Hey friends! I know that I am posting twice in a day, but I still haven’t put together a routine for this yet. I had an idea: since I am a graduate of SBU now, I thought I would impart some of my “infinite” knowledge about college and my experiences on you. I hope that even if this doesn’t seem relevant, hopefully you might catch a laugh or two from these tidbits.
Here we go!
- Go to Welcome Week! SBU has an orientation week that is spectacular. The committee in charge does a fantastic job in planning (I should know, I was on it for a while), and friendships you make at your Welcome Week or Orientation Week will be some of the best connections in your college career.
- Please, PLEASE do not wear your lanyard around your neck after your first month at any college. We understand the usefulness of having a lanyard and all of your keys and ID handy, but after a while, when your turn your head and hit me with a lanyard, it becomes a tad annoying. It may or may not be a little goofy looking as well. No offense.
- Don’t be afraid of your academic advisor. These people are great. Their job is to help you succeed as a college student, and they really are helpful if you ask them to be.
- Get involved! The best way to make friends and learn alot is by getting involved in any of the infinite amount of activities offered at a university. I know personally at SBU that UAC and SA are doing great things for campus life, and there seems to be a crop of new clubs popping up every year. Involvement is great, but be careful to remember that you are a student first, and if you get over-involved, you could hurt your grades alot. So just get involved within reason.
- Find a church family! Religion may not be your thing. I understand. But let me say this: there is no group of people more loving and more accepting than a church family. Its their job to love you and welcome you. Being at a church will also keep you on the straight and narrow. I know for me, I was held accountable alot, and it really helped me to stay on the straight road and to really become a respectable person.
- Don’t freak out if the people behind the desk in the cafeteria know your name not a week into school. For me as an SBU student specifically, it was a little odd that a little old lady knew my name by the end of Welcome Week. It is okay though. Its great, in fact. I became very close to Miss Kay this year especially, and it became a really nice connection to have, especially when I lost my ID and she let me eat without it for the last week of school. That connection means alot.
- To SBU students: look at the sidewalk when you walk. And don’t be mad if someone else doesn’t notice you because they are doing the same. They aren’t looking down to ignore you, for the most part, they are trying to keep their footing. Here and there, the sidewalks on campus get a little weird, and you need to be ready.
- Enjoy the student-led events on campus! Usually every University has some very talented people who are in charge of event planning, and the events that come out of those meetings are really fun. Some examples that occur on the reg at SBU are the Zombie Run, the Amazing Race, and Mini Golf in the Library. These events draw alot of people, but they are always worth the wait. I’ve never gone to an event I didn’t enjoy.
- Do your best to hear your teachers out. It is hard sometimes, I’ve had some professors that I really didn’t agree with. The concept that you as a student will have to realize is that if you don’t do the assignment to your professor’s liking, then you may not get a good grade. I will say that even in my worst classes, listening to my professors has proven to be worthwhile when I least expected it.
- Safety and Security will be your best friend, or your worst nightmare. Be respectable, and follow University policies. That’s how you avoid the ire of the security crew. Its really not that hard guys. If you decide that doing something questionable is something you want to try, just be careful. I understand the need for fun too. Just remember, if you get caught, they have tasers.
- Get to know the people on your hall! These are usually a collection of people from all sorts of walks of life, and it will benefit you to have a diverse friend group. For SBU especially, getting to know your dorm and your hallmates will help you when it comes to homecoming week. Spend time with the guys or girls that live with you, it will prove to be valuable to you during your college career.
- Don’t quit when it gets hard. College has moments where it is extremely difficult. Don’t worry, its going to happen. I can think of a Physics test I took this past Spring that nearly killed me, and I studied pretty well. Don’t be afraid, you will get through it. College takes alot of effort and perseverance, and it is a really sweet moment to shake C. Pat’s hand and take your diploma on stage in front of several thousand people. Just keep pushing.
- You will find anything you want to find if you spend time looking for it. People do alot of things on and off campus, and there is a different group of people and events for every taste. Be careful, however, that you don’t look for things you don’t want to find. I don’t mean to be foreboding, but here and there, some not so great things occur. Just don’t get into that.
- KNOW YOUR MISSION STATEMENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you go to SBU, know it. Say it in front of a mirror. Lord forbid, you will be caught on your heels by the president and asked to recite it (it will happen). Just know it guys. “Southwest Baptist University is a Christ-centered caring academic community preparing students to be servant leaders in a global society.” Its not that hard, and you’ll need it to pass your first Seminar test anyways. Just know it. You will live and die by that mission statement for as long as you attend there.
- If there is anything you do at SBU, you need to do this: have fun! It is vitally important to spend time with friends and enjoy your college experience. These are the last few years of total freedom, so get out of your dorm every day and do something! Enjoy people, and make moments and memories. When you walk across the graduation stage, you want to be able to say that you milked SBU for all it was worth. Graduating with regrets is not a good feeling.
As I typed this, I came up with a few more, but I will roll with this for now. Feel free to add your thoughts as well! I would love to know of other current students’ opinions and experiences. I hope that you will read these and see both the humor and importance of some of these ideas. Get excited! I hope you will come to SBU and love your experience. Do your best to have an amazing time in college, and I hope you learn alot while attending.