Let me start off by saying that whatever mental image you have of the next four — or five — years is not even close to the reality of what it will be. The only thing certain about your time at Tech is that it is almost impossible to picture exactly who you will be at the end of it.
You might envision your future four years as taking
classes, getting your degree and then graduating as the same person you are now.
If by some miracle you have not changed in any way, then you have not pushed yourself hard enough. Your college experience is what you make of it. Right now is the time to jump into opportunities and have new experiences.
While the academic experience might be rigorous, the people you meet, as well as the experiences you have, are what really shape your time at Tech.
It is easier to begin college without expectations.
You are starting off fresh, so reinvent yourself to be the person you want to be, whether it means being unabashedly yourself or stepping out of your comfort zone. Be confident — you got into Tech, which means that you’ve got something going for you.
If you are independent to your own detriment, ask someone for help, whether through the tutoring center or your roommate.
When you get to a point where you think you have pushed yourself far enough, push yourself even further. Run for a leadership position. Learn to cook. Move off campus.
Take advantage of your small and uncomfortable living situation by spending the least amount of time in it. Grab your roommate and explore the city that we are so lucky to be in the heart of. Walk the 185-acre Piedmont Park. Stroll the BeltLine.Take MARTA to Buford Highway or experience art and culture through the Woodruff Arts Center.
As part of the newspaper, I also have an obligation to emphasize the importance of communication. You might be an engineering major or you might be LMC — regardless of your major, communication is key. What good is an idea if you cannot convey it to the public? What good is an instruction manual if it is so difficult to follow that the user has a harder time reading it than assembling a part?
In the STEM fields especially, we pride ourselves on our
technical and analytical abilities, but those are worth little without solid communication skills. This does not only pertain to writing but to verbal communication and design language as well.
College prepares you for the real world and I cannot emphasize enough the importance of learning versus memorizing.
While there are some courses with material that you will never have to look at after your last final, when it comes to classes that pertain to your major, focus on learning the material and the good grades will follow.
You will soon notice that people are smarter than you. You will meet people that have more of a passion for your field than you do. View these people not as discouraging competition but as a resources from which to learn and motivation to push yourself even harder.
On graduation day, you will reflect on your college experience not by the grades you received but by the friends you made, experiences you had and the development of your character. Don’t waste time envying your classmates — push yourself to be better because you want to be better.