Dear Future Freshman ...
Advice for your first few weeks of freshman yearAugust 02, 2022 - Anna Weyenberg
I loved my freshman experience at Ouachita, and there’s not a lot that I would change. During that year, I grew closer to the Lord as I navigated through new friendships, experiences and challenges.
Despite this, there are a few things that I wish I had known before I started classes:
Move-in day can be stressful and emotional. And that’s okay! Because it’s the start of a new phase of life, there will be emotions you didn’t anticipate. I was eagerly counting down the days during the months and weeks before move-in day, thrilled to begin a new chapter in my life. However, as my family helped me unpack boxes of school supplies, desk lamps and rugs, I found that I was saddened over the closing of one part of my life, and anxious to open a new one. Saying goodbye to loved ones can be a difficult process, even if your hometown is a short drive away. To make this process easier, I would recommend taking time in the days that follow to process what’s happening.
Don’t bring too much! The freshman dorm rooms can be tight, especially when you’re sharing the space with someone you may not know. I wish I had packed less because I honestly didn’t need or have time for a lot of the things I bought in preparation for the semester. Bringing too much made it difficult to keep my space tidy.
Be social, but realize that there will be many more opportunities to make friends. WOW orientation week, for example, is such a great way to meet your classmates. I participated in almost every event and am so grateful for the friendships I formed during that week. But don’t stress if you are more introverted or shy in group settings; keep in mind that you will have four years to meet people. Many of my deepest friendships didn’t form until I got into my major-specific classes, where I met people who share my passion for music.
Go to class! Being diligent in attending class is the easiest way to work toward succeeding in college. A very simple way of doing this? Don’t look through your professors’ attendance policy just to see how many “skip days” you can take! Save those for unexpected illnesses or other emergencies. Even if you just feel like you’re a warm body in the seat, you may retain more than you expect; college life gets stressful if you’re constantly having to catch up on missed class lectures and homework.
Ouachita has so many opportunities and amazing experiences available. Take advantage of as many as possible! As I’m writing this on the back end of my college career, I can promise your limited time here goes quickly!
By Anna Weyenberg, a 2021 music and communications & media/multimedia journalism graduate from McKinney, Texas
Lead photo by Levi Dade
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