$EN!OR Strugs: Advice for Incoming Freshmen

Right now, campus is bustling with high school students and parents touring Wake. Some Wake students will say it feels a bit like a zoo, but I’m on the other end of the spectrum. I enjoy the liveliness that tours bring.

As I see the fresh faces of potential Deacs walk onto campus, I am acutely aware that graduation is next month—cue internal screaming. My time at Wake has passed in the blink of an eye and many of my friends are starting to see college in a retrospective manner. What are we glad we did? If we could redo college, what would we do differently? It’s strange to feel nostalgic about something you’re still doing.

For those of you coming to Wake next year, or want to tick off a few items on your senior bucket list, here’s a bit of my wisdom:


1. Say Yes

If an opportunity comes your way, take it. Whether it be joining a club or going to an event, do it. Even if you have “so much homework” on your to-do list, the homework can wait. I promise, you will get it done. When you reminisce about college, you won’t remember the days you camped out in the library doing work; you’ll remember the fun memories you made.

2. Go to all the sports games you can

I never thought I would consider myself a soccer fan until this past year when I cheered on our team at many of their home games. Take advantage of the fact that we have the ability to attend these games. Put on your black and gold and clap along to our Fight Song (and pretend you know at least some of the words).

3. Get out of the Wake Bubble

Our outgoing Editor-in-Chief talked eloquently about this in a profile article. Just to reiterate what she said: Wake is an amazing place in a great location. Take advantage of it. Go walking through the forest preserve of the Historic Bethabara Park. The park, which was a fort when the colonists came to America and a place they resided while they built Old Salem, is five minutes down the road from campus. Who knew!? Take this time to check out Old Salem, go hiking at Hanging Rock, or take a weekend road trip with your besties down to Charlotte and ride roller coasters at Carowinds. If those things are not your cup of tea, trying skiing in the Appalachians, swimming in Outer Banks or even check out the art scene in Asheville. There is no way you can be bored in North Carolina, so explore all of the unique places it has to offer.

4. Attend Wake sponsored events

Whether they are required for a class or not, go to some of the events where Wake hosts renowned speakers. I’ve been to poetry readings, listened to professors talk about their research, and been informed about the latest topics in science and medicine.

5. Travel

If you have the opportunity to go abroad for a year, a semester, or for part of the summer, I highly recommend you take the leap. However, even if you decide not to go abroad, find opportunities to travel. You learn so much about yourself and others both inside and outside the classroom. Don’t do it for the Instagram posts; do it because it enriches your life in some way.

6. Don’t let the “Work” in “Work Forest” take over your life

Wake is an academically rigorous school and that’s probably one of the reasons why we all chose to come here. It can get overwhelming when papers pile up, there are too many meetings to go to, and there are just not enough hours in the day. I believe, to be successful at Wake, you need to keep everything in perspective and find an outlet. It is crucial to be organized and mark tasks down in a planner to better manage your time; procrastination is never a good idea and all-nighters are the worst. Take time to get outside and go for walks every day or head over to the beautiful new gym. Your brain needs a break, and studies show exercise and sleep increase test scores. Hang out with friends or simply have some “me” time; it’s all about fining the balance that works for you. While you should work hard in school because that’s what we’re here to do, don’t let the work consume you.

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