5 Things Senior Kaitlin Would Tell Freshman Kaitlin
Recent Trinity graduate Kaitlin Feddema writes a letter to her freshman self as encouragement to next year’s freshmen at Trinity.
By Kaitlin Feddema ’14
Dear Freshman Kaitlin,
Look at you go, girl! Out on your own, ready to start your freshman year! As you begin your college journey, you’re probably wondering what in the world you’ve gotten yourself into. Mom and Dad are back home, as is your primary source of food and laundering. It’s a bit overwhelming at first. What are you doing here? Where are you going next? How are you going to make it? Well, never fear. Senior Kaitlin has been there, done that, and accumulated nearly 50 t-shirts in the meantime.
I will now give you five tips on how to survive your college years.
Relax. It’s hard to watch your parents pull out of the parking lot on your first day of college. You don’t know where anything is, who anyone is, or how on earth to get Wi-Fi on your laptop. It might seem like you’re never going to figure it out. But you will. Soon you’ll be meeting people who will be some of your closest friends for life. You’ll learn how to find where your classes are, even if it takes some wandering. Don’t worry, everybody does it. You will have an absolute blast in these next four years. So take a deep breath, sit back, and enjoy the ride!
Get to know your professors. If there’s one thing I could go back and change, it would be getting closer to my professors. Trinity’s classes are relatively small, so it’s easy to get to know your professors on a personal level. They’ll help you with class projects, answer your questions about academic programs, and help you establish contacts once you’re looking for internships and jobs. Your professors want you to succeed. They’ve got years of experience, the have professional connections, and they are just waiting to help you on your journey. So take advantage of it while you’re here.
Get some sleep. It’s easy to get caught up in schoolwork, jobs, student groups, and social activities. But even the busiest of the busy need their beauty sleep. College gets a reputation for being the land of the “walking dead,” but it doesn’t have to be that way. Sure, sometimes serious classes call for some hefty study time, but your body will perform best with a good six to eight hours. Manage your time, keep from wasting it on social media, and learn to cherish the naps. Take my word for it: you’ll come to love them.
Hold on to your friends. I can’t stress this enough. The friends you make in college will stick with you for good. You’re all at the same place in life, you understand each other. You’re figuring it out together. And with these people, you’ll make some of the best memories of your life. So put yourself out there, participate in activities, make a study-buddy, and get to know your roommates, suitemates, and neighboring residents. You won’t regret it.
Keep the Lord at the center. As in anything, God should be the center. College is an experience unlike any other. It will stretch you, shape you, and mold you into the person you are called to be. There will be days you absolutely love it, and there will be days where you just want to pack up and go home. But in those times of stress, remember who brought you here in the first place. When homework piles up, volleyball beats you up, and school is overwhelming, turn to Him in prayer and ask Him to lead you through. With Christ as your chief mentor, you’re going to make it to your senior year, and once you’ve finished, you’ll want to start all over.
Well, that’s all I have for you. I’m sure you can figure out the rest. Best wishes in your collegiate journey! You will do great things! Trust me, I know.