Advice for New Members of the Herd

Tyler Spence, Executive Editor

 Showing up for new student orientation is a strange time in your start as a college student. It feels like you just walked across the stage at your high school graduation, now you’re hearing all the do’s and don’ts of college life and preparing for your next chapter. Orientation is one of the last college-related things you do with your parents, soon enough you’ll be operating much more independently. 

  In any orientation room, there are varying degrees of excitement among the new students. Some of them picked Marshall because it’s where they want to be, some like myself, were only going to Marshall for the price tag. As someone who went to high school in Huntington, Marshall didn’t appease my appetite for excitement at first. It wasn’t until I let go of my preconceived notions of what college life at Marshall would be like that I knew I had found my home. 

  Wherever you might be at on that scale of reluctance to excitement, allow me to share some advice if you want to have a successful and exciting four years here at Marshall.

 1. Expand your horizons. 

I believe you are only doing yourself a disservice if you leave Marshall the same way you came in. College is a tremendous opportunity to learn and grow – both with your time in the classroom and the time you spend meeting new people. A considerable amount of the value of your degree is the maturity associated with the process of working with others and foreign points of view. Expand your circle, and entertain all strangers and unexpected visitors. 

2. Blaze your own path and get to know yourself. 

  Our university president often quotes Mark Twain as saying “the two most important days in one’s life is the day you’re are born and the day you find out why.” It’s approaching time to determine your life’s vision and some of you may already have it all planned out. Are you brave enough to take the first step toward achieving it? Are you ready to become yourself outside of your parents, hometown and high school? 

 3. Finally, work and play hard. 

  Of all of life’s uncontrollable circumstances, you can control your attitude and effort. If you fail a test, class or even finishing your degree, let it not be because of your lack of effort. Life is all about balance, and too much work or play will ultimately sabotage your goals and happiness. Keep careful track of this balance in your life. 

  I wish you all the best of luck and happiness in your time here. This university community is ready to accept and help you succeed, make sure you give it the chance.