I survived! I made it through my first week of big kid school. It’s had some great parts and some tough parts, but so far, here are a couple of things I have learned:
- Your calves will double in size.
Don’t be alarmed. This is a natural side effect of living in Fayetteville. There are lots of hills. Also, be warned that it will typically take you 10-15 minutes to walk from point A to point B. Plan accordingly.
2. Invest in the Chacos.
See aforementioned point about walking. I feel like I spend more than half my day walking.
3. The sweatshirt is a bad idea.
The weather in Fayetteville is fantastic!! It is a little chilly in the morning, thus leading unsuspecting freshmen, like myself, to believe that it will stay that way all day. Wrong. You will put on a sweatshirt, step outside, and your immediate thought is, “The sweatshirt was a good idea.” Flash forward two minutes. You encounter one of those lovely hills that I’ve been talking about. “The sweatshirt was a bad idea.” Then you will spend the entirety of your day looking exactly like the nerdy freshman that you are because your backpack is stuffed with your sweatshirt. Plus, the weather truly does warm up by around 10 am. Save the sweatshirt for when it really gets cold.
4. You will get used to the herd of elephants living upstairs.
Living in the dorm has its disadvantages, the primary one being the noise factor. It makes studying in the dorm quite difficult, but then studying at the crowded Starbucks is an equally bad idea. The good news is, the herd of elephants seems to go to bed around the same time that I do, so nights are tolerable.
5. Your suitemates are the coolest people.
Living in the dorm has its advantages. These are the very first friends you make on campus. Talk to them! They are awesome, amazing, hilarious people, and they are the people you will vent to after a bad day. Plus, if you are going to be living with these people for the next nine months, you should get to know them anyway!
6. Your teachers will take a genuine interest in you.
Unlike high school, or the majority of your teachers in high school (unfortunately), professors seek to make real relationships with their students. I don’t have a single professor who has not asked me to call them by his or her first name. Establishing such a casual and familiar relationship on the first day is the main reason that I have yet to feel intimidated in the classroom. My psych professor actually asked me how I was feeling the other day! It is a relief to know that someone that you barely know, let alone your teacher, is taking a real interest in you as a person rather than “just a student” or, even worse, “just a number.”
7. It’s okay to cry.
The first week is overwhelming for freshmen. Not only is your first week of college, but for many of us, it is our first time to be away from our parents for an extended period of time. We also feel as if we have very few friends on campus, and there is tons of pressure put on us to go out and “GET INVOLVED!!!!!” The major internal debate that I have been having with myself for the last two weeks is, “I really want to go out and do something and not sit in the dorm all the time, but I don’t have a group of close friends to go out with. I don’t want to go out by myself, but I also don’t like large groups of people.” I miss my small, tight-knit group of friends who had inside jokes, and I miss laughing about just about anything with them. On top of all this, we have to start worrying about school work again. Whew. It’s pretty overwhelming. So, crying is definitely okay. I have heard this from several upperclassmen as well as a few of my professors. It is okay to cry.
8. There is absolutely no reason that you cannot get involved in a church or some other type of ministry-related group, both on and off campus.
I have been totally amazed at the number of campus ministry groups that advertise on this campus. Several local churches such as New Heights, C3, which is the college ministry for Cross Church, and Christian Life Cathedral have advertised and actively pursued students on campus. In addition, there are several student-led and organized groups such as StuMo, YoungLife, BCM, and Phi Lamb (or BYX for the men) that are fantastic options for weeknight on-campus worship. I am super excited to rush Phi Lamb next week! I had the opportunity to attend a pre-rush party this week, and I could not be more thrilled to get to call these sweet girls my sisters in just a few short days (but they already are my sisters in Christ!!). I truly feel that these are the places that I will find life-long friends here in Arkansas, and I am so pumped to see how God is going to work through each of them to be blessings in my life.
9. You will miss your dogs more than anything, especially when National Dog Day is the second day of school and everyone is posting pictures of their dogs.
Thanks for tuning in to my thoughts on the week! As soon as I finish writing and posting this, I will be heading to a big audition that will be casting for all seven shows that the University will be producing this year, so if you could keep me in your prayers for the next couple days, that would be so awesome! I am at peace with whatever decision the directors make; after all, I am just a freshman, and I have plenty of time to get other roles in the coming years!
See you guys soon!