Campus Life

What Upperclassmen Wish They Knew as Freshmen

By Alicia Reeves

Freshman year is a tumultuous time.  Students are flocking to school by the thousands, most leaving their families and childhood friends for the first time.  Each of them likely has their own preconceived notions about what college will look like and what will happen to them during their first year.  For many, that initial vision is nothing like what ends up being true. To help remedy that, we have asked a few of our resident upperclassmen what they wish they knew when they first came to Grace.

Three years ago, Lawrence La-Follette, current RA of Lancer Lofts and biblical studies major, had “the usual expectations” every first-year brings with them to college. He moved into Beta Hall ready to, “have fun, make friends and get good grades.” However, he did not know just how busy his first year would be. Between trying to work 40 hours a week, going to class, doing homework and somehow still finding time to build friendships, La-Follette wished he knew how truly necessary rest is.

“You can’t overestimate the importance of taking care of yourself,” La-Follette said.  After too many nights spent staying up until 4am, he recognized that there is indeed such a thing as “overdoing it”. His recommendations for all first-years are to, “work hard, but don’t worry,” and “do your best, forget the rest. God’s got it all under control.”

Student Activity Board officer Lauren Garthwaite had some anxiety and held frightful expectations as she entered Grace College. She was pleasantly surprised, however, by all the opportunities for connection she encountered every week. “I feel like Grace had planned something fun for us every single week,” said Garthwaite, “whether it was Ritter’s Night or a cereal bar study break during finals week. The community was just refreshing.”

Something she wished she knew as a first-year was “the importance of getting involved in different types of groups.” Garthwaite and the other girls on her hall that year had become fast-friends, going to every event together. Although Lauren loved doing life with her hall-mates, she realized that sometimes it would hinder her from getting out of her comfort zone and trying new things. “I made some of my best friends when I went to events alone,” said Garthwaite. “None of my friends were interested in flag football my freshman year, so I went to play in the Beanie Bowl by myself. It’s still one of my favorite memories.” Garthwaite advises new freshmen to “keep an open mind, and don’t play it safe. Also, use your Google Calendar.”