Make a resolution to try new things. This is a cliché tip. Still, I want to express the importance of trying new things, and not just in a passive way. I sincerely hope that every freshman is actively seeking new experiences. When you try new things, you learn new things. Maybe you’ll learn that you don’t like frisbee golf. Maybe you’ll learn that spoken
word poetry kindles your creativity. With new things, the opportunities are endless. So, when you see on Facebook that ROTC is allowing anybody to rappel off of Klehm Hall, go see what the fuss is all about. Maybe you’ll seriously end up jumping off a building. Maybe you’ll see a classmate there and get to talking. And just maybe, almost two years later, you guys will be best friends (true life story here).
Getting involved on campus is awesome. This is a great way to meet new people and be involved with something that interests you. On campus, there are so many different organizations and RSO’s to get involved with, I am sure you will find one you are interested in! Taking advantage of these opportunities can also help you in the future as well. Having a leadership position in any organization or RSO can make your resume look great!
Try an intermural sport if you’ve never really been a sporty type of person, or check out what concerts Doudna (the music department) has to offer throughout the year. Never listened to live jazz before? Give it a whirl! You’ll be surprised at what might perk your interests.
There are over 200 registered student organizations (RSO’s) at Eastern. Involvement in RSO’s and extracurricular activities will give greater meaning your college experience. There are organization leaders and members, advisors, players and coaches that crave enthusiasm, determination, motivation, ideas, and leadership abilities. Discover something that is appealing and interesting, since college is the perfect time to explore new opportunities. Take pride in being an athlete, being a member of an organization, and showing positive character because that PRIDE and COMMITTMENT is what makes Eastern unique.
Being on a college campus opens up vast opportunities to serve both the university and surrounding communities, which you will likely not find at any other point in your life. Whether you enjoy working with little kids, your own peers, or senior citizens—or if you dislike working with people entirely and would rather spend your time with a computer or some plants—you can find ample opportunities to match both your academic and personal interests. The joy you will feel from knowing you are making a difference in society is indescribable. Plus, as an added bonus, getting involved your freshman year and being able to cite long-term involvement on a resume is going to show employers what a passionate and dedicated individual you really are.
You’ve probably already heard one million people say “Charleston is so boring.” What?! I really don’t understand that phrase. A town is what you make of it. My advice to you is to get out there and explore the area. Don’t have a car? That’s cool—the Panther Shuttle will take you all over this town. Plus, a lot of things are in walking distance. Go to the square and check out all the cool antique shops, watch live music at Jackson Avenue Coffee, or take a pottery lesson. Tour the gazillion Lincoln sites around. Get a ride to the World’s Fastest Pop Machine in Lerna. Charleston Lake! Fox
Ridge State Park! The list goes on. Not to mention all the exciting things on campus. Charleston can be boring if you
allow yourself to believe it is. Don’t be that person. Go explore Charleston.
Don't judge something or someone too early. You will be introduced to many different activities and people within the first month of school, don't react too harshly or judge too quickly because your used to your old way of life. You never know who may end up making a giant impact on your life and becoming your new best friend. Be open to hanging out with different types of people and different events. College is a learning process not only for academics but also about yourself. Something you hated in high school may become your favorite thing in college. With an open mind, possibilities for personal growth are endless!
Join a club (especially related to your major) to meet new people. Isolation is never fun. See what clubs are available, get involved in dorm committees, or check out what Greek life has to offer. You’ll make new friends, make new experiences, and you’ll be happier being a part of something!
Be yourself, and the friends you want will come flocking to you. Wear your Seinfeld shirt to class, leave your door open while blasting your favorite Beyoncé song, or turn on the Cardinals game in your lobby. Show off your interests, and you will be surprised how easy it is to meet new people. Heck, my now best friend and I met during Prowl when we reached for the same oatmeal-raisin granola bar; we attended the subsequent Teacher Education meeting together and have been nearly inseparable since.
Last, but not least, HAVE FUN. College is about experiencing new things while being independent and responsible. You are an adult embarking on a journey that you will cherish for the rest of your life. Make those memories count, you only go to college once!