Advice in the form of clichés from a friendly senior

Kayla Miller

I woke up Monday to my last first day of school. The (hopefully) last two semesters of my bachelor’s degree are upon me. I find myself reflecting on my time here as well as operating with a much smaller sense of panic and stress than  I was during my first week of school freshmen year. I have made it to the final stretch, and I plan to finish strong.

Overused clichés aside, I feel obligated to speak to the incoming freshmen as they navigate campus for the first time.
College requires balance.

You must be smart with your time, money and energy. Go ahead and experience the hiking, swimming and adventure you find in Marquette, but spend some time getting to know the inside of the library walls too. Enjoy that grande Double Chocolaty Chip Frappuccino, but get familiar with the PEIF.

Although it may feel differently, the next handful of weeks will go by fast. Pretty soon you will be hearing about midterms and seeing colder days in the forecast. Although quick, those weeks are important because they are setting the groundwork for your time here at Northern.

The study and eating habits you form, the sleep schedules you create and the patterns you begin to live by will affect your lifestyle while in college.

It is important to start out your experience as a first-time student strong, level headed and with the end goal of graduation in mind.

As we all heard in middle and high school, the people you spend time with influence the type of person you will be.
Although cheesy and overstated, it still stands true in college, and maybe even more so because now you are without the careful watch of parents.

The friends you met at orientation might not be the same people you eat lunch with today. Maybe next year you will find yourself surrounded by a whole new set of faces, and that is OK. But regardless of how many friends and where you meet, it is important to find people who uplift you, encourage and challenge you.

Find friends that make you think differently than you did in high school. Find friends you can adventure with on the weekends but study with during the week. Most of all, find accountability.

College is a place to try new things and grow your character, but it is also important to stand true to the type of person you want to be and the values that you hold strong to.

Friends can offer the accountability in order to do just that. Another valuable resource for your beginning here at NMU is your professors. These first few weeks are a time when you are creating first impressions with the people who will mentor you throughout your time here at Northern.

They will be the people who might one day sign a reference letter to land you your dream job.

As I prepare to leave college, I am living out the results of the decisions I made my first semester on campus. I joined organizations I felt passionate about, I created relationships with my professors, and I didn’t allow the temptation of binge drinking to stunt my GPA in the first semester. And I strongly encourage you to do the same.