Where has the time gone? I genuinely cannot believe I am a senior!!! Just yesterday, it felt like I was beginning my journey at Endicott College back in 2019, along the coast of Beverly, Massachusetts. If you asked First-Year student Seal what she thought her senior year would be like, it would most certainly be different from what it is actually like now. So… here are the things I’ve learned throughout my time at Endicott College :)
- Advocate For Yourself In Times Of Need
By this, I mean being able to talk to your professors about the grade you got on an assignment and why you deserve a better one. More often than not, professors are juggling many classes and lives of their own (which we often can forget as students, as we juggle so much ourselves), so sometimes they might not realize if they plug in an incorrect grade into canvas. Having the courage (and understanding) to stand up for yourself (as this is the education you are paying for) allows you to gain confidence with getting what you deserve and in an academic-sense. Beyond this, voice your concerns to your roommates if you have one, rather than letting it get pushed under the rug. One thing I’ve come to find out, despite who you are living with or surrounded by, it is essential to remember you have an equal say as to how the shared space is being used or divided into. I know this can be scary, but in the end, it will benefit you and allow you to not let others walk all over you! As a people pleaser myself, this one can be really hard, but it establishes necessary boundaries and how to appropriately and respectfully communicate them with others.
2. Go With The Flow
Not to be too punny, but we are at a school with three private beaches (so cool right), so this one should be a constant reminder. It’s really hard not to get wrapped up in all the drama and chaos of others while constantly being surrounded my people at college (classmates, roommates, teammates, etc.) … so taking a step back and reflecting on a situation before blowing it out of proportion is really important. As someone who is pretty in touch with her emotions, I’ve learned that the best way for me to react and handle frustrating or stressful news is to take my time and process it alone (which is totally ok!) So… take the time you need, check in and validate your thoughts and feelings, and carry on.
3. Try Your Best To Be Kind To Others
One thing is for certain, you never know what everyone is going through or dealing with… it goes for you, me, and everyone else on this planet! Especially at college, it’s easy to assume everyone has a similar trajectory and storyline as you do, but you really never know what they went through before college (or what they had to do to simply get to the point of being in college!) Rather than assuming the worst of people or assuming things based on their physical attributes, involvements, or from first interaction/glance, get to know them. Be kind, smile and wave when you walk by strangers, and get to know others with an open-minded and understanding outlook!
3. Boundaries Are Essential
As many come to learn the hard way, saying “no” and putting yourself first is so beyond crucial to your success and happiness at school (this goes for any student in school!) Listening to your gut and saying no to things that don’t suit you is 100% okay and important, as it goes back to advocating for yourself. Although FOMO can be real, in the long run, putting your needs above all else will help you in the long run.
4. Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone
On the other hand, don’t say no to everything! Try new things, sign up for that club or sport that seems really fun yet intimidating, ask the person in class next to you to grab lunch, don’t limit yourself and your involvements!! I met some of my best friends and some of the kindest people through my extracurricular involvements- I also learned so much about myself as a leader and as a person through these roles as well. There are so many opportunities at every school, so just go for it, why not!! :)
5. Find Your Flock
Although not everyone is on a sports team or in a group, finding the right people on your own team to lean on is crucial. By this, I don’t mean limiting yourself to a group of people, but building your unique support system around you which can be made up of peers, friends, mentors, trusted adults, and so on. For me, I have been doing this throughout the entirety of my college experience, so it’s a very fluid team. On my team, I have a variety of Endicott Staff and faculty that continue to support me in various ways and who I know have my best interests at heart, friends that understand me, and mentors that want to teach me.
There are so many pieces of advice about how to best get settled in and make yourself at home, but these are the things that have always grounded and helped me grow throughout my college experience. If you ever need someone to go to or talk to about anything relative to Endicott, I’m your girl! Thanks for reading #gogulls :) <3