I wish someone would have told me that finding friends in college takes time. I got there and expected to click with people automatically, but it took quite a while for me to make friends with people and trust them. Even when I did, friendships still take time to form and strengthen. My friendships had to go through a few things for me to figure out which ones were true and which ones weren't. If I were to give advice on this subject to an incoming freshman, I would tell them that the most important thing is to remain true to yourself. This means not changing who you are for the sake of fitting in with certain people. This also means staying true to what you believe in. If you believe acting a certain way is right or wrong, don't change that just to fit in. Stay true to you and I promise you will find people who will love to be around you and will be your friends for a really long time.
As the academic chair of the Baylor Transfer Council, I advise new transfers to create a very thorough, yet reasonable schedule. In it, include studying prior to class to better engage in discussion and deepen understanding in every subject - as no learning is wasted. I warn against taking on unsuited extracurriculars and wasting precious hours practicing wrought memorization, while I encourage engaging in study, searching for deeper meaning and applicability, asking questions, and forming study groups with serious classmates in order to learn from differing viewpoints. And finally, bring rain boots. That all would have been advantageous knowledge to me.
The Unversity selection process for roommates leaves much to be desired as does the entire housing department. While the academics are excellent, the housing arrangements are inferior. The rooms and buildings themselves are okay, but the housing is crowded and administrators do not do a good job of matching roommates nor resolving conflicts. Students are simply expected to endure difficult or seemingly impossible situations. When the cost of financing education depends on maintaining scholarships and grades, sleep is essential. The housing department seems to have no understanding of this and is an eyesore to this otherwise fine University.
I wish that I had been made aware of the enduring and distinct character that sets apart each university - especially in respect to Baylor, which is widely known as a Christian institution, but rarely conveys the pervasiveness of this characteristic to prospective students. In many ways, universities attempt to give a general sense of their school's defining facets to visitors and applicants, but it would have been especially useful if the university representatives were especially out-right about Baylor's commitment to maintaining and enforcing Christian values.
I wish that I had known how to ask for help. This university offers a diverse selection of resouces. Those resources require the students to gather the courage to first accept the help. Whether the help is for economic assistance, emotional support, or a ride to class while recovering from an injury, it is all available to those who ask. It took me a year at Baylor to learn to accept the support of others. I have learned that while independence is an imperative life skill, the ability to ask for help can allow one the luxury of independence later.
Stop worrying! Before entering college, I was so anxious about so many things ie meeting new friend, getting new professors, doing well in my classes. Now that I'm actually here, experiencing everything, I feel relieved. I do wish I knew that the reality shock of being so far away from home won't hit you till about two weeks in to your first semester. Initially, I felt home sick but after awhile I made some friends and forgot about being homesick. Time flew by so fast that I didn't even realize I was done with my first semester!
Looking back on this past year, I have no regrets. There is nothing I would have changed. It might have been helpful to not take a semester of Elementary Greek without first learning Latin, but now I know what the hardest class I will take at Baylor is, and the experience taught me how to schedule more appropriate courses. It might have also been nice to know that spending the extra money on the 16/week meal plan as opposed to the 11/week was unnecessary, but everything I experienced, good and bad, matured me into a wiser man.
I wish I would have known how hard the transition was going to be. I came to Baylor expecting college to be like the movies, and in some ways it was, but mostly not. I somehow expected myself to have all these friends, to make the best grades, and to have flawless skin. Currently my grades are the only thing I have gotten right. It was such a shock, but I have definitely grown from it. I wish I would have not expected so much from myself. I only needed to be myself to be happy.
I wish I would have known how much fun I was going to have. All parents and teachers from high school talk about is how hard you have to work in college. About how much homework there will be. About studying twice as much. They never mention the awesome memories and amazing friends that you will make. In the end, of course, you will be doing all the things mentioned above, but it is definitely worth it when the work and studying comes along with fun times and exciting events.
I wish I had known how hardt the work load was because, even though its not too hard, it is still harder than I expected and I wasn't adequetly prepared. Also, I wish I had known more about the traditions of Baylor. Lastly, I wish I knew more about the dining hall food becasuse when I cam to visit the food tasted a lot better than it does now that I actually go here because when all the students come visit they hire special cheifs (although the food here really isnt too bad.)