ADVICE FOR FRESHMEN: This is your time

The Daily News

Note: The views expressed here are those of the guest writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Daily News or any of its Unified Student Media affiliates.

Malachi Randolph, president of the Student Government Association, shares his advice for this year's freshmen.

Some of those dreams may never live to fruition. But I had my chance to test them out. Now it’s your turn. You’re at an exciting time in your life because you have the freedom to do whatever, be whomever and capture the world. Welcome to Ball State.

Now, I know college is often pegged as the time to narrow down your interests, talents and experiences to a career path you can follow the rest of your life. And it is. But you don’t need to feel stuck in your past. As you move away from home — from lifelong friends, family, and familiarities — release those expectations.

If you were a math whiz or science pro in high school, don’t be afraid to pursue your dream as an artist. It’s OK if you want to be an architect, even though your parents are both doctors. Just because you went to state for band doesn’t mean you have to be a music teacher or a concert violinist. (However, I do love me some tunes.)

The point is this: You’re at a point in your life where you get to make decisions regardless of your past. Your life is yours to create. Take advantage of that, and be daring. But don’t stop at academics.

I’m sorry you got cut from your high school basketball team, but that doesn’t mean you can’t play intramurals here. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never danced a minute in your life, you should still check out the Swing Society. Do you like words? Consider joining Poetic Summit.

If you haven’t thought about Greek Life on campus, maybe you should. If you’ve never volunteered for a nonprofit, check out Student Voluntary Services or Ball State Dance Marathon. If you want to grow your professional network and meet new people, look into the Student-Alumni Relations Team.

There are literally hundreds of opportunities awaiting you here — all you have to do is reach out and take them. 

But why? It’s so much easier to meet a few people in your hall, order pizza and hang out in your room with video games all semester. You might feel that your introversion will make things uncomfortable or that there aren’t people on campus like you. Or maybe you’re just not interested in new things. 

To that, I say four simple words: give it a chance. Your high school friendships, interests, even successes didn’t appear miraculously. You worked on them. You gave them time. You let them grow. 

Be patient with your involvement, allow flexibility with your area of study and accept your new life here at Ball State for what it is: a new life.

Come meet me at the Fall Activity Fair at 6 p.m. Saturday in the Student Recreation and Wellness Center. 


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