Just Sayin’: Freshmen Edition

Erik JohnsonLet me begin by saying welcome to all freshmen and transfers. We are happy you decided to join us in our little bubble hidden within the cornfields of Ohio. If you haven’t noticed by now, this is a somewhat tight-knit community. This place may seem somewhat large and intimidating to some of you right now, but trust me, in a few weeks you will feel right at home. And for those of you without cars, well, you may feel a little stuck at home.

I decided to create a small and anything but authoritative survival guide to help those of you who are still a little freaked out about the whole idea of college. I know, it’s somewhat cliché, but I couldn’t resist. Some of you may find what I have to say very helpful, and others may just ignore it entirely. Your college experiences will be unique and none of you will have the exact same experiences that I have had over my last three years at Cedarville. So without any further ado, here are some tips you may find useful:

Changing your major is not a bad thing.

I wasn’t even halfway through my first semester and I already didn’t like the major I was in. So I changed my major. Last year I was the Sports Editor for Cedars and now I am writing the Just Sayin’ column. If you had told me I would have the opportunity to do all this three years ago, I would have just laughed at you. It is completely ok to change your major. Do something you love to do and are passionate about. It will make your college experience and life in general much more enjoyable.


One of the best things you can do is find some sort of group to become involved with. Cedarville has a plethora of options from intramural sports to discipleship groups to musical groups. You will have your hall/unit and your sister/brother hall/unit. Make friends in as many different areas as possible. Especially if you don’t have a car on campus. Just kidding. But seriously. The more connections you can make, the more doors can potentially be opened for friendships or even jobs in the future.

Stay on good terms with your professors.

Sometimes professors can be a little intimidating, but in general, they really are pulling for you to do well. When the work starts piling up it can be hard to remember this. Don’t be afraid to ask them if you can meet to go over assignments you may be having trouble with. This becomes much easier if you are on good terms with them. I highly recommend introducing yourself to your professors for the semester early on so they at the least know you on a first name basis. The other key is to actually attend class and not use more skips than the professor allows. On a small side note, I recommend using all of your class skips, but try to avoid using them for video games or other useless things.

Hike your own hike.

I know, that makes no sense. It’s a phrase used by hikers if you couldn’t tell, and what it means is basically this: your experience is your experience and not someone else’s. I stated in my intro that some of you will find my pieces of advice helpful, while others will find no use for it. And that’s great! Make your college experience your own and make it memorable. I’m not sure what the overall atmosphere of the student body will be this year, but the last couple years have been fairly negative at times. Please don’t be sucked in to what the upperclassmen say or do. You can decide what your college experience is going to be. Make it a good one.

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