Hello readers! Oh how fast time flies….I know we have all been there, right? I am still reeling over the fact that I am now a senior in college. Senior. Before I know it, I will have some pretty big decisions to make. It makes me nervous, yet excited for what’s to come. At this point, I have been making it more of a priority to take the time to reflect–whether in prayer, in close conversation with a friend, or by writing it down. In part, my Senior Seminar class has allowed me to do just that (but that will be another blog post altogether).
But as I reflect on how I am doing now, I have also been reflecting over the past 3 years, specifically my freshman year. Wow, that seems like so long ago. It was an exciting time for me–I would be living that independent college lifestyle and pictured the many donut runs, late night pizza and HW sessions I would be having. I was ready for the classes that would challenge me and I hoped to form close bonds with my English professors. I am grateful that all of those things did happen and that along the way I was able to meet some pretty amazing people whom I still call friends today.
Don’t get me wrong, freshman year also had its downs. There were times when I was homesick for my family because I was the first person in my family to go away to college. Or when I would stress myself to the point of exhaustion over a paper or exam. There were even those nights when I would question if I really “belonged” at Hope because there were so many people who were different from me. Yes, these were the parts of my Hope experience that weren’t so great, but what I learned from those experiences only helped me grow into the person I am today.
So to the freshmen who may be having a hard time adjusting right now, I can only hope that you believe me when I say that it does get better. By choosing Hope, you have chosen a place where you will not only receive the best education, but also a place where you will learn and grow from the challenges you face along the way. Take the bad days in stride and look forward to the next day– a new day to learn something new, to meet someone new, to go someplace you have never been to before. I know for me, Hope is my second home–it just might be your second home too.
Here are some other pieces of advice from some of my very wise friends (and sorority sisters) who have been in your very shoes:
“Don’t be afraid to try new things and step out of your comfort zone. College is only four years and might seem long but trust me, those four years go by fast. Make it the best four years of your life and don’t regret anything”
–Jackie Salgado, Class of 2016
“The person you are now (your first year) will not be the same person you will be at the end of your four years. You will learn from those around you and you will teach those around you, so that you all are able to grow into people who have well rounded perspectives and ideas.”
–Laura Rodriguez, Class of 2016
“Get involved in whatever interests you. College is your time to explore. Don’t let procrastination ruin your chances to develop deep friendships with people. Try to do homework ahead of time so that you can spend your time getting to know people.”
–Rudy Metellus, Class of 2016
Think of how you felt when you applied to attend Hope. You had faith to apply, now you have faith to act on it and make it the best year you can imagine, and from here it takes faith to keep looking at the joyful end of it all, graduation. So go into this year and the next three years to come being confident, trusting in God, and relying on faith. You’ve already taken one step, let go of fear, and take a few more. “
–Alexis Simone-Rivers, Class of 2016
“Be open to trying new things and meeting new people. Don’t be afraid to say hi to the person sitting next to you in class just because you don’t know them.”
–Mary Elena Salguero Palma, Class of 2018
“Don’t wait until next year to do or join anything that you want to. Do it now because time will fly by faster than you know it.”
–Ashley Monique Quiñones, Class of 2018
Here’s to a great year! 🙂