My Freshmen Story is a freshmen blog series written by our talented HC Bryant staff. We decided to start this because we’ve all been in those shoes that ached in nervousness, excitement, and confusion before beginning our first day as Bryant University freshmen. We know you are about to put on those shoes and figured you’d love to know exactly what to expect…so ready for your freshmen year?
College: everyone will tell you it is the best four years of your life. Though I do agree, I sometimes feel people leave out some crucial details about these four years. Just because they’re going to be your best does not mean everything is going to be perfect. I know this because my freshman year, I learned it the hard way of how things can go wrong if you’re not careful.
My first year of college was an absolute roller coaster in every sense. Upon my arrival at Bryant University, I jumped into everything campus had to offer. I joined a few clubs, made some amazing friends, got a cute boyfriend and partied a bit more than I care to admit. Now, you may notice that something is missing from here; something very, very important. In fact, it was the whole reason for being at Bryant in the first place. SCHOOL!
Somehow in the mix of my new and exciting life I had completely left my education in the dust. My social life was at an all-time high, but my grades were at an all-time low. And, much to my dismay, I was about to pay for it big time.
Over winter break, I received my grades for the first semester. My average came do a dismal 1.7. Now I’m not saying I was a stellar student in high school, but my grades never fell to those depths. How could I possibly be in the ones?!? I wondered to myself. I knew I didn’t do that awesome, but this was bad. I now found myself in a position that I hope none of you ever have to experience: Academic Probation.
I was placed on Probation 1, which came as a result of my GPA being below the required minimum of 2.0. This meant I had the next semester to raise my average or I was out. Kaput. Done. Bye-bye Bryant. Talk about some serious motivation! Along with that threat looming over me, I was also at risk of losing my generous scholarship and required to meet with my academic advisor weekly to track my progress.
I needed a serious reality check and I definitely got one. My parents were infuriated, my friends were sympathetic, but I knew this was my karma for messing around too much first semester. I knew I was in for a challenge, but I was ready to get back to school and take it on.
I returned to school in January with a brand new attitude ready to take the semester head on. I started off doing really well. I went to every class, spent plenty of time in the library and learned a lot about time management. But I soon found myself falling into old habits again.
It seemed right as everything was starting to go right for me academically, my social life decided to take a turn for the worse. My closest girlfriends were pledging a sorority I was unable to get into because of my grades, my boyfriend and I broke up, and I started feeling really homesick and missing my high school friends. I was a total mess! I was sad, I wouldn’t go out, and I began to fall behind on my school work. I couldn’t believe I was letting this happen to me again.
It was intervention time. I wasn’t making any progress sitting around feeling bad for myself, so I made a change. I was done playing the victim, and I knew it was time to save myself. I went to all my classes and became a regular at the Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) where I would meet with my amazing math tutors a few times a week. I went to the gym more and de-stressed with meditation classes at the Interfaith Center. I sought help everywhere I could find it; from professors, to friends, to family.
I began feeling so much better about myself and my grades began to reflect. Finally, I was on the upswing and it felt great. To top it all off, I had just discovered Her Campus, too! I finally found the outlet I was looking for: a great group of girls with a common love of writing and all things Bryant!
Just as the year was ending, I was finally in a great place. I was a woman and a student I could be proud of and, despite a lot of odds stacked against me, I pulled myself out of the deep hole I had dug myself into earlier that year. I could go into my summer confident that I had conquered my bad habits and bad grades and left them far behind me in freshman year where they would stay.
Now, Collegiettes, I know not many of you (hopefully none of you!) will have to experience this first-hand, but I want my mistakes to be a lesson for everybody. While I want you to have the most amazing experience at Bryant ever, make sure it doesn’t come at the cost of your education! So, here are a few of my tips on what you can do to be proactive with your education:
Get to know your professors: They are here to help you (and trust me, they love to help!), not just teach you in the classroom. Every professor has required office hours where you can go to get extra help or just talk. A lot of them are super approachable, so don’t be nervous! The better you know them, the better your class experience will be.
Go to ACE: Why I never visited ACE my first semester is a complete mystery. You can go there for free tutoring sessions in all the tough subjects (hello, Accounting!) all throughout the week. All the peer tutors are experts in their subjects and are glad to help. They also have a writing center where you can get papers for any class revised and critiqued so you can always turn in your best work.
Know your advisor: I can’t even tell you how many of my friends didn’t even know who their advisor was. Although I met mine not under the best circumstances, he turned out to be one of my best resources and favorite people at Bryant. Everybody in the advising department is willing to help you with both school and personal issues, so stop in and get to know them!
Don’t go overboard: I know it’s exciting being in a new environment away from your parents with great new friends and parties all around, but the fun will eventually catch up to you and begin to affect your schoolwork. Plus, mean hangovers and walks-of-shame are not fun or classy, trust me.
Make the best of your next four years, because they are going to go by quick! As long as you’re smart about it, you are going to have a great time. Take advantage of all the great opportunities that come your way, make some great friends, have fun and study hard! Bryant will open a lot of doors for you, so make sure not to shut them with silly mistakes!
Images from http://www.thirdspacecreative.com/
Guess what? We would absolutely love to hear back from you! If you are an incoming freshmen and either have questions, comments, or even would love to get started with us this fall, shoot us over an email at HerCampus@Bryant.edu, like our Her Campus Bryant University Facebook page, or comment below!