Tips for freshmen college

My name is Meredith Royer and I am a current senior at The University of San Diego. I am an International Business major and Spanish minor, and studied abroad in Madrid, Spain. I am involved in Greek life and with the International Business club. I am from Pennsylvania and in my spare time I enjoy traveling. I will be traveling to Hong Kong and Beijing in January to take an economics course.

Imagine trying to take a sip out of a spewing fire hydrant. You’re so thirsty, yet it’s impossible to get a satisfying sip without being overwhelmed. Being a first year student at a university can be overpowering. The amount of people, ideas and resources that are at your disposal are seemingly impossible to make use of. How do you find what suits you and what will build your character to form an educated and meaningful person? It’s not simple however the following three suggestions will prove beneficial when making your way through your first year of college.

1. Do something you don’t want to.

The amount of clubs and organizations at a university or college are never ending. From origami club and underwater snake charming club to Microfinance society and community service clubs, the choices are boundless. We’re told to get involved in an organization, make our resumes better and such, and if this is already something you don’t want to do, do it! Joining a school organization is a free way to get an escape from classroom studies. These clubs and organizations is where you can make deeper connections, relate your studies and perhaps eventually find a career. So if you are set on joining an organization, join something that’s not what you’d normally join. My freshman year, I joined the Residence Hall Association, fully knowing I didn’t want to be a RA my second year. However, I got to see people I never saw on campus before and observe their interactions. When it comes down to it, college is about meeting people. Every person you meet is going to somehow alter your path through college, for better or for worse. Being surrounded by people you may not necessarily want to go to a dance with is more beneficial then you may realize.
2. Do something you’ve heard bad things about.

There’s always that one organization you hear about. All they care about is money, they only have attractive members, they drink all the time, etc. For me, that was Greek Life. There was no way I wanted to be in a house with 150+ girls, drinking all the time, and squatting to uncomfortable depths. However, I was wrong. What seemed so bad to me and so foreign is now my home. There’s no harm in rushing, or attending a few club meetings, or taking a few hours out of your day to truly see what this club/organization may be like. Change your attitude for those hours and open your eyes. When I did that, it seemed like my path through college had suddenly turned to pure gold. What I found in Greek Life, will forever be my guiding experience at the University.

3. Do something that fits with your high school career.

Let’s face it; you’re not that different from when you were in high school. Sure you may be in a different state, with a different room, different teachers, different hair, etc. But you’re still the same you. Remembering who you were in high school is nothing to be ashamed of, but should rather be cherished. Join similar clubs to what you joined in high school or join something that reminds you of home. Even in Southern California, there’s a ski club, which reminds me of home. Shutting out your past is a mistake many first year students make. When you take your first sip from that fire hydrant, know you’ve done this before and you’re coming in with skills and assets. You may be starting a new at college, but you wouldn’t be at college if it weren’t for who you were in high school.

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