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What I Wish I Had Known About College.
We are exactly one month away from new student move in day! Four weeks from TODAY you will be arriving at Furman, hopefully excited to begin a new chapter in your life. Today’s blog is authored by Erin Mellor, a soon-to-be sophomore who served on our Summer Orientation Staff. Erin is from Irvine, California. She reflects on some of her favorite experiences from her first year at Furman, and what she wishes she would have known as she started school.
My senior year of high school was like a dream. I had a core group of friends, loving and adventurous souls, and I didn’t see how it was humanly possible to feel more supported or rooted in a place outside of Irvine, California. Anxiety took ahold of my summer as I worried about my future roommate, feared I wouldn’t have friends, and doubted I’d be accepted in the South.
Fast-forward one year. As a rising sophomore, I have never felt more encouraged, courageous, and connected. You have the ability to make each day at Furman full and bright, especially if you are involved in a handful of organizations and actively pursue your interests.
My freshman year was full of midnight milkshake runs, movie nights, rich conversations, carnivals, swing dancing, coffee dates, strolling around Swan Lake, road trips, and eating pints of gelato (always chocolate peanut butter cup) with my roommate on our secondhand, worn and cozy couch.
There were some difficult nights, when the papers proved frustrating and the reading assignments never-ending. But there’s something about living and working with other people that bonds you at a deeper level than with your high school peers.
It’s a community, a family.
And even in the days of stress, I would gaze out across the lake, grab dinner with my hall mates, or go on a study break adventure, and know I had made the right decision to cross the country and go to Furman.
My advice to you, and what I wish I had known before entering college:
- It’s cool to rock your own style, have your own sense of humor, and be authentic.
- The initial security of rushing into a friend clique is fleeting. Try to stay open, meeting as many new people as possible. A supportive group of friends will naturally fall into place over the course of the semester. Extending kindness goes a long way.
- Hard work pays off. If you put time & effort into your schoolwork and friendships, you can succeed academically and create deep relationships. You may not get a perfect 4.0 like you did in high school, but usually these friendships and adventures prove more enriching. Balance is key.
- Be spontaneous. I love schedules and routine, yet my favorite memories are from spur-of-the-moment dinners, adventures, and trips downtown.
- Stay open to other peoples’ opinions and lifestyles. Besides preparing you for the workforce, college is meant to give you a wider worldview. By putting your judgment aside, you can gain valuable insight into the people around you and life in general.
- Enjoy this time and be present in the now. The days, weeks, and months truly fly by.
We can’t wait to see you on August 22!