honest advice from honestly nice people
You’ve closed one chapter of your life, and are about to begin a new and exciting one! Hopefully you’re looking forward to what’s to come (it will be quite the adventure, I assure you), but maybe you’re also feeling intimidated by the thought of being away from home. Freshman year is filled with the opportunities to explore new academic challenges, find new friend groups to fit into, and to learn how to do adult things like your own laundry, and mustering up the willpower to make it to that 9 am lecture. It can all seem a little overwhelming, I know. That’s why I’ve put together a list of a few lessons that I learned throughout my freshman year that would’ve been cool to know beforehand. So, read on and take what you’d like from the tidbits below!
1. Your roommates may not be your best friends, but you'll meet incredible people everywhere.
I’m a relatively shy person, so I assumed that my roommates would become my closest friends. Every college movie depicts roommates being BFF’s and, while occasionally arguing, ultimately treating each other like siblings. YAY if that happens for you, but that’s not always the case. You and your roommate probably won’t always get along. And that’s okay. Why? Because of the incredible people you’ll meet! Freshmen, I strongly urge you to get out and meet people - professors, students, staff, everyone you can! Take a risk and put yourself out there. It’ll pay off in the long run. I promise there’s a family here for you, all you have to do is open your mind and look for it.
2. You can find adventure anywhere.
In high school I thought that college fun was all about the huge parties and social cliques, which wasn’t really my scene. I’m happy to tell you I was wrong about that here at Baylor. Whether it’s swing dancing on top of a parking garage, running across campus in the middle of a thunderstorm, or playing sardines in Cashion to avoid studying - there is always adventure to be had around campus. Campus isn’t the only place where adventure can be had - go check out Cameron Park, or Bru and Dichotomy! Waco is an interesting place - so go explore!
3. You'll end up taking naps in random places.
College kids never get enough sleep. Naps + coffee + functioning college student. At first, I never thought I would be comfortable napping anywhere besides my dorm, but around midterms I began finding comfortable and quiet napping places. For example, the couches on the second floor of the SUB are SUPER comfortable. But I have also been known to resort to curling up on the floor in a quiet corner of Cashion. We are blessed at Baylor to have three Starbucks on campus, an Einstein’s in the SUB, and Common Grounds close by. Between late nights and 9 am lectures, coffee has become an essential part of keeping me functional throughout the day. I’ve also realized that grabbing coffee is a great way to catch up with friends! Overall, coffee is just a REALLY good thing.
4. There are so many different things to do at Baylor that it’s easy to over commit, don’t do that.
Did you know that Baylor has over 300 student organizations? From language organizations, to sports that you didn’t know existed (*cough* Quidditch *cough*), Baylor has something for everyone to try! You’ll never know when you’ll find something brand new and exciting. With that being said, try not to do EVERYTHING. My freshman year, I took on leadership positions in two organizations, membership in a third, and tried to balance academics and my social life. I quickly realized that I was burning myself out on the things I love because I had too much on my plate. You can’t say “yes” to everyone, so find something you’re passionate about! Give your time and energy to those things rather than trying to spread yourself thin - saying “no” is definitely okay!
5. You'll find your new home.
College is an interesting place because it starts to feel like you have two homes. Baylor will quickly start to feel like home, and you’ll more than likely find a group here that will become your family. It’s totally normal for it to feel weird to go back home over break. It’s tough to be away from friends that you’ve practically lived with for the past few months. Come up with a long distance activity that will keep you connected with your friends! Practicing a new language will keep your mind busy. Or play a game like The Hunt to keep everyone engaged. Also...you won’t feel so heartbroken over leaving your friends back home. Maybe that sounds a little harsh. Let me explain… College life is much different than what you’re used to. Many days will be completely filled from the time you wake up to the time you fall asleep - that’s okay. College life is most likely moving at the same pace for them, and while maintaining those friendships is important - it’s just as important to focus on the friends around you right now!
So that’s my advice to make freshman year a little smoother of a ride for you. College is an incredible journey and I have never been happier than I have been at Baylor University. I encourage everyone to challenge themselves to grow in some way once you get here—stretch yourself, take new challenges head on, look at things from a different perspective. According to Neale Donald Walsh, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone,” so don’t be afraid to push your boundaries and explore all that Baylor has to offer you! I wish you all the best of luck for the year to come!