At the end of this semester, I will be halfway through my undergraduate career here at Fredonia. Let me tell you, before I walked on campus my freshman year, I thought I had it all figured out. However, in looking back over the last three and a half semesters, it really makes me think about how much has changed since then. I made a lot of really awesome decisions that I wouldn’t change for anything (the choice to come to Fredonia in the first place being the biggest one), but I also have some regrets about things I wish I had done differently in my first few semesters.
So today I’d like to share some of those good and bad decisions in the hopes that someone will learn from them, besides just myself.
Not joining more clubs my very first semester. I had a professor at my orientation to Fredonia recommend to a room full of incoming freshman not to join more than one club in their first semester. I’m calling nonsense on that one. While it may be true that it is very hard to adjust during your first semester, staying in your room and not talking to people will not help. Sure, I joined the tennis team and The Leader right from the very beginning, and that was awesome. However, I wish I had tried some wild, out-of-the-blue groups just for fun and for the sake of meeting new people. I think I would have found my friend group a lot quicker if I had.
Worrying about relationships from high school. Coming to a big new school (or big compared to your former school) where you barely know anyone is terrifying. That much is true. And of course you are going to want to stay in touch with your best friends from high school. However, you can’t let those relationships stop you from making new ones. I spent so much time my first two semesters worrying about what my old friends were doing that I spent little to no time making new ones. Not only did that leave me pretty lonely coming into my sophomore year, it also made it hard for me when my high school friends started making good friends in college and didn’t have as much time for me anymore. The bottom line is, stay in touch with your high school friends if you want, just don’t be afraid to expand your horizons a little.
Join The Leader and the tennis team right when I got on campus. It was scary at first, joining these groups of upperclassmen who all knew each other. However, I was eventually able to find my niche in these groups and make some really great friends in the process. Not to mention, I have made a lot of connections and had several experiences that will help me later on after college.
Eventually end up joining the PRSSA and ASL club. It may have taken me a few semesters, but I eventually found some more clubs to be a part of. Through them, I have been able to meet even more people, as well as expand my knowledge in key areas that may be important to my field of study. Side note: you don’t have to join a club only because you think it will look good on a resume. I joined the ASL club just for fun and it has been an amazing stress reliever for the past few weeks. I hope to join more clubs like it in the future!
Not try to graduate in three years just because my parents told me to. College is expensive. I know it is. But, I spent my first two semesters here stressing myself out because I was in a major that I wasn’t entirely happy with and thinking it was too late to change anything because if I did, it would ruin “the plan.” College is about learning what it is you want to do in life, what will make you happy. Some people know right out of high school what they need to do to achieve their end goal of happiness, but others don’t. After taking some different classes and speaking with my advisor, I eventually ended up adding a second major as well as a minor and am currently considering a second. Yes, it’s a lot of work and there’s no chance of me finishing college in the next two and a half semesters, but I’m okay with that because I finally feel like I’m on track to reaching my goals. If you want to graduate early and know that that would make you happy, go for it! Just don’t feel like you have to.