To many people, spring is synonymous with rebirth and new beginnings. It is a time when the gray pallor of winter transforms into the vibrant hues of pink, white, and yellow, with a little bit of green mixed in.
Surely, new experiences are in store for thousands of first-year college students this spring. They leave behind the familiarity of high school routines to explore the unfamiliar yet exciting environment of a college campus.
Ten years ago, I myself felt the fear, joy, and wonder of being a freshman. With every introduction, icebreaker, and welcome celebration, I made the journey from the familiar to the unfamiliar. Then, with shaky confidence, I made the choice to face the challenges and misadventures of college life.
As I look back on my college years, I realize that many of the choices I made then have shaped the way my life is now.
When I decided to major in international relations, my studies encouraged me to travel around the world.
When I decided to become a writing tutor, my interactions inspired me to pursue a teaching career.
When I decided to befriend a student from Curacao, my conversations with her helped me build a friendship that continues to this day. Oh, the choices I made.
Students: in college you will have endless opportunities to make choices, and it is perfectly OK to be choosy!
Choose and learn the subjects that inspire you, that encourage you to speak your mind and share your passion. When you can’t avoid the strict course schedules or the difficult lessons, choose to study hard and persevere.
Choose your friends wisely. Surround yourself with people who motivate you to be a better version of yourself.
Choose to learn from the mistakes you make. Perfection has no place in a college experience. There will be situations when your choices will hurt people or distract you from your education. Use these setbacks to build your confidence and to remain steadfast in pursuing your college dream.
College is a new experience filled with numerous choices, so choose what inspires you, and choose what makes you a better person. Should you choose badly, learn from those choices, and continue to make choices that will shape your college experience into the best years of your life.