This time of year, everyone is trying to give advice to freshmen, and honestly, it can be a little overwhelming. But here’s a little secret for my freshmen friends: the rest of us don’t have it all figured out either. In fact, the truth is you’re a lot better at some things than the rest of us, not in spite of being freshmen, but because of it. As a senior, I’ve watched the freshmen on campus and realized that there’s a lot that the student body can learn from our most recent members. Upperclassmen, maybe you should think like a freshman every once in a while. So, to help you figure out how and why to do that, I’ve compiled a list of habits my fellow upperclassmen and I can learn from the JBU class of 2020.
- Try New Things
When you’re a JBU freshman, everything is new and exciting. I know for my part I wanted to try it all. I didn’t think twice before joining the Student Ambassadors, or auditioning for a play or musical ensemble. I wasn’t stuck in a rut because there were no ruts. So be adventurous. Join a club. Go on a hike. Do something that surprises yourself.
- Talk to Strangers
Unless for some reason you magically know every single soul on campus, you need to try this one. Freshmen don’t hesitate to walk up to someone in the caf and say, “Can I sit here?” There is no expiration date on making a new friend. You are not too cool to meet new people. Try it. I dare you.
- Be Excitable
I get it. You’re busy. You’re stressed about a billion things all at once. But nobody wants the burnt-out, can’t-wait-to-get-out-of-here attitude known as Senioritis. Upperclassmen, your JBU clock is ticking. Enjoy college life while you can because it doesn’t last forever. Watch how the freshmen take every new experience like it’s the most exciting thing ever: “TP Game? That’s awesome! Doug the Deer? I need a selfie! 1 a.m. Sweptco swimming? Heck yeah!” Let yourself get excited. Don’t forget how to have fun.
- Call mom
You are not too old, too cool, or too busy to talk to your mother. You think you’re too old to be calling mom just cause you’re a college senior? Please. The woman will still want you to call her when you’re 50, so just call. You’ll brighten her day.
- Lock up your bike.
Seriously? I got made fun of for locking my bike because I “looked like such a freshman.” Yeah, a smart freshman.
- Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know”
When you’re a senior, there’s a certain pressure to have your whole life figured out. True, the dreaded “real world” is a lot closer now than it was four years ago, and true, you do need a plan. But when the driving force of your life revolves around how you’ll answer the question “what are you doing after graduation?” it can be enough to drive you crazy. When you’re a freshman, you don’t have all the answers, and that’s okay. Listen, it’s OK when you’re a senior too. Please don’t read this and decide to change your major one semester before graduation. That’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying that nobody, regardless of age or experience, has it all figured out. Don’t put that pressure on yourself. Sometimes, the right answer is “I don’t know.”
Thanks, Class of 2020. You keep on being you. Hopefully the rest of us will pick up on it.
Walters is a senior majoring in communication. She can be reached at WaltersH@jbu.edu.