Erin’s Declassified SFA Survival Guide

Listen up freshmen, sophomores, and barely surviving juniors and seniors; I am going to let you in on a few different tips and advice on how I survived college, more specifically, how I survived college at SFA. College has been a learning experience for me above all else, I have lost and gained friends, figured out what I want to do with my life, and ultimately established what I want to look like when others see and interact with me. Below I have listed a few ways I academically, socially, and mentally survived Stephen F. Austin:

  1. Get Involved: I cannot stress this first tip enough. I know it sounds cliché and sometimes we don’t exactly know what that means, but joining organizations and getting involved with SFA has been my best college decision. I joined SFA’s International English Honor Society Sigma Tau Delta as a junior, I later became secretary. This organization gave me even more love for my major (English) and gave me a sense of leadership. I also (obviously) joined Her Campus at the beginning of last semester. This organization has given me the most supportive and non-judgmental group of girls I have ever been surrounded by in my life, not to mention I get to do one of my favorite things- write!
  2. Stay Strapped or Get Slapped: Okay. This is serious too. For the love of all that is holy, keep an umbrella in your car, in your bag, in your house, in your back pocket, EVERYWHERE. Nacogdoches is notorious for having the most beautiful sun-shining mornings that turn into hurricanes in a matter of seconds. Also, it will flood within five minutes, so having a pair of rainboots in your closet isn’t a bad idea either.
  3. Use Your Resources: Professors and other professionals on campus are here to help you; utilize your resources! The library is the main source of academic help and guess what? Most of these services are free, with the exception of printing. The AARC is located to the right when you walk into the library. This service provides tutoring (individual and group settings), editing services, recommendations, and so much more. Also, don’t be embarrassed to rent books from the library. This is easy to do by using the SFA library website, and most of the time you can find helpful online sources. Finally, use your professors’ office hours and talk to them as much as possible. Building relationships with your professors is almost equally as important as doing your work.
  4. Speak Up: I know what you’re thinking; this is my worst fear. But hey, me too. Speaking up in class can be so nerve-racking and seem like the end of the world. However, it’s totally not and professors love to hear you speak up. Most of the time, lecture-based classes are going to require speaking as a participation grade, so it’s a good thing to get used to early on. Don’t be afraid of giving the wrong answer because nine times out of ten, other students either aren’t listening, or had the exact same thoughts as you. Even if they didn’t, no one is here to judge, were all here to learn.

            I’ll be the first to admit, there are days of college that just plain suck. But ultimately that is just life and adversity is inevitable. However, most of college has been the absolute best days of my life. Learning who I am and making mistakes has been fun, embarrassing, crazy, and bittersweet. Although these are just a few tips from the top of my head, they are aspects that could open huge doors in your future.