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Four Years at the Mount

Junior Year

Listen up all you Freshman!

Samantha Strub
MSM Class of 2013

(9/2011) All right freshmen, you are opening a new chapter of your life. Youíre excited and nervous to move past high school, where you had it all down to a science, to a whole new city, state and environment, in your case Emmitsburg, Maryland. College is a place where you control your life and start preparing yourself for the future. The possibilities of what you can do are endless, but you may not realize the consequences of your actions when you start your first semester. Iím going to pass some valuable knowledge on to you newbies; you may have heard this before, but believe me Iím right!

Donít splurge on the freedom. You now control your own life entirely. Your parents are not going to be there, telling you to go to class or do your homework. You have to be responsible for doing everything yourself. Even though you were a senior in high school and had a job and a good taste of freedom, you probably were still very dependent on your parents. It could have been something small, like letting them wake you up in the morning, make your lunch or impose a curfew. These things become a huge deal in college, especially waking up to your alarm. Without your parents forcing you to get up and making you go to class, a lot of times you choose to just stay in bed. Donít take advantage of doing everything that your parents told you not to do. Trust me, it will catch up with you.

Get off to a good start, with grades and people. This is important because it is easy to get overwhelmed with the workload and the freedom and choose to have an active social life instead of keeping your grades up. Shoot for a high goal like deanís list. You will have a huge sense of pride if you accomplish your goal. If you donít, just learn from your mistakes and struggles and do better next time. You might hear your parents tell you that it is better to start out with a high GPA because when you get to a harder class, it wonít cost you as much in the long run. It is a lot easier to keep up your GPA if you start off with a high one. If there is a class you are struggling with (in my case it was statistics), you need to keep buckling down and working hard. Your teachers will appreciate your dedication and reward you in the end. You donít want to burn your bridges with your teachers. They are there to help you and enable you to move forward in your career--not make you fail their classes. Make sure you stay on good terms with them; say hello when you see them around campus and donít be afraid to go to them if you need help.

Prioritize and manage your time. You have heard people say that you can only accomplish two of the three "big ones" in collegeósleep, get good grades, and have a social life. However, I have found this to be wrong. For the most part, if you can manage your time well with class, homework, activities, work, and social life, you will be able to do what you want and still have some sleep. I would suggest getting involved right away on campus with the sports teams and clubs that interest you. They are a great way to meet new people and do what you love. Iím still able to play field hockey, and I have some good friends from it, just like I did in high school. It gives me something beyond studying and hanging out with friends. I would honestly go insane if that was all I did. Because of that, Iím involved in a lot of things, and Iím always running around, but I like it better that way. Just make sure you prioritize everything you have to do. Donít let the important things slide. School must always come first because that is why you are coming to the Mount---to get your degree. Understand your responsibilities and work the rest of your life around them.

Accept change. Know that you are going somewhere new and meeting new people. Once you are accepted at college, changes will take place. You will make new friends and may fall out of touch with friends from home. You canít believe that these things will happen, and you are totally shocked when they do. Just remember itís not the end of the world. In the big scheme of things it doesnít matter. Also, you will not die because it turns out a guy or girl doesnít like you. Life will keep moving forward, and youíll realize things happen for a reason. Time and experience change you, and you just have to learn to roll with the punches. Donít forget to try new things and take advantage of new opportunities. Go on the CRUX outdoor adventure trips, go see New York and the cherry blossoms, get involved in a club or sport, even take a job doing something you love. Adjusting and accepting change can be the hardest and yet the most rewarding. It is good going into college knowing that relationships with your parents, and friends from home will change. You will lose touch with the people you knew in high, not all but it will happen with some; just remember that something else will fall into place. In my case it was writing for this paper. I never would have thought that I would be gaining this valuable experience, yet it happened and I couldnít be happier. You never know what blessings will come out of trying new things and doing something youíre passionate about; just remember to keep your opinions open.

Enjoy and embrace it freshmen, but donít be afraid to ask for help. Donít take advantage of the freedom. Practice time management and prioritize your responsibilities. Get off to a good start and try new things. That way you will adjust and thrive in college. Who knows maybe no-one will even be able to tell that your freshmen.

Read past editions of Samantha Strub's Four Years at the Mount