College is a great time. After your freshman year, it’s going to fly by a little quicker than you might think so you want to make the best of it.
Surround yourself with like-minded people. You will pick up on habits of those you spend the most time with.
Experience all that you can but be mindful of those around you and those that helped to get you this far.
Take it in for what it is. Grades are important but arguably the grades that you make are not as important as the hands that you shake.
We have new found freedom in college, keep yourself out of trouble by being smart.
Trouble is expensive. If it does happen, know that everyone gets one free pass. After that it becomes harder to explain and justify.
Take the first semester to soak in this independence you now have, and get yourself involved by at least the second. It’s the best way to find friends who may become great connections later in life.
People will flunk and/or get kicked out. Those kids are easy to pick out. Identify them early and do all you can to avoid taking on their habits.
#YOLO is a good mantra, but not when you’re an idiot about it.
Electives are important. If you want to take that random class then do it. Find one that is upper-level so it will hopefully count toward your major. Make sure that your major is going to let you do what you want to do, but also that it is lucrative.
Go to your professor’s office hours. Sit in the front of class and make sure they know your name. That becomes very important if your grade is in need of a little bump at the end of the semester.
Don’t worry about pleasing anyone. Be yourself and those that like you will be attracted to you. If someone doesn’t like you, what does it matter?
When things go wrong, and trust me they will, step away from the situation and ask yourself, “What did we learn?” and move on.
Don’t get hung up on mistakes but don’t make the same ones twice.
Enjoy your time at Appalachian.
Paul Heckert, a senior business major from Cullowhee, was the Business Manager and a staff photographer for the 2014-15 academic year. He was on staff for four years.