopes & your dreams & your goals for the next four years. Who do you want to become? What do you want to accomplish? It’s time to start all of this.

Write it all down. Put it in an envelope. Seal it up and scribble “Do not open until college graduation day,” in big, bold letters. And tuck it somewhere safe…

Get clear on what you want to make of these next four years and then go out and do it…

You’ve got this. You’ve really got this. And if ever you start to believe that you don’t, come find me.

Love,

Someone who has been there before.

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Gear Up For the First Semester

transitioningThis first month of school is critical for setting up the rest of your semester. It doesn’t matter if you’re a new freshman or a returning upperclassman the transition from home life to school life is up to you. You have the opportunity to build a strong foundation for the rest of the semester, don’t let bad habits take over. Start to take control of your responsibilities – go to the gym, eat healthy snacks, watch those ‘liquid’ calories, stay up to date on classwork, and take a look at these simple 10 to-do’s to help you build a strong foundation. I suggest you take a few minutes to do arts and crafts, write these out on a piece of paper, bring them to school with you and hang them above your desk. I am a true believe in visualization – if something is staring you in the face everyday you will do it, or accomplish it. Add to your list daily!

1. Get to know your roommates – sit with them and really get to know them. These are the people you are going to spend the most amount of time with. You don’t have to be their best friend but you do have to live with them (and they have to live with you).

2. Get Organized! Your professor may have assigned work and projects and told you about them on day 1. Don’t expect them to remind you everyday about it and if you forget to hand it in when it’s due you will not get away with the excuse ‘i didnt know it was due.’ Get a planner and fill in the dates when assignments are due.

3. Go to class – Sleeping in and skipping your morning class may seem tempting, who’s making you go anyway? Get up and go! You are paying to be there, don’t waste your money.

4. Meet with your professors. Take the extra minute to show up before class or stay after class and meet your professor. Ask them a question, or tell them that you are enjoying their class so far. They’re human (everyone likes to be given complements) and they’ll appreciate the positive feedback.

5. Let go of the pressure of having to know exactly what you want to study – You’ve probably met a number of people who say they know exactly what they want to do when they graduate (i’d bet money that majority of those people have no idea what they want to do). College is a time to discover what you want to do. Let those people do what they want to do and be excited that you aren’t locked into one track right now, you are exploring!

6. Stay healthy! Go to the gym, eat your fruit and veggies, listen to music and go for a walk by yourself.

7. Take a deep breath.

8. Don’t cut corner – nobody gets placed on the top of the mountain, they all have to climb it.

9. Seek help when you need it – are you really stressed? Are your eating habits getting out of hand? Are you drinking more than you expected? Dont be afraid to ask for help. Walk to health services (trust me they’ve seen and heard it all) and tell them what is going on. Are you confused on an assignment? E-mail your professor, reach out to a classmate or go to the tutoring center. People want to help you.

1o. Call home to your family – they miss you, they want to hear from you.

 

Music in College

Don’t be afraid to blast your music in your room or play your favorite song on repeat as you and your friends get ready.  In fact, I suggest you find a song you love and play it on repeat as you begin your night.  Songs will attach themselves to memories.  Keep track of these songs, save them in a file.  In the future when you come across these songs or happen to hear them on a ‘oldies’ radio station it will bring back great memories from some of the best years of your life.

Blast | The | Music

{gab}

6 Reasons To Befriend Your R.A.

Thank you Shanna Houston for writing and sharing this article!

It’s your first year in college, and just when you think you’ve left all rules and consequences behind, you meet your dorm resident advisor, better known as an “R.A.” At first thought, it may seem like you’ve got a live-in babysitter or substitute mom living on your hall, but the truth is they are far from it. Sure, they enforce university rules and will probably report you if you break one, but that doesn’t mean they are bad guys. In fact, most R.A.s would rather be your friend than an enforcer. Instead of bypassing your R.A.’s door or assuming they are always out to get you, take some time to get to know your R.A. All they really want to do is help you stay safe and enjoy college. Here are six reasons to befriend your R.A.

  1. They care about your well-being:  

    R.A.s are nurturing people who genuinely care about your safety and well-being. If you’re ill, tell your R.A., and they may act as a sit-in parent and help take care of you. Also, an R.A. won’t encourage you to do illegal or dangerous things that might hurt you or get you in trouble. Your friendship will be good, clean fun.

