Welcome Home Hawks

I remember when I was a freshman. It was both liberating and terrifying.

Leaving home and all that was familiar was not easy. I was excited to see who I was without the direction of a parent. I think the hardest thing about going to college was learning who I am. I have always been the daughter, the niece, the cousin, I have never been just me. Until college. 

In the first weeks of college, I missed home. I missed my friends and family. I was fortunate to start college before a pandemic. Before we lived in a world of caution and fear. Now that is all we know. The best thing one can do for themselves when coming to college is expand past what you know. Try new things, experiment with things you otherwise would have avoided. 

The most important thing a person can learn in the first few weeks of college is how to manage their time. You can’t let studying be the only thing you do. Spending time with friends is necessary but you need to find the balance. 

College is a completely different atmosphere than what anyone is used to. It isn’t a sheltered world, but it also isn’t the real world. Although you are technically on your own, there are still people you can turn to. You have advisors to give you advice. Use them. There are places to get food—not home-cooked and sometimes not edible, but food nonetheless.

Putting yourself out there is the key to success. You need to step out of your comfort zone to fully immerse yourself in the college experience. It is going to be difficult to expand most of the time, but it is one of the most rewarding things about college. This allows you to decide who you are and who you want to be. 

Going to college can be scary, but it’s what you do with your time here that matters. Utilize your professors and the relationships you build with them. High school teachers are right when they say college is not the same as high school. College is hard, but the relationships you build will last a lifetime. Years from now, you are going to look back and wonder why you were so scared. These people will have some of the biggest impacts on your life. 

College can be scary, just like any new thing in life, but what matters is what you do with your time there. Who you make yourself out to be is going to be what determines how you enjoy college and what you get out of it.