We just returned from Thanksgiving break and I was fortunate enough to go home to Colorado and spend it with my family this year. While I was home, my younger sister AliBeth turned 18 and also received her second college acceptance! This really got me thinking about my senior year of high school and the summer leading up to college.
When I visited William Woods during the equestrian visit weekend, we went to a session on Freshman Advantage. My mom was immediately excited about it and I signed up that day.
At the time, the advantages seemed to be:
- getting used to being away from home,
- spending time learning the campus,
- and getting some classes out of the way.
Not only did I get all of that and them some, there were many other benefits like knowing people before orientation and making many fun memories. Looking back now as a senior, I still reap the rewards of spending three weeks at William Woods during the summer.
Lasting Friendships. One of my biggest reasons to be thankful for Freshman Advantage is the friendships I have with the people who went through it with me. Hallie is one of my very best friends, sorority sister, and biology partner who I met through Freshman Advantage.
I also have people across campus who are in the same organizations as I am who became friends with me because we met at FA. It was so nice to come to campus knowing many other students in my class, but I had no idea that those people would still go to lunch with me and help me out with my coursework four years later.
Professor Relationships. I really enjoyed the classes I took at Freshman Advantage, and it wasn't really the content that got me hooked. Yes history is important but it really isn't my cup of tea. The teachers I had during Freshman Advantage made me excited to learn. Although I never took another class with Dr. Carrie McCray or Shawn Hull, I have stayed in contact with both of them. In fact, Dr. McCray and I catch up regularly and she offers me great advice about what I should do with my future!
Class Credit. If I had to choose, getting 7 credits out of the way was the greatest advantage of FA. It set me up so that I had several common studies requirements taken care of, and I did not have to take up room in my schedule.
I just registered for my final semester of college (talk about crazy!) and I was able to sign up for things that I just want to take. They aren't requirements for my major or any of my minors, but I've always wanted to take a tack construction class--because I got those common studies out of the way, I have plenty of room to take the things that I want to take!
Whether you live in Missouri or even another country, I strongly suggest you look for programs like Freshman Advantage during your college search. It certainly made a big difference in my college experience.
If you've already got your heart set on William Woods, don't hesitate to sign up! It was one of the greatest decisions my family made. I only hope that wherever my sister ends up she gets the same opportunity!
Thanks for reading!
Today has been a full day of activities, classes, and practice, and it's not over yet! I woke up this morning to my cell phone playing the song "I See Fire" by Ed Sheeran at 7 am, letting me know that it was time for the day to begin! I rolled out of bed fully aware of the days obligations consisting of class at 8 am, 9 am, noon, and 1 pm, my University Ambassador responsibilities at 2 pm, and then practice from 3 pm to 6 pm. It is on days like this that we find ourselves overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of commitments we must follow through with. Dealing with stress is an important part of learning to function in the adult world. Here are some tips and tricks that I find useful on those days when I feel overwhelmed.
1. Take things one step at a time! - when you have a lot to accomplish, you must focus on one task at a time and do your best at that very moment. It is easy to let your focus slip onto panicking about how much you have to do. Instead, focus on what you are currently getting done.
2. Focus on the here and now. - if you have many responsibilities to take care of, they can distract you from the here and now. Stay focused and use those thoughts and energy for later projects to keep your motivation up and your motor running.
3. Feel fortunate to have so many opportunities! - it's easy to get down and have a negative attitude about everything that you have to do. You have the opportunity to become better in many different aspects of life! Be the positive light shining down on the situation. Attitude is everything. Keep a smile on your face. It will stimulate creativity and affect those around you in a positive way.
4. Plan some down time. - we are only able to stay focused and on task for so long. It is okay, even healthy, to schedule 20 minutes of down time to grab some coffee from the Owl's Nest and relax for a few minutes! Allowing yourself to decompress for a bit can help spur you on to a victorious day!