I understand how many of you must feel. It wasn't long ago that I was packing my bags for college. I was extremely nervous about managing my own schedule and resources (since I'm terrible at that), interacting with "college kids" (whom I must've thought were all going to be drunken party animals), and trying to "discover myself" while I was away from home.
From one Baylor freshman (2012) to another (2015), here's a list of things that you should take to heart as you prepare for this huge change in your lives:
1. Breathe. You may feel unprepared for classes, meeting new people, living by yourself, or all three. You will figure it out, so don't sweat it.
3. Know your resources. Baylor students often miss out on all kinds of opportunities because they're not paying attention. Check out the Index for Student Organizations, Baylor Proud for school accomplishments, or the Baylor Horizon Emails (seriously) to find out when cool things are happening. Mark the dates.
4. Explore campus. As a senior told me when I was a freshman, "play your fish card right," which means you should check things out now so if you get caught you can just play dumb. If you're creative enough, there are some roofs, basements, and tunnels that you can claim by the end of Welcome Week. If you're REALLY adventurous, you might discover one of the "Five Golden Spots" that few students ever find. More on that later.
By the way - this also includes consuming the appropriate amount of Hype Videos. There are many more reasons why you should be acquainted with Our Daily Bears, but here one of them is for these sick videos. Get pumped.
6. Recognize that you will get to really CHOOSE your friends. This marks a huge shift from high school - you have more free time, more people, and more opportunities to choose how and with whom you grow. You will find yourself closer to your Baylor friends by the end of the semester than with most of your friends from home.
8. Swallow your pride. Freshmen are sometimes scared of looking like "freshmen," so they play the cool card and refuse to ask questions to their CL's, professors, or upper-classmen. Forget that. You'll save yourself so much time and stress if you relax, ignore what people think, and ask for help.
- Dichotomy (508 Austin Ave) is a great coffee shop with free wifi, lots of seating, and occasional live music.
- Wild West (115 Mary Ave) is a night club for western dance and two-step. As a bar that allows smoking, expect to have your ID checked at the door to verify your adult status.
- The Mayborn Museum (1300 S University Parks Dr) is great fun for everyone. Students with an ID can get in for free, and you can get lost in the children's section for a day.
- Cameron Park (Emmons Cliff Dr) is a huge, gorgeous state park that follows the Brazos river. With peaceful running trails, open fields, and a neighboring Zoo, it's a great place for a picnic and a better one for our runners.
- I refuse to believe that mentioning Common Grounds is informative to anyone. However, you should bookmark this page to get tickets for their events. Sweet.
- There are many more. Just ask if you're curious.
To be honest, most of y'all are way better off than me when I was in your shoes. I was so nervous about making friends that, during speed-friending at Line Camp, I took notes on every person I met. I was a mess, guys.
That said, I would love to meet any and all of you. I've minimized my academic hours and founded The Whatever so that I would have time to spend with those of you who are brave enough to shoot me a text (512-705-7989) or ask me a question about life at Baylor. You can email me (Nathaniel_Elequin@Baylor.Edu) or send me a FB message too - if you want to talk and it's a bit late, we can do one of my favorite things and swing by Whataburger for some shakes and the conversation of your choice. You think I'm joking? Try me.
Welcome to Baylor. You will find your home here. If I can be a part of that, then that'd be sweet. But regardless, I hope that you find lots of friends, enjoy Baylor's wrecking of the Big 12, and learn lots as you discover who you are!
SIc 'em Bears.