For the 2012-2013 academic school year, according to Shippensburg University directories, an estimated 1,500 freshmen students arrived here on campus this past Thursday.
That is 1,600 some students who are about to embark on a rollercoaster of a year bound to bring unexpected turns.
In 2011, Michigan Live.com reported that an estimated 3.4 million U.S. students will enter an institution of higher education after receiving a high school diploma.
The ACT, a college admissions testing company based in Iowa, reported that of that 3.4 million, one out of three students will not return to an institution of higher education for their sophomore year.
So this means, through some simple calculations of my own, that 495 freshmen students will not return to Shippensburg University for the 2013-2014 academic school year.
That is 33 percent of the current freshmen class.
A percentage I find too high.
I would like to address the freshmen class here at SU.
First and foremost, get organized and realize that you have an opportunity to better yourselves and create a better future.
Receiving an acceptance letter to any university is a privilege.
Keep in mind there could have been another student who did not receive the letter they wanted in the mail.
Do not waste a given opportunity.
Studying is never exciting, but working at a minimum wage job for the rest of your life won’t be either.
Finding a way to balance the activities in your life will do wonders for your grades, and creating a strong work ethic now will only benefit you for a future career. The professors here at SU are not only extremely knowledgeable in their fields, but they are also very accessible.
Unlike some major states universities, Shippensburg is relatively small with about 8,300 students, with around 7,200 undergraduate, and around1,200 graduate students, according to SU’s website.
The small campus size, creates the opportunity for a close-knit feeling in class.
With small class sizes comes a 19-to-1 ratio between professors and students.
This gives every student the chance to communicate with professors on a one- on-one basis, something I highly encourage.
I have found that my professors are very willing to work around scheduling conflicts to help students when asked.
If they see that you are putting in the work, they will help you.
Go to class, don’t skip and realize that some professors penalize students for poor attendance.
Why study diligently expecting to receive an A, and then receive a B, because skipping class was too tempting?
You have come to college for a reason, and failing out will hurt you academically and financially. Advisers help in more than one way, and creating a relationship with yours will benefit your time here at SU.
Keeping contact with them can keep you on track with general education classes and deciding what major or minor you are considering.
Listen to them and discuss what your plans are for graduation.
Also keep in mind that your adviser or professors may have contacts in the career field in which you are interested.
One of the biggest pieces of advice is to learn to create balance between your school and social life.
We all know what happens during the weekend while in college.
Making friends and creating your own kind of fun while at school is a huge part of a college experience.
However, receiving an underage drinking citation will penalize you and your future, and can lead to expulsion from the university.
This is something that will haunt you on your permanent record for the rest of your life and something you will always regret.
Freshman year is an exciting experience that can change you for the better.
You will mature, grow and learn more in one year than you ever thought possible.
I have loved my time here at Shippensburg University and look back on my freshman year with fond memories.
Granted, it may be difficult at times, surrounding yourselves with support group of friends can be one of the greatest assets you can create for yourself while here at SU.
Good luck with classes and the year to come, and remember that starting on the best note possible will only make Shippensburg everything you hope it will be.