The person you are at the beginning of your freshman year of college is usually a completely different person than the one completing your second semester of school, but it’s a good kind of different. It’s not really a difference per se – rather an extension of the person you once were and the first step toward becoming the person you were always meant to be.
That sounds ridiculously cliché and it’s hard to explain, but I’m sure you’ll understand it when you get there.
The transitions you go through freshman year don’t come easy. With change comes challenge, and your first year of college is going to be one of the greatest emotional and intellectual challenges you will ever face.
As with any challenge you face, you give college your best effort, and I suppose that’s why there’s the saying, “give it the old college try.”
However, there are a few things I wish I had known sooner – and a few things I would’ve done differently when it came to my first year at Gannon University.
Here are a few things from my experience at Gannon that might be helpful to keep in mind when starting your first semester on campus.
One of the most important things to give yourself prior to starting college is a reality check.
You are going to be surrounded by people who are smarter than you, different from you and that is OK. You are going to fail, you are going to doubt yourself, and that is OK too.
You will learn from others and learn from your mistakes and at the end of the day, you will become a better person from the competitions you’ve lost and the mistakes you’ve made.
As an over worrying perfectionist, it took me a long time to appreciate the art of failure and it is still something I struggle with.
Failure is an inevitable part of college life so it’s best to learn how to take an L and find a way to turn it into motivation to do better next time.
Another important thing to bring with you to college is an open mind for all aspects of your college experience.
Of course it’s a good thing to be open minded when it comes to classes and academics, but it’s also important to be open minded when it comes to yourself and your personal social activities.
Just because you were something in high school doesn’t mean that you have to limit yourself by being that same person in college.
This is the perfect opportunity to try out something new and look into tons of university clubs and organizations.
If I hadn’t decided to go out on a limb and sign up for the school newspaper, this article would not exist and I wouldn’t have participated in some of my favorite college experiences.
So, go ahead and sign your name on the sheet at the Activities Fair because you never know what could happen.
My parting piece of advice to the Gannon class of 2021 would be to enjoy your time at Gannon and keep the stresses of university life to a minimum. For some of you this will be easy, as college is seen as four years of good times and no worries.
But for others more like me, college can be seen as four years of endless test anxiety and an unhealthy amount of stress.
This advice is easy to give but hard to follow through with because eliminating stress and anxiety can be seemingly impossible at times.
But looking back on my freshman year, my favorite memories were not made while worrying about an exam or stressing about my GPA.
It will all come together in time and the things that seem absolutely important one night will be minuscule a year down the road.
Appreciate your time at Gannon while it lasts because this is the place where you will make lasting friendships and memories that will influence your life and shape the person you are meant to be.
Welcome to the Gannon family and I hope you enjoy the changes, challenges and craziness of your freshman year.