Cause the Lumberjack Spirit "burns in my soul"

Jul 29, 2014

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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-want-to-make-such-an-important-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 schools.

Looking back now I couldn’t have imagined going to any other school; choosing a smallish school 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 the family didn’t bug me.

All in all chosen’ 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.

While in college I spent many years working for the University and gathered more knowledge than one probably needs within University Affairs and college in general.  To the highs such as representing the University at conferences; Student Government; planning the largest event the University has annually and shattering attendance records and profits to even being 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 are my five tips to incoming freshman. Heck students in general.

I texted the bestfrans and asked them what would be the one piece of advice they would give in incoming 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 something whether it be Greek, an organization/club or sports team, etc. It could be as simple as making Frans with the people in your residence hall. The last thing you want to 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 are even studies that show students who go home that first weekend which is Labor Day and the likelihood of them staying at the University. Spoiler Alert: it's low.
Don't study so much. Y'all, let me explain. I am not advocating not studying. I'm saying there's such a thing as over studying, 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 one giant essay that made a semesters grade. I stretched myself so thin that I had a meltdown at 3 am on the floor in Whataburger covered in ketchup. I went to a smallish college. People saw me. To make matters worse, I hyped myself up on Benedryl and Monsters. Not something I would recommend. I have the embarrassing facebook statuses as scars. Y'all, I couldn't find enough hours in the day, and my solution was no sleep/more essay writing. As you can guess I still overslept for my International Politics exam, 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 have to know when enough is enough. You can harm yourself and your body by not sleeping enough and over studying. Years later I read a studying that showed how much your brain is retaining when you take extended periods of time studying.

First, make sure college is something you honestly want to pursue. I know that should be first, but it is not. There are so many honorable things that can make you just as if not more successful. Military and trade school or primary ones that come to mind.Don't choose a major just to chose one. Chose a major for you and major in something you love and not something you think will make you, "all the monies." Unless you want to 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 must 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 explore yourself and what it is you want out of 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.

Sherry, 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 is 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 a class isn't until noon or only M-W-F, all schedules I've had, by the way, it means nothing if you don't take advantage of the 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 are not going to walk across campus that quick.
"In the end don't sweat the small stuff "



If you ever have questions related to college/ Financial Aid or housing 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 going on four years, and I still get questions.

5 comments

  1. Ah there is so much I wish I would have know when I started college. Those gift cards would be fabulous!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Such a sweet first memory of school. i still have all my acceptance items as well. And ps entered giveaway!

    ReplyDelete

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