A Short Goodbye to the Best Year of My Life

Wow … so freshman year is really over. This has been a wild ride and easily the best year of my life.  With all of the new friends I’ve met and the endless memories I’ve made, I couldn’t think of a better year. Of course, there were ups and downs, but I think that’s what makes a time good.

One of the biggest downs was the most dangerous injury I’ve had, which was a meniscus tear. I could’ve taken this as the worst thing because I wasn’t able to play basketball. Instead I met two very important people in my life: my roommate for next year, Kyle, and my amazing girlfriend, Kayli (I know it’s cliché, but true).

Daniel and his girlfriend, Kayli

I guess I have two big takeaways for others. The first is that college is really not that difficult—you just need to know how to self-regulate and manage your time.

The other is much more standard, but it has truly made my experience and life better. It’s that life will not be perfect. Things will go wrong, but it’s not about how bad you think it is. It’s about how you handle it. I hope that if or when even something small goes wrong, you’ll handle it with a good attitude and do everything you can to find the good in the situation. As it’s often said, everything will work out in the end.

Take My Advice: A Few Wise Words for Next Year’s Freshmen

I asked my friend Nick what advice he would give new freshmen. He replied,  “The most important thing to remember is do not be a sheep and think for yourself.”

If I could give advice to future freshmen, this is what I would say.

*Go to office hours, go to office hours, go to office hours! Your professors really want to help you and see you succeed.
*Go to the library. Dorm rooms are full of noise and distraction.
*Get involved!
*When you go to D-hall, don’t be afraid to sit with someone new—especially during the first few weeks of school. It is good to talk to new people.
*If/when you get homesick, call your family and friends!! Everyone gets homesick. It’s normal if this is the first time you have been away from home and on your own!
*Learn how to manage your time.
*Buy a planner, and write everything down.
*Read your course syllabi.
*During the first week of classes, find out where your professors’ offices are located, and go meet them in person. Find out when their office hours are scheduled.
*Don’t be afraid to do things by yourself.
*Make it a point to know people in your class so you can create study groups.
*Make time for yourself: Read a fun book, go to the gym, take a break from social media, buy a devotional.
*Go on Lancerlink to look up clubs.
*Go to Lancer Productions events and other campus activities.
*Create a routine, and have a regular sleep schedule.
*Do not procrastinate! Deadlines and exams come up fast. Don’t cram—study a week ahead of time, and study a little each day.
*Use Quizlet. It is a lifesaver!
*Start assignments when they are assigned.
*One day at a time.
*Take classes that interest you.
*Check your email daily. Download the Canvas app.
*Clean your room or at least make your bed every day. It’ll make going to bed more comfortable, and you can concentrate more on homework.
*Make time to do fun things.
*Don’t spread yourself too thin—don’t join too many clubs or organizations.
*Go to Pairet’s. You can customize what you want, and it’s way less expensive.
* Go to the Writing Center, and go to tutoring.
*Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
*Go to the CHI walks.
*Open and read your textbooks. Just because your professor doesn’t cover it in class doesn’t mean you won’t be tested on it.
*Take risks. You just might get that position that you apply and interview for.
*Work hard and stay positive.

College is a time full of new adventures. It’s a time to find yourself, to make friendships, try new things and learn. Enjoy it—this first year flies by.

My Life As A Freshman: A Look Back

As I write this, a million different memories are flowing through my head.

I remember like it was yesterday getting my room set up and saying goodbye to my parents with tear-filled eyes as they left me in my dorm room. Slowly Longwood became my second home.

I am so blessed to have met so many cool people. The friendships and relationships I have made here are awesome. As I got more involved in campus organizations, I felt more at home. I am so thankful for all the opportunities and memories this great little place has given me.

As freshman year is done in 10 days, I am not ready to leave all my friends that I have made here. I know it sounds so cliché, but time flies when you are having fun. It has been such a great first-year experience, and I can’t picture myself being anywhere else but Longwood.

I am so happy here. I am having fun, making great friendships, working hard and—most of all— learning, learning a lot. I am so happy I chose Longwood.

I couldn’t have done it without the support of my amazing parents, family, friends, my awesome professors, the Writing Center and tutoring. The resources here are endless.

One thing that stands out to me the most about this freshman year is taking risks. My advice for next year’s freshmen? Go for it. It  just might change your life for the better. 🙂 College is hard, but it’s also really fun if you’ll let it be.

Experiencing Longwood’s special traditions really made me appreciate this school even more. As a freshman, it’s a great feeling to see the amazing spirit and excitement for these special events firsthand: the Honor and Integrity Ceremony, CHI walks, First Friday Back, The G.A.M.E., Color Wars, Oktoberfest, the holiday tree lighting, Spring Weekend, pig roast and the CHI burning. These traditions are really what makes Longwood such a special and unique school.

Members of CHI are revealed each year at the CHI burning. CHI, one of Longwood’s secret societies, works to spread the spirit of Longwood throughout campus.