Welcome to your fall semester, your FIRST fall semester of college! As a first year student, there are a lot of things that are important to know: where the dorms are, where to find your classrooms, who to contact for help in class (and out of class) and how to survive your first and last weeks of the semesters. Today, however, I will list some advice brought to you by current and former college students, parents, grandparents and professors as they wish you luck on the next step in your adventurous life.
The first piece of advice is from recent social work graduate, Ashley Boland. She says that you should take advantage of all the resources that Elizabethtown College supplies to students in particular. One resource that Ashley notes is super helpful is Elizabethtown’s Learning Zone. The Learning Zone offers not just tutors for almost every class that is offered at Elizabethtown, but also provides writing tutors to help proofread and prepare papers. One of the many workers in the Learning Zone, besides our student employees, is Tammie Longsderff. Tammie can help students of any age and year learn good time management skills. As someone who frequently utilizes both the tutors and Tammie at the Learning Zone, I can attest that this is a great feature our college offers.
Our second piece of advice comes from fifth year, Hannah Burleigh. Hannah suggests that you join clubs, but remember to manage the amount that you are in so you do not overbook yourself. It is important to be involved because in college sometimes it can be easy to trap yourself in the grind of studying, classes and sleep. Taking on too much in clubs, however, can also cause you to stretch yourself too thin. At Elizabethtown, there are multiple clubs with multiple different ideas or bases including dance groups, music groups, clubs relating to majors and even clubs relating to politics or interests. Another bonus to joining clubs is that it can help you make friends and learn more about yourself. Feel free to check out any and all clubs at our clubs fairs and online for more information!
Senior Miranda DeLauter says that her piece of advice is to take advantage of the free and discounted events that Elizabethtown College has to offer. Our Office of Student Activities runs multiple events and trips throughout the year that are extremely low cost (if not free) which means that they are completely affordable. The great part is that you can sign up with friends and many of the events that are offered have transportation provided, meaning you don’t have to worry if you don’t have a car on campus. As someone who actively takes advantage of these activities, I can say that a lot of these opportunities I would not have been able to attend if they had been the full cost or on my own, but through Elizabethtown, I am able to participate in multiple events a semester. Be sure to look at the calendar provided by OSA at the beginning of every month from work out classes, events, trips and movies on and off campus that will be held that month.
Dr. Michael Long, associate professor of religious studies and peace and conflict studies at E-town, suggests that you get involved in the social justice activities on and off campus. Throughout the year, the school will provide bus transportation to many social justice marches. In the two years that I have been at Elizabethtown, students were bused to the 2017 and 2018 Women’s March, the March for Racial Justice, the March for Our Lives in 2018 for gun reform and many more. On campus, there have also been multiple peaceful protests to demonstrate our ideas and our support for people going through tragedies around the world. Outside of demonstrations, there are also talks every semester that promote peace, social justice and reform and the idea of human dignity. To find more information, visit the E-Can webpage or the page for the Center for Global Understanding and Peacemaking.
The final piece of advice for this article is from yours truly. As a junior, I have learned a few things outside of theories and practices in the classroom. My advice: accept the change and work to find yourself. Your life is going to change as you grow in college and this is alright. Accept the change and become the person you want to be, not the person you think you should be. College is a place for finding yourself and learning what you want to do with your life, the people you want to surround yourself with and so much more. With this change comes my final piece of advice: remember to stay in touch with your family. Call your parents, text your siblings, send mail to your grandparents, just do something that helps to stay in contact. Your family loves to see your growth and hear about it, so don’t hide it from them. You’d be surprised the amount of enthusiasm you will find your family has in these talks as they learn about your new life.
Now enjoy the ride Blue Jays. Your first year is here. It is up to you to make it an amazing first year with your flock. How are you going to spend it?