by Angela Hutchins
Copy editor, ’15, Music
Congratulations on completing half of your first semester of college! From all of the upperclassmen, we’re all so proud of you and are delighted at the fact that you chose us to be your new family and community for the next four years.
But, if you haven’t realized it by now, please be aware that this is the real deal. Don’t forget that what you put into this experience truly is what you will get out of it. You’ve worked hard this year, and you’re probably paying a lot for your classes, just like the rest of us, but now you’re a quarter of the way there!
Please know that we all want nothing more than to see you succeed! So we, the upperclassmen, have some advice for you as you roll on with the rest of the semester and the rest of your freshman year:
1.Make friends with your professors.
This isn’t high school, and your professors aren’t out to “get” you. They are here to be your mentors, to challenge you and inspire you to become the best that you can possibly be. So don’t be rude, don’t be ungrateful – your professors are some of the coolest, most intelligent and witty people you will ever meet. Don’t believe us? Drop by their office sometime, ask for a suggested book to read, or bring them a Christmas present at the end of the semester. You’ll be glad you did.
2. Take care of the campus.
We’re all a community here, so if you wreck the elevator, if you trash the quad, we are all going to hate you. No, really, we will. This is a small campus, and we all know who you are, so when none of us can use the elevator or when we have to take alternate routes to classes, we are not going to think very highly of you.
3. Be Here Now
Stay in the present moment. It can be easy to get caught up in homework, classes, assignments, schedules, practices and routines. Take time to appreciate where you are, who you’re with. Laugh a little, talk to your classmates and see how their day is going. These moments are fleeting, so try to appreciate the small things.
4. Get Activated
There are so many clubs, activities, spiritual life groups and Greek organizations to get plugged into. Try something you’ve always wanted to – write an article for The Hilltop, join the Sailing Club, try Rushing in spring (or next fall), or start your own group if you think something is missing. There’s also sports, yoga classes, karate and more if you just need to get in some exercise. Getting plugged in is a great way to make new friends.
5.Have Some Fun!
There will always be more work to do, so don’t turn into a stress bucket. College only happens once in your life! You’re here, so make the most of it! Ask out that cute girl in your English class, go to the Blacklight party, take a walk by the fountain, go out and see a midnight premiere – make memories that you can happily look back on as a senior before you part ways with your classmates.
6.Be True to Your School
You represent us now, like it or not. You are a walking advertisement for LaGrange College, for all of us, current students, employees and alumni. So be respectful, set a good example, and try to live by the four pillars of the college – service, excellence, diversity and integrity. We’re all a family here, but it’s up to you what sort of an impression you want to make in your first year here.
You’re in the world of adults now, so start acting like one. Mommy & Daddy aren’t here, and nobody is going to hold your hand. So take responsibility for your actions. If you can’t make it to class, email your professor. Do your homework. Be there for your teammates, and learn how to keep your dorm room clean. This is your training for the real world, and everyone (staff, administration, classmates, teammates, coaches) is watching you and the way you behave.
8. Talk to Us
We’ve been here awhile now, at least longer than you have. If you don’t know what class to take, if you get swamped, you feel overwhelmed or alone or just confused about campus life, then don’t be afraid to come talk. We are your RAs, your friends, your organization leaders, team captains and older brothers & sisters. We’re here for you, freshies! You don’t have to take on this year by yourself. We love you, we want the best for you, and no matter how much we may tease you, we are genuinely so glad that you are here. And we’ve all been where you are now.
Thanks for joining our family, and enjoy the rest of your days at LaGrange College!
– The Upperclassmen.