- Tip #1: College is hard. And fun. And exhausting. And great.
- Tip #2: College will be less fun and great if you don’t ask for help.
- Tip #3: College will be less hard and exhausting if you do ask for help.
In the 1,082 days since my first week at Virginia Tech I’ve learned some things that I think could help you out. Knowledge comes from classes, sure, but also from experiences, opportunities, relationships, accidents, and hardships. AKA: Life. You’ll soon start learning from your own mistakes, but there are a few things I wish I had known going in, and I’m passing those on to you.
Because you are a freshman in college:
- Grades aren’t everything… but they do matter. Leave your dorm door open to your hall mates and check out the clubs and organizations galore, but go to class, too. No matter how many lectures are posted online, the resources available in the classroom will be crucial to your success.
- It’s okay to not know. Some students have their entire life planned down to the minute, but don’t let it make you nervous. Step outside your major and take some ridiculous classes–I’ve had 3 majors in 3 years and I’m still graduating on time with a degree that I love.
- Celebrate being a freshman! Upperclassmen might pretend to look down on you, but they aren’t the ones getting welcome week events with free food and prizes out the wazoo. Every single club and group on campus needs freshman, so milk it for all it’s worth!
Because you are a freshman at Virginia Tech:
- Stay mentally and physically healthy. Cook Counseling Center is an incredible and free resource that many people use because college is a hectic and transitional time for everyone. It’s in the McComas Gym building, so check them both out!
- “Blacksburg weather” is a thing… Some days you’ll need sunscreen, umbrella, sunglasses, winter jacket, tank top, and rain boots all within 24 hours. You learn to roll with it.
- Don’t look both ways when crossing the Drillfield. Don’t spend all your meal plan money at DX. Don’t go to War Memorial Gym without water. And don’t miss GAMEDAY!
Because you are a Christian freshman at Virginia Tech:
- Stay strong. On weekends in the fall it will be harder than ever to pray, read the Word, and stick to your values (on integrity, responsibility, partying, drinking, sex, and whatever else you can think of). This is not the time to go with the flow.
- Try out college ministries and churches. Cru, Chi Alpha, BCM, and InterVarsity (just to name a few) each have something unique to contribute to your walk with God and there are tons of people just waiting to meet and encourage you in the churches of Blacksurg!
- Lastly… remember why you’re here and let Him help you persevere.
“If we let ourselves, we shall always be waiting for some distraction or other to end before we can really get down to our work. The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly that they seek it while the conditions are still unfavorable. Favorable conditions will never come.” –C.S. Lewis
You can achieve much! Have a great year!