Dear GMU Freshmen,
Hooray, you’re in college! You’ve finally attained the independence you’ve been seeking for the past four years of high school, and it’s time to celebrate. Now you can stay out as late as you want, eat candy for breakfast, and skip class without having to convince your mom you have Swine flu. But let’s take a few steps back, because college is a lot more than making your own rules. It’s about finding yourself, and what works best for you.
It’s easy to get caught up in your new found independence. Your primary points of authority (parents!) are now miles away, and it can sometimes be a culture shock adjusting to the freedom. Doing your own laundry and feeding yourself seems like a no-brainer, until you realize Presidents Park is where dryers go to die, and Southside can only be ingested so often before you can never look at a pasta bowl again.
But you’re not just any 18-year-old, you’re a GMU collegiette. You’re smarter than your predecessors, and you’ve learned from their mistakes, right? Right.
Now more than ever, we have to be smart about the decisions we make in our youth. The dumb stuff you do now WILL follow you into the future (thanks Facebook), so it’s important to set boundaries for yourself. Don’t be the girl who didn’t get the job because of what you did those first few months of college. (I’m looking at you, girl who posts pictures of beer bongs in her freshmen dorm room.)
But let me make this clear: this is the best time of your life. Go out, meet people, enjoy yourself. By all means, try something new and exciting. These next four years are all about you, so make the most of it. Never in your life will you have this amount of freedom with this few responsibilities.
However, the trick is taking those responsibilities seriously. Go to class, make excellent grades, and get involved. Don’t let freedom get the best of you. Prove to yourself and others that you can be self-sufficient. Try a million things until you find the ones you love best, and then do those things to the fullest. Whether it’s joining a sorority or getting on the e-board of a club, make a place for yourself. Make it a point to end your time here with no regrets.
This is a lot to take in, but I know you can handle it. You’re attending the #6 up-and-coming university in the country, and you’re one of its up-and-comers. Here’s to you, class of 2017!