For everyone starting college for the first time (especially those right out of high school), it can seem like an overwhelming experience. You have harder classes, a larger homework load, and, more importantly, a lot more freedom. It can be very easy to get swept up in the social life of college while trying to balance your school work. The best advice I can give, from everything I’ve learned, is make time for yourself.
Learn to make some time each day or each week, even if it’s only 30 minutes, to relax and breathe. Go for a walk, read a book, sit in a coffee shop, etc. Just take some “me” time to unplug from the world and concentrate on recharging your batteries. Even extroverted people should take some time to have a breather. It can be good for your mental, physical, and emotional health; which is very important in the fast paced life of college. I would also say make extra time to get enough sleep as well. If you’re well rested you’ll be more alert in class and your immune system will be better able to fight off illness. Always remember to take care of yourself, a little bit goes a long way.
After going through the college hunting stage my Junior and Senior years of high school. I came to a conclusion that Fontbonne University would be the perfect college for me. My family is a priority for me. So with me being from St. Louis, the location of Fontbonne couldn’t have been better! Another bonus with choosing Fontbonne University is that it’s a small school. I am able to connect with my professors due to smaller class sizes. Even with all of that I knew I wanted to play basketball in college. So, since the Fontbonne Coach and I developed a relationship during my high school basketball season, I knew Fontbonne University would be great for me!
There were a number of factors that went into account of my decision to choose to attend Fontbonne University. First, let me say the one reason why I almost didn’t come to Fontbonne. I simply thought it was too close to home. Growing up I lived in a Kansas City suburb for the first 15 years of my life until I moved to St. Louis with my mom, brother and step-father after my freshman year of high school. I only lived in St. Louis for three years at the time of making my college decisions however, in those three years I had experienced more in my life than I did for the first 15 years of it. I certainly experienced more of St. Louis in those three years than I ever did in Kansas City. I basically considered myself an honorary St. Louis native by the time I was graduating high school. However, I always had dreams of branching out and away from the nest to move on to bigger and brighter things so I often looked to go to school as far away from home as possible. I looked at many schools on the west coast and throughout the plains of Kansas that interested me. In November of my senior I had my official visit here at Fontbonne and I was very impressed to say the least. I intended on running track and field in college and I was able to meet a number of track athletes as well as my potential coaches and they left a very good impression on me with their friendliness and hospitality. Another occurrence that peaked my interest in Fontbonne was when I sat in on Dr. Oliverio’s literature class with a future teammate of mine. I really enjoyed the class and found it very interesting. I enjoyed Dr. Oliverio’s fun and engaging style of teaching and I wanted to be an English major in college and this class gave me a great impression of what the English department was like at Fontbonne.
A few weeks after my visit at Fontbonne I had my official visit at my second option of universities and it was a small private school, very much like Fontbonne, located in rural Kansas. The visit left a pretty good impression on me and I did not have any issues with the school until there was one question brought up to me by my potential track coach. He asked, “If you had a career ending injury, and could never run track again, would you still want to attend this school?” I thought very diligently about this question because it had a profound impact on me. I soon came to realize that no, I would not want to go to that school if there was no hope of me doing track again. I then thought about Fontbonne and asked myself the same question and came up with a different answer. I soon began to realize and appreciate all of the great, numerous connections that I made in my new town of St. Louis and how lost I would truly me in the Kansan plains. I just was not ready to hit the reset button on my life once again. Despite being only twenty minutes away from home, I was still able to give myself a new environment with all ranges of individuals while not being too far from my comfort zone. I made the decision to attend Fontbonne University in the spring of my senior year of high school and embarked on a new pathway of experience in my life.
After living on campus at Fontbonne for more than three weeks, I now have an array of impressions made on me in the opening stages of my college life. There was one thing I instantly realized that I needed to do in order to adjust accordingly to life on campus. Was it having my new living space all set up perfectly to where it accommodates me best? It came to my surprise that simply moving onto campus was a pretty easy task in comparison to the challenges that proceeded the move-in process. In an instant, you go from being surrounded by your loved ones helping you begin this new stage in your adult life, and then, like that, you’re alone. Well, of course you’re never alone on campus, but in a way you are. You’re suddenly paired with numerous unfamiliar faces all around you. It was first impressed on me that this was the first thing that I must do alone: meet people. For some, this is a daunting challenge. Some may be coming from a high school graduating class of less than thirty of peers they have known the entirety of their lives; some may have even been homeschooled and have not interacted with many different people on a regular basis.
I, for one, am used to being forced to meet new people. I have changed schools a number of times throughout my life and have been involved in numerous activities that forced me to meet new faces. After making my acquaintance to a number of people, my anxiety levels lowered and I instantly became more comfortable with my new surroundings. I noticed there were a lot of other people around me who seemed in need of a friend, so I just did the bare minimum and introduced myself to them. It’s a small gesture in itself, but it can have a more profound impact than it appears at first sight. I’ve met an assortment of individuals from people introducing themselves to me as well as returning the favor. You never know what impact a simple “Hey” can have on an individual.