  2. They give good advice: 

    Whether you need help choosing classes or guidance in your love life, your R.A. is the go-to person to ask. Not only do they typically have a few years on you, but they also understand the immense pressures of college and becoming an adult. Even if your R.A. doesn’t have all the answers you’re looking for, they can still be a good listener or a shoulder to cry on.

  3. They know the campus well: 

    Being new to college can be overwhelming. It’s easy to get lost driving around town, let alone just walking from class to class. If you need help navigating your way around campus or your college town, your R.A. is the person to ask. Chances are, they have a wealth of knowledge about the area and can tell you how to get where you need to go.

  4. You won’t get in as much trouble (maybe): 

    Befriending your R.A. has its advantages, especially when it comes to staying out of trouble. Although your R.A. won’t let you get away with sneaking alcohol or a pet into the dorms, you may be less likely to get in trouble when it comes to minor, non-illegal things like being too noisy on a school night.

  5. They know people: 

    Resident advisors know a lot of people around campus, and they aren’t all fellow R.A.s either. R.A.s make connections easily and, because of their responsibilities within the dorm, they can help you find the answers you need in no time. If you want to get more involved on campus or join a student group, your R.A. will be a good source for information.

  6. They are positive role models:

    Resident advisors are positive role models for first-year students. They are committed to their studies, they follow the rules, and they assume an active leadership role on campus. Not to mention, R.A.s are typically very warm, social, and understanding people. They are good models of how to be successful in college, while balancing school and other responsibilities.

Tattoos

Tattoos are permanent.  Be very certain that you want one before you get one.  Be very certain that you are 100% sober when you get one and that the a tattoo of your roommates face across your back is REALLY want you want.  Also, relationships in college get hot and heavy a lot faster than ones in high school.  That excitement and intensity doesn’t mean that you are madly in love, therefore it is also not a bright idea to get your significant others name tattooed on your body.

ink | for | ev | er

{GMS}

Surviving The First Month

How is everyone?  I assume you are all in full swing at this point.  Classes and professors have loaded up the work, late night study dates have begun, and a new level of stress you didn’t know existed has now taken over your body.  This first month is critical for setting up the rest of your semester.  Don’t let bad habits take over.  Start to take control of your responsibilities.  Have you done to the gym yet?  Don’t let late night snacks and increased ‘liquid’ calories mess up your health.  Need a quick check up to make sure you’re doing the right things?  Read below on some Month One survival tips.  Are you doing them?  Did you remember to do them?  Have you even thought about them yet?  Enjoy!

1. Get to know your roommates – sit with them and really get to know them.  These are the people you are going to spend the most amount of time with. You don’t have to be their best friend but you do have to live with them (and they have to live with you).

2. Get Organized!  Your professor may have assigned work and projects and told you about them on day 1.  Don’t expect them to remind you everyday about it and if you forget to hand it in when it’s due you will not get away with the excuse ‘i didnt know it was due.’  Get a planner and fill in the dates when assignments are due.

3. Go to class – Sleeping in and skipping your morning class may seem tempting, who’s making you go anyway?  Get up and go!  You are paying to be there, don’t waste your money.

4. Meet with your professors.  Take the extra minute to show up before class or stay after class and meet your professor.  Ask them a question, or tell them that you are enjoying their class so far.  They’re human (everyone likes to be given complements) and they’ll appreciate the positive feedback.

5. Let go of the pressure of having to know exactly what you want to study – You’ve probably met a number of people who say they know exactly what they want to do when they graduate (i’d bet money that majority of those people have no idea what they want to do).  College is a time to discover what you want to do.  Let those people do what they want to do and be excited that you aren’t locked into one track right now, you are exploring!

6. Stay healthy! Go to the gym, eat your fruit and veggies, listen to music and go for a walk by yourself.

7. Take a deep breath – right now!….ahhh feel better?

8. Don’t cut corner – nobody got placed on the top of the mountain, they all had to climb it.

9. Seek help when you need it – are you really stressed?  Are your eating habits getting out of hand?  Are you drinking more than you expected?  Dont be afraid to ask for help.  Walk to health services (trust me they’ve seen and heard it all) and tell them what is going on.  Are you confused on an assignment?  E-mail your professor, reach out to a classmate or go to the tutoring center.  People want to help you.

1o. Call home to your family – they miss you, they want to hear from you.  Do you love your family?  Tell them.