By Jenny Gregory
As graduates from the class of 2020 begin their next steps, many will look back on their college experience, thinking, “There are so many things I would have done differently.” While challenges and mistakes shape us, we can often learn from others and avoid making the same mistakes. With the help of several Truett-McConnell University graduates, I’ve put together the following advice for freshman as they prepare to begin this new season of life.
Make time for the things you love.
The next four years will come and go in the blink of an eye, and at the end, you will wonder where the time went. In the busyness of being a college student, try not to push the most important things aside. Be intentional to grow in your faith and savor relationships with your family and friends each day.
You don’t have to have your whole life planned out before you begin your freshman year.
People will ask you want you want to be when you grow up and what you will major in, but it’s OK to explore your calling while you’re in college. There’s no shame if you’re unsure about what you want to do. Seek out advisors and mentors at your college who are willing to help you, and be sure to bathe your journey in prayer that you would pray with you to follow your calling from the Lord.
Take care of your physical and mental well-being.
Freshman year brings about a new freedom you may not have experienced before with decisions you may not have needed to make previously, like:
- Should I study or hang out with friends?
- If I have class at 10:00 a.m., can I stay up until 2:00 a.m.?
- If the dining hall is “all you can eat,” should I limit my intake?
It is of utmost importance that you maintain a good balance of sleep, nutrition, exercise, homework, and fellowship. Eat healthy. Work out. Get plenty of sleep. Take time each day to do something you enjoy. Be sure to get outside and breath in some fresh air. Recharge after a long day of classes by taking a walk with some friends or relax on the front lawn. You’ll work super hard during the next four years, so meet new people and immerse yourself into the college life.
Classes are difficult, but not impossible.
College requires responsibility and diligence. You will need to study on a regular basis, read, and turn in your assignments on time, take advantage of tutoring, a quiet library, and purchase a planner. If you manage your courses well, you will also enjoy all the fun and activities college has to offer. By staying self-aware, motivated, and disciplined, you will walk across that stage one day with a feeling of accomplishment and growth that is comparable to none.
You’re in college for a reason.
If your plate ever feels overwhelming, don’t forget why you’re in college. You’re here to get a degree and an education so you can follow the calling on your life. Take heart in knowing you are not alone in this endeavor. There are many who are embarking on this journey right beside you. Take a deep breath and savor this time of learning and growth.
Your college days are a special time in your life that will go by quickly. Heed these words of advice and one day, you may reflect on a positive and wonderful experience.
Jenny Gregory is the Digital Marketing Specialist for TMU’s Marketing and Communications.