Whether you are a freshman or a senior at Shippensburg University, your time here is limited. Those entering college wish they were already finished and some who are in their last few weeks wish they could start over and enjoy the ride all over again. If you are just beginning this journey at SU, or will enter your final year in the fall, make sure to do several things before you walk across the stage toward your degree and the next chapter of your life.
First, do not feel stressed if you have not figured out what you want to declare as your major after the first year of college. I felt pressure to do so, and I regret it. In time, I found what I was meant to do, but I wish I had taken the time to realize that you do not have to make decisions immediately. College is where you find yourself. Explore your options, and enter undeclared with no fear.
Everyone gives this advice, but it is absolutely true: get involved and get involved early. Join as many clubs and organizations as you can, but have fun in the process. This is your time to do as much as you can before you enter “the real world” and have more responsibilities. Take every opportunity given to you, and do not take them for granted. You do not want to pass up any experiences and regret it later, so gain as much experience as you can.
You will meet plenty of people in college, and it can be a huge benefit to build relationships with other students, professors or even guest speakers. One of the most useful things one can do is network. If you talk to everyone you can, word of mouth will become your best friend when you are trying to attain an internship or a job after graduation.
Overall, college is all about making mistakes and learning from them. Never feel discouraged if something does not work out the first time. Stand up for yourself, and never pay attention to anyone’s negativity; it is amazing how much confidence you will gain in four years if you stay positive. Make your college years count, so when you look back on this significant part of your life, you will have unforgettable memories.
Here are some more helpful tips for Shippensburg University specifically:
1. Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks will become your best friend on those long, stressful days. Go there.
2. Use as many facilities on campus as you can, such as the Recreation Center or Etter Health Center. You are paying for them while you are here, so you might as well put them to good use.
3. Do not wear nice shoes around campus if you will be walking through construction.
4. Take an elective or two outside of your major or minor. That extra dose of diversity will make you much more attractive in a competitive job market. This can also be a great way to add “breaks” in a schedule jam-packed with tough classes.
5. Attend a concert or performance hosted in the Cedia Union Building or Luhrs Performing Arts Center. If it is not within your budget, find time to participate in a tournament in the game zone or see a movie that the Activities Programming Board club is playing for free.
As I graduate in May, I want to thank all of my friends, my family and my boyfriend for their encouragement and support throughout the past four years. Thank you to the professors who have inspired and supported me in difficult times; many of your words will stick with me for years to come. To the Shippensburg University Marching Band — you have been a second family to me, especially the drumline. Thank you for all of the laughs and memories, many of which I will never forget. And to the staff of The Slate, I want to thank each and every one of you for making me feel so welcome in this amazing, professional and often quirky organization. I owe so much of my experience and knowledge to you. The professionalism and talent of the younger members of the staff this year will help the newspaper grow immensely over the next few years. Thank you Shippensburg University for an amazing four years.