‘The rumors are true:’ Life lessons from an upperclassman
Okay kids, it’s August again. You may have fought it, and valiantly so, but it came just the same. This means a variety of things, depending on your stage of life.
Sophomores, you are ready for this. You’ve gotten all that freshman stuff out of the way and it’s time for the real college experience. It’s finally time to pick a major and prove to everyone that you were born to be a bio-chemical-operatic-actor-writer. And the program has just been waiting for you!
One quick thing, though. Remember all of those special welcome events, all of the special treatment and free food? Remember the part where your advisor sent you an email introducing himself and inviting you to come in for a chat? About that … it’s for the freshmen, darling. I hate to disillusion you so young, but now it is time for the next stage in your development – true independence. You can do it, I believe in you. Here is my best advice – always get it in writing. You will understand when the time comes.
Now, juniors! Or third-year sophomores … just keep swimming. You are finally an upperclassman! It’s a good feeling, and you have earned it. Core classes go away, registration becomes easier, and you get to stick up your nose at the little underclassmen and chuckle condescendingly because you have the life experience to back it up. You are (ideally) halfway done with your college career and you begin to say things like “You know, in my field of study …” or “Oh, she is just an old college friend.” But I caution you – do not become too complacent. Those questions about the future are starting to roll in from every direction, and by spring you may be in a bit of a panic. What comes after this? Where do I go now? Should I change my major, get a couple more degrees? Anything to stay in your safe little college bubble for six or seven more years. Push through it. It is nobody’s business what you plan to do with your sociological-theatrical-creative writing degree. You will cross that bridge when you come to it. (But seriously, don’t be afraid to start kissing up to your parents’ friends, just in case.)
And seniors! I feel your pain, guys. Just don’t panic. Even if you have to sleep on mom and dad’s couch for a little while, you will not be rejected from the world. Things have a way of working out. Enjoy your remaining time in the bubble and keep kissing up to people more powerful than you.
And last but not least, the newbies! Hello little freshmen. You are very excited to be here, aren’t you? Finally away from the prying eyes of mom and dad, you can get away with just about anything! No one will take away your cell phone or give you a curfew. But please know this – your parents paid the state of Georgia for a little insurance. The Milledgeville police know exactly where you are and what is in your solo cup. So please, be smart. Be safe. And don’t land yourself in the slammer on your first week! Happy semester to all, and make the most of it!