Even though I’ve been blogging here and there since college and have been teaching since I graduated, I don’t tell my students about my blog. I’m very cognizant of what I post in case they do ever find it, but I don’t really advertise the fact that I have one with them.
Anyway, that aside, today is graduation day for my sweet seniors. Even though last year was my first year working at a high school, I felt the sting of finality for the class of 2016, and I’m feeling it again this year. As in any group of human beings, there are ups and downs, but I will definitely miss seeing these ladies in the halls.
Given the occasion, I thought it would be appropriate to write a few nuggets of “wisdom” I’ve picked up along the way, especially from my early years as a so-called adult/college student. If any of my seniors see this, know that I’ll miss you and am praying for you.
The photos above are my senior pictures.. I don’t even know if they do senior photos anymore! Anyway, I’m happy to report that I have stopped wearing a thick line of black eyeliner since 2004.. Oy…
For the Love of God, study! Goes without saying, right? Wrong.. College professors aren’t going to coddle you the way that your high school teachers did. You need to be disciplined and know what you’re doing in class. Actually do the reading.. Join a study group… Show up to office hours with clarification questions so your professor knows who you are. While college is very fun, you’re ultimately there to learn. So, learn. Please.
Cultivate friendships: In this world of extreme independence, the need for friends, especially friends of the same sex, is often overlooked. Guys are wonderful, but we need our girlfriends in a particular way when we’re away from home for the first time. Skip the occasional party and spend a night in the dorms with the girls. When you’re feeling particularly nostalgic for home, FaceTime with some of your high school friends. They’re definitely worth keeping in touch with, but don’t lean on them too much. You need to start making college friends!
Commit to something outside work/school. Run for student government. Join a sorority. Write for the school newspaper.. Anything, really, but stick to it. It is a good life lesson to have to be at places when we don’t always want to, but that we ultimately choose to commit to.
Stay involved in your faith. Some universities make this easier than others, but, if you seek it out, I promise I will be happier than if you don’t. Having a faith life really puts things in perspective when things get tough, and you’ll certainly pick up some awesome friends along the way.
Be smart with taking out student loans. Some friends wrote an amazing post HERE that I can’t recommend enough.
Learn to communicate with people you disagree with. Odds are extremely high that you’ll come across individuals who think differently than you do, especially if you come from a more traditional environment, and go off to a big university. Guess what? You might learn something from people that you disagree with, so learn to talk to them! Likewise, if someone upsets you, don’t write them off as if they don’t exist. Seriously. I have seen so many petitions along the lines of “fire school administration so-and-so because he’s insensitive to the needs of possums.” OK, silly example, but only a slight exaggeration. People have permission to disagree with you! Just remember that
Stick to a workout routine. I speak from experience when I say this: You will get fat in college. Exercising on the reg (which I, for the record, did not do until after college) makes you happier, skinnier, and helps you to manage stress.
Congratulations, Class of 2017! You did it!