It’s really hard to believe that my first year of college will be over in three days. Second semester, especially, as just flown by. There’s been nights with plenty of sleep, and nights with not so much sleep. There have been Sundays full of relaxation, and Sundays full of studying. There have been tests with good grades, and tests with maybe not as good of grades. No matter what happened, no matter the good or the bad, it has all been a great experience. An experience that I would not trade for anything. And in a way, a lot of those small things throughout the year seem pretty unimportant right now. It’s the big picture that counts. Just as a sit here and type this, a flood of memories come back to my mind. For my final blog, I’d like to reflect on some things that I’ve learned or experienced this year, as well as share some tips for students who are planning to come to Southern for the first time next year.
- Enjoy Life – I think one of the biggest things I’ve learned this year is the importance of enjoying life. Life should be fun. Sure, there are going to be bad times. There is sickness, death, financial struggle, and so many other hard ships, but there’s no point in going through all the tough times if you aren’t going to enjoy your life afterwards. Do things that you enjoy, hang out with people that you enjoy. Enjoy life. Having a little bit more freedom in college, I’m more able to try new activities and find out what I like to do, and I have loved getting to figure all of that out that this year. Also, if you don’t really enjoy the classes that you are taking for your major, then you’re probably in the wrong major. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with switching. I’m not saying that you should find every class you take to be extremely fun, but you should generally like the subject that you are majoring in. If you don’t really like your major, you probably won’t really like you job. So do something that you are passionate about and that you enjoy.
- Taking Care of Yourself – In order to enjoy this life that we have been blessed with, you have to take good care of yourself. I know that it seems like fun to eat junk food, drink sugary drinks, and stay up late every night. But it’s really not. It’s not fun being sick, it’s no fun feeling tired every single day. I have really tried to focus on eating better and getting more sleep this year. I feel like the best way to starting eating healthier is to control what food you eat instead of letting the food control you. If you can exhibit self-control with what food goes into your body, then you can have self-control in a lot of other areas. As for sleep, it’s a pretty simple strategy: go to bed. Train yourself to get things done on time and go to bed at a decent time every night. Set a certain time for yourself to go to bed each night, and stick to it, even if you aren’t finished with your homework. The best option is to go to bed. Make good choices and take care of yourself, it will help you out a lot with my point above about enjoying life.
- Life is all about choices, and you have to be intentional with those choices – The one power that God has given us is the power of choice. Our life is full of choices, big ones and small ones. The choices that we make, for the most part, determines the path that our life follows. If you aren’t intentional with all of the choices that you make, it becomes easy to go down the wrong path. I’ve realized the importance of being aware of all of the choices that you make. You have to be intentional to spend time with God, to exercise, to get enough sleep, to get your homework done, to spend time with friends, and the list keeps going. If you aren’t experiencing true joy in life, try to be more intentional with your choices.
On a little bit lighter note, I’d like to share some specific tips for next year’s freshmen at Southern. Who knows, maybe someone reading this will be writing this blog next year.
- Get to know the campus – Before you arrive on campus to move in, or at least shortly after, make sure you get to know the campus. Orient yourself, look at maps, do whatever you can to try and figure out where everything is so you aren’t running around trying to find your classes the first day of school.
- Know the rules – Know where you can and can’t park your car. Know what you are supposed to wear to vespers. Know what time your curfew is as night. Know how many worships and convocation credits you need each semester. Knowledge is key. Look up this stuff before you start school, or try listening during freshman orientation, they actually tell you all that stuff.
- Plan your schedule – Try not schedule back to back classes across campus. While it can’t always be avoided, try to give yourself enough time to get to your next class. When you schedule your classes, pay attention to the times and the buildings, and try to know where those buildings are on campus. The most common scenario is to have a class at Brock Hall and the Hickman Science Center within ten minutes of each other. Unless you like running (literally) to class, you probably want to avoid this one. Also, if you are planning on working, make sure you plan some blocks of time into your class schedule for your job.
- Get involved – Just because you are a freshman does not mean you can’t get involved. Find what you enjoy doing and join a group or organization. Whether you like music, sports, writing, or photography, there’s probably other people on campus interested in the same thing. Getting involved also helps you meet new people. But…
- Don’t join too many things – While the transition from high school to college, for me, was not too difficult, it does take some getting used to. Don’t spread yourself too thin and join everything your freshman year. Pick a couple of things that you enjoy and do them, but don’t try to do it all. Remember, sleep is important.
- Find a way to get organized – You don’t need to have a fancy system, just find a way to stay organized that works for you. Keep track of your things and your class assignments. Know when your tests are and when your projects are due. If you have a plan for staying organized, then you will have a pretty good shot at being successful in college.
I have probably rambled enough, so I should probably bring this blog entry to a close. I have really enjoyed the privilege to write these blogs for Southern. While there were times when I was tired and stressed, and didn’t put the effort that I should have into writing them, I really enjoyed them all. It gave me time to think and reflect on my week. I hope that I have been able to provide at least a small blessing to someone that has ready my blogs this year. It’s really hard to believe that my first year of college will be over in three days.
Signing out for the last time,