Tips for adjusting to college life at Union

Freshman Move-in
Ian Walker, senior business major and Life Group leader, welcomes students on campus for move in day, Aug. 15, 2014. | Photo by Amanda Rohde
Ian Walker, senior business major and Life Group leader, welcomes students on campus for move in day, Aug. 15, 2014. | Photo by Amanda Rohde

Freshman year is overwhelming and awkward, but it is also the beginning of four years that are like no other. In the words of Nick Fleming, senior Christian ministry and missions major, “Don’t look back on your college experience four years from now with any regrets.”

“The Freshman 10”

(because no one wants the “freshman 15.”)

1. YOU ARE AT COLLEGE; STAY THERE. If you want to actually experience college, then you cannot go home every weekend. I don’t know anyone who goes home every weekend because that’s just it…I don’t know them. College is a new season and God created every part of it to play a purposeful role – find out what that is.

2. DO SOMETHING, NOT EVERYTHING. No personal passion is weird, because most likely, someone else shares it. Union offers so many organizations and opportunities, some of which you probably will never have in front of you again. Join, apply, rush, go, and sign up. Even if you end up hating it, you will meet people along the way and you will learn a thing or two. Remember, it is better to be committed and genuine at several things rather than flaky and mediocre at numerous.

3. PROFESSORS ARE YOUR FRIENDS. It is important that you not only get to know them, but allow them to get to know you. Jill Moreland, psychology and family studies double major, class of 2005, experienced this first-hand when she overslept the day of her world civilization final, fall of her freshman year. Since she made the effort to get to know that professor, he knew that she had never been late, and allowed another student to call her. Intentionality might provide you with a meal at a professor’s home, or it might even save your final grade.

4. TICK TOCK. Every minute matters. When your class gets out 10 minutes early, do yourself a favor and do not waste it on social media, rather study for 10 minutes, refresh your soul with Truth, or take a nap. As Terrence Murphy, senior biblical studies major, says, “Time management is really essential in succeeding at college. There is so much going on that it makes it pretty much impossible to keep track of it all.” This is why a planner is important.

6. STUDY RIGHT. All-nighters will happen, and they can be fun, but don’t make it a habit. Studying a little every day beats staying up for two days and producing poor work.

7. IF IT’S FREE, YOU PARTAKE. I am mainly talking about food, but furniture, clothes, books – if someone is giving it away, you need to take advantage.

8. DON’T BE A TEXTBOOK SNOB. Speaking of books, do not buy brand new ones. If it interests you and you want to keep it, by all means buy it new for yourself! The way to go is Amazon or other sites where you can rent or buy used books for cheap. Join the Facebook page “UU Textbook Trade,” where Union students buy and sell books from each other.

9. SHOW YOUR I.D. There are so many places that offer student discounts, and if you do not show your I.D. you may never know. Many restaurants give a 10 percent discount, some clothing stores 15 percent, and Apple even takes 8 percent off online and in-store purchases.

10. REACH OUT. “Getting plugged into a local church and the Jackson community as a whole is essential. Invest not only in Union but the city you live in,” Brittany Julian, psychology major, class of 2014 said. Visit churches, see where God leads you, and serve Him there. Be a mentor or feed the poor, or both.

Image courtesy of Amanda Rohde
About MiKalla Cotton 3 Articles
MiKalla Cotton, class of 2016, is photo editor for the Cardinal & Cream. She is originally from Princeton, Ky, and majors in Christian ministry and missions, and minors in photojournalism. She leads a small group for middle school girls at West Jackson Baptist church where she is also involved in the college ministry. MiKalla also has a passion for WinShape Camps, where she has served as photographer the last three summers.

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