Don’t let these moments pass you by

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College can be scary, especially as a freshman. You are moving away from home and left to navigate this new social and academic world on your own. Along with the freedom college gives, it also comes with a responsibility that may be overwhelming. The success, or lack thereof, you have in college falls directly on your shoulders and that can be stressful. Despite the importance these next few years will have on your life, take it all in.

College may very well be the best time of your life. You’ll meet all kinds of new people during your first year. In fact, you will probably forget more people than you’ll remember from your first year. You’ll meet people who will hurt you and you’ll meet the people who will be there to comfort you. The friendships you develop during your time in college will be just as valuable, maybe even more, than the degree you earn.

The classes will be tempting to blow off, especially that first year. After all, they’re likely not directly related to your major and nobody is going to be there making sure you go, but you should. Take your classes seriously and develop a desire to learn. You have an incredible opportunity in front of you to get a college education, don’t waste it. Take advantage of the great faculty and resources provided to you and get the most out what you may or may not be paying for.

Take the opportunity to explore, both the region and yourself. Along with meeting all kinds of new people, you’ll be exposed to a whole new world of ideas and beliefs. Be willing to listen to and respect those ideas and beliefs. You never know which ones will change your life.

As shown in this paper, there are unique and interesting places to visit and things to do around Huntington. There also plenty of fun things to do throughout West Virginia and the surrounding area. Find your friends, find a ride and have a good time every now and then. You’ll learn just as much on a weekend road trip as you will in 50-minute class.

Don’t be afraid to change your mind and fall behind. Coming into college, you’ve probably heard the ideal scenario of a four-year degree, but it doesn’t always work like that. You may doubt yourself, what you’re doing and the major you declared at 18 may not be what you want to do when you’re 20. It’s okay to not have your life figured out. College is not a competition. Follow your heart, let things happen and learn to roll with them.

You’ll make mistakes along the way, but college is about learning, both in and out of the classroom. Don’t let the stress of graduating in four years and what you’re going to do afterwards take the fun out of the present.

Be active. There are also most likely clubs or organizations associated with your major, don’t be scared to dive in during your first year, it will pay off in the end. There are also numerous fraternities and sororities who provide a backbone of support for someone who has moved away from home. Find something to do outside of class that makes you happy and helps you build a network of friends.

No matter what kind of situation you came from in high school, college can be a reset button. This is a chance to shed whatever was holding you back and be who you truly want to be. If you don’t know, take this chance to find yourself. It is a new time in your life and if you need to make a change, make this time the plot twist in your own movie.

Most importantly, though, live in the moment. You may grow tired of school, waking up early for class and studying for exams, but cherish these times – both the good and the bad. When you’re lining up to walk across that Big Sandy Superstore Arena stage in a few years with your friends at your side and your family in the crowd, you’re going to think back on all those fun, and not so fun, times you had and wonder how it all flew by, especially your senior year – because it will fly by.

Be present for the most life-changing period of your life, so much so that when you walk off that stage you’ll know you didn’t let these moments pass you by.

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