Sunday, August 2, 2015


I asked around if anyone had any advice for Madison going off to college...

I wasn't sure if anyone would respond, I figured the elders would like to impart their worldly wisdom, but it was the younger folks with the most advice, mostly those who are still in college or recently graduated. Thanks to all the friends, family, and teachers for the advice. And then there is Heidi, who took this very seriously and wrote an advice term paper :)

From Heidi:
Make friends with the people on your hall.  You’ll see them more than just about anyone else on campus and likely will have to borrow toilet paper or toothpaste from them at some point.
Get to know the custodians and maintenance folks who service your residence hall.  You never know when you’ll need their help, but they’ll surely remember a friendly face when you do.
Make friends with the financial aid secretary.  S/he will be the first to know about new scholarships and will begin matching faces and names to the requirements on those pots of money.
Being the DD for a good group of friends has its perks.  Incriminating photos and stories come in handy down the road.

Find the nearest Waffle House, Huddle House, or other local diner.  All-nighters aren’t complete without an abundance of coffee and greasy food.  Val, the waitress always working the night shift for the YHC students, attended our graduation and got a standing ovation from us all.  I think the tips we left put her son through college.
Labs with a TA are the saving-grace of ANY class held in a 350-person auditorium.
The first time you make anything less than an A will be an upsetting day, but the upside is that you realize life doesn’t end and your future profession doesn’t suffer either.  In fact, that frightening, gut-wrenching experience turns out to be one of the most liberating experiences of college.
Find out when each campus ministry (Wesley Foundation, BSU, CCF, etc) meets and offers a free (or inexpensive) meal.  Many churches provide potlucks or home-cooked meals for the campus ministries and are a life-saver when the dining hall food loses its appeal and your bank account is tapped out.
If you have to do laundry with quarters, start saving them NOW!  They can be like gold on campus and can be traded for many other items often in demand.
Tailgate with friends during football season.  It’s an education all its own.
Listening to the band while they warm-up at pre-game…Priceless.
Live a little beyond studying.  It won’t be the end of your academic career, but it will let you experience the other side of college life.
Find the least-visited area of the library with a comfy chair and claim it as your own.  Naps in these hallowed places are a God-send in between classes when you can’t get back to your dorm for a power nap.
Stash a well-folded $20 bill in an inconspicuous pocket in your backpack.  You’ll forget it’s there until you need it most.
Get involved with the student/campus activities board.  You’ll then have front-row access to all the best entertainment on campus and will learn how to setup sound and lighting for future events back home, too.
The microwave in your room is your friend.  You can make just about any tasty meal you like with this handy device.  A Crock Pot and a stack of recipe cards will make you the most popular person on your hall.
Show some love to your resident director (RD) and resident assistants (RAs).  They have a very hard job and will be there when you lock yourself out of your room or are feeling homesick.  If they have pet-privileges, they’ll also love to call on you for pet-sitting when they need to be off-campus.  In return, you get to love on some furry friends and enjoy a living space away from your roommate for a spell.


Gypsy Quilter said...

This is so cute. I only have a few things to add that I learned along the way. Sit in the front of the class, it's easier to stay awake and the professor will remember you. Always be on time for class. Proof read any paper you're handing in, then have a friend proof read it also. Editing one's own work is difficult and takes practice. It's okay to take work done in high school and re-use it in college if appropriate. This can free up time for other classes that take 80% of your time. If your class load is overwhelming, drop one class that you can make up on-line during the summer. Not carrying 18 credits is okay, especially for your first and second semester. Ask all your friends and family back home to send you real letters and most importantly packages. Bar cookies mail best and all your dorm mates will be your new best friends. Take a small tool box. Hammer, nails, electrical tape, duct tape etc. You'll be surprised when you really need it. Best of luck to you Madison.

Judy Birmingham (Seeing Anew Blog) said...

What great advice from everyone! My advice is to enjoy every minute in college! Never will you be so free of responsibilities (other than to take care of yourself and do your best) and have so many people and resources available to help you when you need it. If you are musically inclined, join a choir or campus musical group. Great way to make friends, boost your mood, and even travel a bit. Music has even been proven to make you smarter, plus it's so much fun, especially around the holiday season!