The Voice


The Voice


The Voice

Hey Freshmen! Here’s what you need to succeed

     When my siblings graduate highschool my gift to them is a box full of ‘open when’ letters. Letters written by me, full of advice and anecdotes, that’s supposed to help them as they adjust to college life. Or at the very least, provide them some amusement; I was flying blind being the oldest in my house and the first of my siblings to go to college.

     If I knew then what I know now: about myself, about school, about love and life in general, maybe I would’ve made some different decisions. Of course, I know I have more to learn as I finish my senior year and move on through life. But right now, this is the advice that I wish I knew coming in as a freshman with no clue what she was doing.

1 – You have time

     Everyone’s biggest excuse, no matter what age you are, is that they simply don’t have enough time to fit in more. As a freshman I thought my five classes, part-time job and time spent writing articles for The Voice from the comfort of my dorm room prevented me from participating in more clubs and events or from going to the gym.

     But as I continued my college career I came to realize how much downtime I had and how many precious hours I wasted watching TV, sleeping or just sitting on my phone.

     This semester I have six classes, am heavily involved in two extra curriculars, have a part-time job and still manage to socialize with my friends.

     It’s all about time management. It’s taken me awhile to get this down to a science. I actually use three calendars; one on my phone, a whiteboard on my wall and a planner notebook. Writing everything out three times helps me remember what’s going on and having my calendar everywhere keeps me from forgetting.

     Everyone benefits from different methods of organization so my advice to you is to find which one works for your lifestyle. Once you master your schedule you will be free for more opportunities that will help you improve your portfolio/resume or enhance your college experience.

2 – Don’t be afraid to ask for help

     Bloomsburg has so many resources available to help you succeed here. If you don’t do well here at Bloomsburg there’s a good chance you weren’t utilizing all of the tools at your disposal.

     First are the professors. Most of the teaching staff at Bloomsburg encourages their students to come see them during their office hours. They want to help you and to see you do well here, so make sure you go and see them first if something is troubling you in your class.

     Next, we have tutors. Tutors are free for you to use; you’ve already paid for their services with your tuition and fees so you might as well use them. They will be able to help you and maybe explain things in a different way than the professor. Sometimes this can be useful if you just aren’t getting it.
The Wales center, aka the writing center, is also a tool students who have trouble writing papers should be making the most of. They can help you revise and edit your papers so you can get the best grade you can.

3 – The only person responsible for your fate is you

     Leave your excuses at the door. They don’t work in college the way they did in high school. Most professors don’t really care that your family has been planning this trip for a while, or that you were just so tired from work. If you miss a due date, you miss a due date and that is all on you.

     Late work is rarely accepted in college, so make sure you get your assignments done ahead of time. Don’t blame the professor and talk about how unfair they are being. Most assignments are given out far in advance, giving you ample opportunity to get them done.

     It’s not the professor’s fault you failed a class; that lays solely on you. This isn’t me trying to be mean, I’m being honest. The sooner you realize that you’re the only one who controls whether or not you do well, the better off you’ll be.

      I’ve failed classes; had to take one class twice cause I needed it for my major. I was eager to blame the professor, or my work schedule or my exhaustion. But blaming these things didn’t help me do better. Upon realizing that I was the one to blame, I was able to self reflect and find out what I needed to change about myself to do better next time.

4 – Don’t be stuck in one friend circle

     When I came to college I arrived with three close friends from high school. Having them here made me lazy in the friend making department because I didn’t think I really needed anyone else.

     Well, our sophomore year, two of them transferred to other schools and the last one and I had a falling out. While I still hang out with the two that left, I didn’t have any friends here at Bloom. I didn’t really know what to do. I didn’t get along great with people from my classes and I was still in denial about how my schedule looked so I hadn’t really joined clubs. I tried out joining a sorority but my GPA was too low.

     I had my boyfriend, but he wasn’t a substitute for a full friend group.

     Because I hadn’t branched out in a socialization way I was left a bit high and dry. Eventually I found my niche and a bunch of fantastic friends but I do wish I could tell my freshman self to create more significant friendships early on.

     So if you’re coming here with people from high school or even if you do find some friends quickly, do try to make friends separate from them. Having a few different friend groups is good for you.

     College is a fantastic experience. You learn a lot about yourself and by the time you reach senior year you will be a completely different person from when you graduated high school. Embrace these changes and work hard and you will have a very successful college career.

Taylor is a senior Mass Communications major. She is a Managing  Editor for The Voice.


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