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As a new semester begins, incoming freshman are faced with a whole new college lifestyle to look foward to, filled with new classes, friendships, clubs, and many more oppurtunites. With that being said, while all of this is undoubtedly exciting, it can also be very overwhelming. Coming in to my senior year here at Radford, I have begun to reflect on my experiences since I first came to the university. There are plenty of tips and hints that I wish I could have shared with myself if I could go back to that day I first stepped onto campus, so I wanted to share a few that I think would be useful to the freshmen here at Radford.
Be open to new friendships and relationships.
When reading this, one may think, “Well, of course I want to meet new people! Who doesn’t?” Yes, this is true. Yet, I remind you to always move out of your comfort zone. Ask that person in class that you’ve always wanted to talk with to hang out or go get lunch. Meet as many people as you can in your dorm building. Most importantly, be your absolute true self with those that you encounter. Share your interests and beliefs and do not be afraid to be honest about who you are with others.
Join a club or organization.
There are hundreds of clubs and group organizations offered at Radford that many students are unaware of. Personally, joining the women’s lacrosse club was one of the best decisions I made my freshman year. I was extremely close to not joining, whether for a lack of confidence, nervousness, laziness or truly a combination of the three. Being a part of a group with a similar interest gives a student so many opportunities to bond with others (and stay in good shape if you are lazy like I am).
Pick a major that you will enjoy.
This is a topic of large debate as students struggle to find what truly interests them versus what is likely to establish them in a stable career. It is important to find a major that will lead you down a successful path. Yet, it is vital to consider what is actually interesting to you and worth studying. Initially, I chose Psychology because it was a subject that I was passionate about and knew I could use to lead to a career where I could impact someone other than myself. Eventually, I added Sociology, another great interest of mine. It is fine to be undecided on this for a while. I have seen too many friends pick a major due to pressure from a parent or other source and then struggle with the classes until they are forced to change majors. It is much better to wait to decide instead of being forced into an area of non interest.
Embrace Radford University as home.
What I mean by this statement is, get to know the area (not just campus and the local Walmart mind you). Go to Main Street and support the local businesses. Go canoeing down the New River. Explore Radford for yourself. A student can feel much more comfortable at a school when they can say that they have a favorite restaurant or local store. It gives you a greater appreciation of the beautiful area where our university is located. I didn’t realize how much I was in love with Radford until I returned home for a break one semester. When I was packing up in preparation to make the drive back to Radford, my mom called me and inquired about what I was doing to which I responded, “packing to go home.”
Make your university experience all that you want it to be. There are so many great times ahead and believe me, it passes by faster than you think.