Welp, it is that time of year again folks, that fateful, dreadful, exciting new time in August where we dawn new school clothes, a new backpack and the smell of brand new pens and notebooks fill our noses. This year I had the opportunity to participate in what my school calls Transition Week. It is a week long orientation for incoming college freshmen, as well as incoming first year Tarleton transfer students. We welcome them home with seminars teaching and explaining the many traditions we have, as well as introduce them to the school, town and opportunities they have awaiting them here. For us Residential Leaders (aka RA), it is a week filled with sleep deprivation induced hyperness, being obnoxiously peppy, positive and school spirited, and a time to connect with the new students before anyone else is on campus.
This being my second year to be a part of this, I have come to the conclusion that I adore freshmen. Those of you who may be reading this who might be college freshmen or soon to be freshmen, let me tell ya, you gots some exciting stuff in store for ya!! Your first year of college is full of excitement all wrapped up in being terrified and nervous, yet anxious for what your future holds. I’d dare say that it is the start of one of the most exciting times of your life. If I’ve learned one thing in college, it is that I know absolutely nothing, like NOTHING. But ya know what else I’ve learned….that is perfectly ok and normal. College is a time of learning and discovering about yourself, the world around you and who you want to be. Are college freshmen immature and a bit annoying at times, sure, but they hold a special place in my heart. I love seeing the excitement they have for this new chapter in life, the hesitation in diving into the new, but the want they experience to go out and meet new people. Just plain greatness yall. They were such an encouragement to me as well. Seeing their readiness to start school got me prepared as I was going to start my own classes.
Which brings me to my next lil segment in this week’s episode of Rachel’s blog-back to school! Ohh goodness. Parents love it, kids dread it. As you get older, things do not change much. I’m in my third year of college and I still experience that night before the first day of school jitters and anxiousness. I am totally the kid who has their clothes laid our the night before and backpack packed up and ready to go. The first week of college looks a bit different than grade school, that is for sure though. As an RL, we get to experience the good, the bad and the ugly. The good-hearing stories of how people are pumped for their new courses or how they can’t wait to get to know people in their classes, and etc, etc. The bad-people are homesick, people think their classes will be a major challenge. The ugly-people not making it to class, repercussions from first week of school parties, freshmen acting 21. You name it, an RL will probably see it the first week of school. This year I’m over two buildings at an apartment complex in town that my school has bought a piece of to house students. This year is a whole new ball game for me. It is completely out of my element than what I am used to , but hey its a new adventure so I’ve decided welcome it head on!
I am officially half way through with college and it’s a little surreal. Next year I’ll be student teaching, so really this is my last year to kind of be a regular college students and stay up way to late talking with friends then get up way to early for class the next morning. My goal: not miss any opportunities, see life as an adventure, and really live every minute, soaking it all in before I’m thrusted into the real world. God has blessed me with an amazing school, classes and professors, college ministry, town to live in, friends, roommates and people to work with. I cannot wait to see what is in store for this year. I’m sitting here at my favorite lil place in town-this coffee shop called Beans and Franks- specializing in coffee and gourmet hot dogs- with Spotify turned up in my ear buds, a Cool Bean at my side (the most delicioso iced coffee eva), and my Bible at my other side awaiting for me to do my quiet time once I finish this. Around me sit college students talking classes, friends catching up over lunch, a family with their kids who got out of school early, and another group of college students with the local BSM (Baptist Student Ministry) leader talking Jesus. Life doesn’t get much better than that folks. It just don’t.
I challenge all of you starting school this year to just be open to whatever God wants to show you and push you to do this year. Go with the flow. Keep on top of your school work. Buy a planner. Talk to people in your classes, don’t just sit there. Talk to your professors, don’t just be another name on the roll sheet. Join something. Find a church. Find like minded people your age. Stay up late talking and having movie nights. Make late night food runs with friends or neighbors. Try out new music. Read a book. Be childish and silly any chance you get. Try something new. Sign up to be a leader of some sorts. Have a deep, intellectual, spiritual, political, etc. conversation with someone. Start a random conversation with a stranger. Discover who you are and who you want to be (still working on this one myself). Most importantly, have fun, soak it all in and enjoy the little things! It goes fast yall, and its a crazy ride, but college is awesome.
Good luck and hope yall all have a great year! Please feel free to share some of your stories about school, I’d love to hear your thoughts! 🙂