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A Senior’s Advice to Incoming Freshmen

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Photo credit: Dustin Keeslar

logansitting
Written by: Communicator StaffAugust 27, 2014

Logan Hursh

This semester marks the beginning of the end of something for me.

This will be my last year of college.

The reality of this is beginning to seep in and I’m finding myself with a lot of mixed feelings.

While it’s nice to think that my hard work will have paid off with a degree, it’s also a bit terrifying to think that in a few short months, I’ll no longer have the structure that college has provided me. I won’t be in the world of academics; I’ll be in the real world.

Oh god, no.

So, as I am savoring the flavor of the last-first week of a fall semester I thought I could share with you some of the best things about college.

In my time in college, I’ve grown immensely. To say this was an easy journey, or even at times fun, would be a lie. It’s been hard, embarrassing and incredibly boring at times. What I didn’t know when I started college was that I was beginning one big journey into self-actualization and that, sometimes, really, really stinks. It’s not always great to look at yourself from different perspectives, and while I’ve been in college, I’ve been exposed to nothing but viewing the self and world through a series of different lenses.

When I started as a freshman I was a bit older than most of the other students in my class. This only served to make me feel like a big loser. Looking back I realize I shouldn’t have cared that I took some time to get into university. If you’re starting as a nontraditional student – don’t let those kinds of thoughts get you down. You’ve worked hard to get here, and in some aspects it’s been more of a struggle and want for you. Don’t diminish that, but also don’t look down on the traditional student and think that they can’t teach you things – oh boy, they can. One of the fiercest young journalists I ever met was years younger than me and definitely pushed me to work harder.

Most  importantly, try to remember why you’re here. It gets so discouraging at times. It’s beyond exhausting if you want to do well ,and sometimes the benefits don’t seem worth the costs — tell yourself they are. Try to ignore the people who feel the need to pontificate consistently how bad the economy is and how slim job prospects are. Really, don’t let those negative thoughts keep you from trying. In fact, let those thoughts become a motivation to work harder and stand out more than your peers.

There are a lot of things I wish I had done differently in my college career; I wish I hadn’t focused so much on dead-end relationships, hadn’t drank so much the night before classes, I hadn’t done minimal effort in some classes just to get an okay grade – but one thing I am glad that I did was view college like a competition. While interpersonally this hasn’t always favored me, in the academic and professional world it’s been a source of motivation to push further and do better. You’re going to need that. Everyone coming out of an undergrad will look the same – what will set you apart?

It’s  vital to remember that is not why you’re acquiring thousands of dollars in debt. You’re investing, quite literally, in your future.

I used to rail endlessly about the pointlessness of  general educationcourses. I abhorred that as an English major who aspired to write for a living I was required to take math and science classes. However, as much as I did think at times it was pointless, it challenged me in new ways. I remember turning to my lab partner once and exclaiming “I can actually feel a part of my brain working that normally doesn’t work. It feels like it’s processing different!” While, no, perhaps I won’t use statistics or ever have to dissect a frog again it did teach me to be adaptable. And that, especially in the changing, dynamic work force is going to be an asset – I hope. Ha!

So, welcome to IPFW. I hope you’re inspired. I hope you remember exactly why you’re here and what you’re doing all of this for. Try to keep focused and don’t get discouraged by naysayers who tell you Fort Wayne is a dead-end places (it’s really not). They’re just scared themselves and being less productive about it. Good luck. And try to find a way to make learning fun, because it is. You’re going to have a very long college career if you don’t find a way to get interested in what you’re learning.

This time will go so fast. Hang on to it and appreciate it.