Welcome New MUW Student!
I have been thinking about all the things I want you to know about moving off to college. It is possibly the biggest step that anyone takes up to this time in their life. There will certainly be other equally important steps …but none more important at this point.
The college experience is a wonderful opportunity. It provides a path for accomplishing your goals and dreams. I encourage you to think seriously about what you hope your life will be like in the future and what you want to accomplish. Let that vision guide you and how you will balance your life and work in college.
You will have an opportunity to meet, live with and develop relationships with people from all over - around the US and around the globe. Those folks will bring a variety of interests and ideas with them. That will be exciting and will add to your educational experience. But in order to make certain that all works well for you, you should have a set of personal values through which you filter your decisions, a foundation that helps you to negotiate a sometimes confusing path. You should think about what you value and about the principles you intend to live by …..let those values serve as your anchor in stormy seas that you will surely encounter.
Cling to people that build you up, challenge you and make you better. Others, because of their lack of commitment or insecurity (even inability) can often hold you back or drag you down ….if you let others decide for you. If you know what you want to accomplish and what your values are you will still be distracted, and might take a step in the wrong direction at times (because it’s hard to always stay focused, when others seem to be having a better time, or get the breaks that you hoped for …or you might simply be worn-out.) But with a set of values there is always something to focus on and guide you through the haze.
There will be plenty of opportunity to completely neglect your studies, to drink excessively, use drugs, to exist in unhealthy relationships, and to neglect what makes you stronger. Friends might tell you that you need to reconsider your position (even when it is right) – but you get to decide what you want. And the choices are not always between the very good and the very bad (like choosing between robbing a bank and going to church.) Because you are a leader and because others look to you for help or guidance you may be asked to do more than you can manage in an hour or even in a day. If you have an idea about what is important to you and where you want to go, you can better sort through those choices, and stay on track. With a clear understanding of your personal values, you are best prepared to put your energy and talent into the stuff that has meaning for you.
You should be careful about saying yes to more than you can handle well, and what you do agree to do, you should do well. No one will remember that you over-committed yourself to chairing 10 organizations; they will only remember how well (or poorly) you performed. By following through well on a limited number of things, you begin to build a reputation of integrity. And you need to find time to relax ….get a pizza if you want to when you are studying – but do it because you made the decision, not because you didn’t want to say no to a group when you knew you absolutely ought to be doing something that was important to you.
Still! don’t be afraid to try. You have to know who you are, within your heart and keep flinging yourself out there. You might be disappointed at times, but it would be a shame if this university community never had a chance to use your talents. Get involved and engaged in a way that supports your personal plan. Find your own niche.
You have the ability, you have the talent, and you have the support to accomplish whatever you set your sites on. Hit the ground running by working hard and then just be yourself.
- Go to every class, take notes and review them that evening
- Take time to talk with your teachers
- Know what they expect, look at the syllabus, and plan your semester around the expectations and requirements listed in the syllabus
- Study hard (two hours of study for every hour in class – you can always back off later if needed AND it is always easier to keep up a good GPA than it is to bring up a bad one)
- Be realistic in the expectation that college studies are demanding – you are going to have to work hard for A’s and B’s but you can do it!
- Make time for studies first and then work in the other stuff. There are 168 hours in a week. With 17 hours of class time, 34 hours of study, 56 hours of sleep, and 21 hours of meal time there are still 40 hours of time for some work and recreation – but you have to balance it carefully.
In fact, work every day to nurture the intellectual, physical, social and spiritual in yourself. That balance will keep you healthy in the long run. But it takes planning and discipline.
More than anything else we want to see you succeed and we will do what we can to make that happen. Never quit trying …we can work it out together.
Vice President of Student Services