by Jessica Newlin
Counselor's, professors & administrators will give you countless pieces of advice within the first couple weeks of your freshmen year. Most of them will include developing study patterns, always doing your homework and showing up to class. Honestly, the first two weeks of school you probably aren't worried about studying or doing your homework. You've probably worried about whether you're going to gain the freshmen fifteen, or if you'll get along with your roommate, or if that cute guy in class noticed you yet or if you have enough money for your school books. As you begin your first couple of weeks at AC, I (and your other fellow Bulldogs) wanted to give you some advice.
1. Don't stay in your room.
"Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. It might actually be the best thing you could ever do." - Ashley Watts (Junior)
I was that person. The person who was so shy that it kept me from getting to know people or getting involved with activities. Also, it could keep you from participating in activities that will help you make decisions towards your future. If a friend can't attend an event on campus that you want to go to, don't let it keep you from going and gaining knowledge. If your roomie won't go through sorority/fraternity recruitment, do it without them. Without stepping out of your comfort zone, you won't be able to fully experience everything AC has to offer.
2. Be yourself!
"Don't change just to fit in. Being unique at AC is better than changing who you are." - Marina Morris (Senior)
The thing is, you change a lot during college. You learn how to be responsible, how to live on your own, how to pay your bills, but most importantly you find out who you are going to be. While you're working on finding yourself, don't lose yourself. Don't change just to fit in. If you aren't a partier, don't party. If you aren't a smoker, don't smoke. Compromising yourself isn't worth it and it's something a lot of people regret in college.
3. Get involved.
"If you have even just a little interest in a club or group, give it a chance. You might end up really loving it." - Jessica Heaven (Senior)
Getting involved in a club allowed me to gain more knowledge towards my major and meet other individuals who were at the same level or further in their education than myself. It creates a team or family mentality, the individuals within your group are going to help advance you in your field. You can also join a group or club to specifically raise awareness for something you strongly believe in.
4. Be prepared.
"Be polite, dress well and don't be late. You never know when you will run into a potential employer." - Nicole Getwite (Junior)
There are a wide variety of events on campus that allow you to meet potential employers as you gain interest in a specific field. Your professors themselves have connections within the professional world that may allow you to advance into your career. Show persistence, motivation, responsibility, eagerness and your professors will gladly work with you -- whether it's a letter of recommendations for a position on campus or a future employer. Know that your presence in class is constantly observed.
5. Ask for help.
"Do your homework with your friends or create a study group." - Sean Lazio (2nd Semester Sophomore)
If you're struggling with something in a specific class or college in general, there are a lot of people you can talk to. If you need help with homework, AC has tutors for about any class they offer at AC. If they don't, they will find one for your specific class. This is a free service provided by the school because they want you to succeed! Remember, your professors will always help you if you can't understand something (in fact, it's best to let them know so they can improve their method or way of teaching). If you're having trouble writing an essay, the Writing Center can always help you on the first floor of Valade or in the library. If someone helps you with this weeks homework, just remember they might need help with next weeks!
6. Don't date.
"Get your life together and figure out what you really want, then let love come to you." - Brittni Collins (Sophomore)
I'm not saying dating is off limits, but we already came to the conclusion that in college you're trying to figure yourself out, and adding another person into the mix complicates things and adds stress you don't need within the first couple months of school. So many people are worried about being alone, but it's important to set standards for yourself so you don't just cave at the first beautiful smile you see. Understanding who you are needs to come before trying to understand someone else. If you're boyfriend/girlfriend live on campus, set a mental limit to the amount of time that you're allowed to see them. It's important to spend time with your other friends and, most importantly, your studies!
7. Be a Bulldog.
"Being a Bulldog is like being part of a family. A family that helps, that supports, that encourages, that cheers on, that's honest, that's motivated, that's successful and that's respectful." - Jessica Newlin (Junior)
After spending my sophomore year at The University of Toledo, choosing to come back to AC was the best decision I've ever made, besides going there in the first place. Coming back, I've decided that even though it's expensive, I was willing to pay that price because I knew that AC was my home. They're going to take care of you here and going to help you succeed no matter what they have to do. You will, without a doubt, be satisfied with your education you receive here, so don't be nervous.