Guidance. It’s one of the things that we sometimes lack during our first year, or perhaps our entire time, in college. It can often be overwhelming, especially when you have no idea what to expect. So, in an effort to provide guidance (and mainly because I was curious), I reached out to members of the Chi Psi Central Office Staff, and a few friends, to pose this question to them: If you could go back in time to talk to yourself on your first day of college and give only one piece of advice, what would it be?
Of course it wouldn’t be fair to ask others without giving my own advice, so here it goes:
College is truly the time to “find yourself”, or at least use the many opportunities that you’ll have to do so. It may not happen until after college, but you owe it to yourself to use those opportunities while they are given to you, because you may not get them again. Don’t be afraid to take risks (as long as they’re safe, of course). Talk to that cute girl in class, she may be just as afraid. Go to that event even though you’re tired, you may meet your best friends there. Take a class that you never thought you’d enjoy, it may make you rethink your major. Now is the time to take these chances. Your late teens and early twenties is the time to test things out and make mistakes, because you still have time to recover from them.
Short but sweet advice from a few other CO Staff Members:
Holly Stewart: “At age 18, I was under the impression I was old, too old to pursue any new amusements, whether they be beneficial to my education or not. Freshman year is indeed a “fresh” start, so take all of the abstract psychology classes, learn how to scuba dive, or even start your own club. One of my friends at the College of Charleston started a Cheese Club; needless to say I am forever envious. Never be afraid to be truly independent at a time when people are very willing to support your interests.”
Nick Strelke: “Join a club that uses the machine shop. I didn’t get to use the machine shop until senior year, and it was a very valuable hands-on experience that I wish I had taken advantage of earlier in my college career. Moral of the story: take advantage of all that college has to offer.”
Donald Beeson: “The sheer number of cultural, intellectual, athletic, and social offerings on a college campus can be overwhelming. Most of these activities are free or at a cost that is greatly reduced. This is the only time in your life you will have so many activities from which to choose, and the time to enjoy those activities. Take advantage of the opportunity and try something new. Or something you think you might not like. It’s worth the time to broaden your horizons — even if it confirms your pre-conceived notions.”
Sam Bessey: “Go to class.”
Emily Dewitt: “Take advantage of freebies and discounts for college students and/or members of campus organizations. There are tons of free or affordable tickets out there for concerts, plays, seminars, exhibits, athletic events, etc. You can usually find more information in your university’s newsletter and calendar of events.
Gabbie Rimmaudo: “Be wary of the waffle machine in the Southside Dining Hall.”
Doug Buglewicz: “If you’re planning on engaging in an activity that could result in either red blood or blue lights, you may want to reconsider.”
Dan Hooks, Gamma ’14