I still remember the day I got my acceptance letter in the mail as if it was yesterday. I came home from school. No one was home so I checked the mail. Inside was a small envelope from SFASU. I was a tad nervous. Don’t they always say, “the smaller the envelope the bigger the rejection?” I walked into the kitchen, opened the letter and confetti flew everywhere. Everywhere I tell y’all. It was all over my kitchen floor. Side note: I think I still have some of that confetti stashed away. Inside the card read: CONGRATULATIONS you’re a LUMBERJACK.
Y’all I was so excited. Well, excited would be an understatement on how I felt. See I was all “cant-pick-a-college-cause-I-don’t-wanna-make-such-an-imporntant-decision-at-18” and this letter legit came like two weeks before I was to graduate high school. But for a few reasons besides that it had come down to SFASU, a relatively small school in the grand scheme of Texas versus my 1st choice big 12 school.
Lookin’ back now I couldn’t have imagines goin’ to any other school. Choosin’ a smallish school really was the best decision for me. Ok, maybe finances had a huge part in my decision but that’s beside the point for this post. I honestly don’t think I would have been able to handle a large university. SFASU was close enough to come home on the weekends but far enough where family didn’t bug me.
All in all chosin’ a school three hours away, in the middle of nowhere, in the Piney Woods of East Texas, in a town the same size as my hometown was one of the smartest decision I ever made.
I’m no expert but while in college I spent many years workin’ for the University and gathered more knowledge than one probably needs within University Affairs and college in general. If it can happen to you in college it happened to me: Changed major; Financial aid gets screwed and has to be audited; Advising all wrong and lose credits; Housing lost and without a room; Loans of all kinds; Mettin’ with the dean; Trifilin professors; Cryin' to the professor in a freshman level class while you are a senior cause he doesn't understand how hard you worked and you need that one D to graduate: Obviously it worked or I wouldn't be here writin' this post. To the highs such as representin' the University at conferences; Student Government; plannin' the largest event the University has annually and shatterin' attendance records and profits to even bein' on a first name basis with the University President.
I could go on and on but I won’t. Y’all get the point and that is not the purpose of this post. I say this to say: Here’s my 5 tips to incomin’ freshman. Heck students in general.
- I texted the bestfrans and asked them what would be the one piece of advice they would give in incomin' freshman. The response, "Go Greek!" I'll amend that cause maybe Greek Life isn't for you. But the 1st piece of advice I would give is to join somethin' whether it be Greek, an organization/club or sports team etc. It could be as simple as makin' frans with the people in your residence hall. Last thing you wanna do is be miserable where you live. I could quote you the statics and studies on how much money Universities spend on retention research and materials but I won't. Remember the whole I worked for the University. Just know the more involved you are in college the better the experience will be and the more likely you are to graduate from said University. Y'all there's even studies that show students who go home that first weekend which is Labor Day and the likelihood of them stayin' at the University. Spoiler Alert: its low.
- Don't study so much. Y'all lemme explain. I ain't advocatin' not studyin'. I'm sayin' there's such a thing as over studyin' and sometimes it won't matter in the end. Example time: One semester I got permission to take 21 hours. Keep in mind 12 hours is considered a full time student. I was a Liberal Arts student. Think history. Think political science. Think Sociology etc. My classes were filled with essays. One for my minor, senior gender studies capstone, was literally one giant essay that made a semesters grade. Anyways I stretched myself so thin that I had a meltdown at 3am on the floor in Whataburger covered in ketchup. Keep in mind I went to a smallish college. People saw me. To make matters worse I hyped myself up on Benedryl and Monsters. Not somethin' I would recomend. I have the embarrassin' FB statuses as scars. Y'all, I couldn't find enough hours in the day and my solution was no sleep/more essay writin'. As you can guess I still overslept for my International Politics exam. Ugh, one of the lowest points in my college career. Your body will say enough is enough I promise you that. And more times than not it will be at the worse time. I say all this to say you gotta know when enough is enough. You can harm yourself and yo body by not sleepin' enough and over studyin'. Years later I read a studyin' that actually showed how much your brain is retainin' when you take long periods of extended studyin'. It was mind blowin' y'all.
- First make sure college is somethin' you truly wanna pursue. I know that should been first but it ain't. There are so many honorable things that can make you just as if not more successful. Military and trade school or main ones that come to mind.Don't chose a major just to chose one. The economy is for crap and it ain't gettin' better anytime soon. Chose a major for you. Major in somethin' you love and not somethin' you think will make you, "all the monies". Unless you wanna be a doctor or the like. Then ignore me like a bad glass of unsweet tea. And don't be afraid to change that sucker. You just gotta be smart about it. It's ok not you have your whole life planned out at 18 or heck even 21. As someone who chose what they love I can shout it to the rooftops. But, really, explore yourself and what it is you want outta life. Take a dumb class or two. Lord knows I took enough of them. You may just discover your next passion. Or the class may have a bigger impact on you than you'll ever realize.
- Ride or Die says I have to add for you to study abroad. Her words, "It's life changing and this from a Christian kid." I'll put it like this: take advantage of every opportunity whether it be abroad or not. "Just take it all in, seize the chance to be free before you're an adult."
- My final piece of advice would be to find a healthy balance. While it's great to have a schedule where class isn't till noon or only M-W-F, all schedules I've had by the way, it means nothin' if you don't take advantage of said schedule. You're in college now and there's no one to plan your lunch time/ free time or even tell you to go to class and make your bed. All things I urge. Find a schedule that works best for you and WERK it. Side note: If you go to a larger school make sure to plan your classes accordingly. You ain't gonna walk across campus that quick.
"In the end don't sweat the small stuff "
And because I can, here's a back to school giveaway just for you. And if you ever have questions related to college/ Financial Aid or housin' etc email/tweet/Fb/gram/stalk away. I can probably help or know someone who has an answer. HA! I've been out of college goin' on 4 years and I still get questions.
Gift cards to: Amazon ($40), Marley Lilly ($40), Pura Vida Bracelets($25), A-List Greek Designs ($20), Thirty-One Gifts ($10)
Stationary Set ($10)
Custom Workout Tank that says "Stronger Than Yesterday" ($20)
2 Revlon Parfumerie nail polishes ($15)
A Large Lilly Pulitzer Agenda ($30)
A set of monogram or Lilly inspired earrings ($10)
A set of Twirls + Pearls Bangles ($30)
A Custom State Canvas ($20)
Pepper Spray & a personal alarm ($20)
A Vera Bradley ID Holder and Kate Spade Notepad ($20)
2 bows + a custom nail polish from Bubbs Bowtique ($18)
Custom Painted Lilly Pulitzer Letter ($15)
A bow, key fob, bracelet and bow keychain from Preppy Bows & Sass($30)
This giveaway is worth over $350! Isn't that amazing.