New doors have opened and the opportunities have suddenly become endless. You have some new friends in your future and your hobbies may become completely different.
An 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. school day is no longer the norm and a bedtime may not be a thing anymore. Parents aren’t in arms reach and a phone call from them will now become something to cherish and look forward to.
You’re hoping you made the right decision but at the end of the day, you just want to be happy.
This is college, and it may not have hit you just yet, but your life is about to change.
College has a way of showing us our true selves, but it takes us through some loops before that image becomes clear. Most Mercer students have seen tremendous growth in themselves since Bear Beginnings, and I wanted to give them a chance to give you some guidance on your journey. Here’s what they had to say:
“Explore everything that college has to offer, but don’t be overwhelmed. You don’t have to join or be a part of every organization or club. Do and join only things that you are passionate about.”
– Faiz Aly, Class of 2018
“Do not entertain anything that compromises your integrity; it’s your word, bond and brand. Make the sacrifices needed for your development now. Mature people leave a mature legacy.”
– Kyle Bligen, Class of 2018
“I wish someone would have told me that everyone here at Mercer is on the same level. No one is greater than the next. We are all working towards the same goal, so there is no reason to be intimidated by anyone here. We all will achieve, maybe at different rates, but nonetheless, we will all achieve success.”
– Elijah Hawkins, Class of 2020
“You’re going to make mistakes. That’s obvious. What’s more important is to forgive yourself for those mistakes.”
– Jaclyn Ramkissoon, Class of 2018
“Reserve time for something you love – whether alone or with people – and never compromise it (i.e. scheduling meetings during that time because it’s technically ‘free,’ doing homework, etc.)”
– Pornchai Chantha, Class of 2019
“College is a lot of new feelings, emotions, and experiences. A lot of times, peer pressure will hit and make you do things you wish you hadn’t done. Don’t try to control everything; some things may just happen. But one thing is important. Know your WHY and your WHAT will become easy. Know why you started this journey, so every time you want to quit, you will have the motivation to keep going.”
– Nigel D’Souza, Class of 2019
“Go to everything your first semester. Every club meeting, every event, go to anything you think you would slightly be interested in. Don’t be afraid to go alone! Everyone is so friendly and so willing to make friends. Try to meet as many people as possible your first semester!”
– Bailey Brady, Class of 2018
“While we’re young, don’t let people influence you to think that just because we are it’s free time to intentionally make bad decisions that could change the entire course of your life. It’s okay to do the right thing now, even if everyone else isn’t. Parties will be here all the time, even adults party beyond college. Take care of your GPA and yourself. It’s the most important investment while you’re here.”
– Addison Robinson, Class of 2020
I’m starting my third year at Mercer, and in this column, I provide advice and encouragement to my classmates. My advice to you for this first year is to let yourself grow. Step outside of your comfort zone and allow yourself to become vulnerable. In these positions, you’ll find yourself more willing to step into your passion and walk the path designed for you here at Mercer.
There are plenty of ways to do this, get involved and find what is tailored for you. Eventually, your friend groups will begin to form and you’ll be stepping outside of that comfort zone in no time. Be yourself and then be the bear!