As you begin your journey through academia you may find yourself inundated with copious amounts of advice from starry-eyed seniors who feel it their prerogative, nay, their obligation, to help guide the incoming students (see previous article). Don’t feel required to listen to them. Don’t feel required to listen to anyone. But as a sophomore who was recently in the terrifying and fantastic position that you yourself are in, I offer this to you: some advice that you can take or leave.
At some point, and by that I mean within the next few months, SMU will begin the time-honored tradition of asking you wholeheartedly for money. Do not be mistaken! The calls you will receive are not asking you to make payments towards the almost half a million dollar education that you are getting; no, these phone calls want donations. Remember to be polite to the callers, for they are often just other broke kids who needed the hourly job. Give if you want, or politely decline and take an extra slice of pizza to go from the cafeteria. You’re paying for it after all.
On the subject of cafeterias, learn to do away with the complicated social hierarchy of lunchtime seating prevalent in many high schools. If you see someone sitting alone view that person as an opportunity to make a new friend. Remember that college is hard and sometimes a smile and small talk can brighten someone’s week. Plus, the food is almost bearable if you eat it with someone else.
Again on the point of food, once a week you will get an email from Student Affairs listing the various upcoming events. Though you may be tempted to send these directly to your spam folder, wait just a second! Some of those events will have food, food that is free for you to put in your mouth. Such food is truly a gift from the gods, and should be treated as such. Read the email, go to the events, meet new people, and unabashedly partake in the quality pizza.
Though some of you will be blessed with advisors who not only have time to spare, but also a desire to help, most of you will not be so lucky. Treat your personal academic plan as if it is a self-constructed treasure map to the land of so-rich-you-could-afford-Chipotle-with-extra-guac-every-day. Put in the time and the effort, and you will be rewarded with burritos.
When constructing your burrito treasure map, include classes that on the surface seem to have no purpose other than to frighten your parents (the Honors Ceramics course “Sex, Drugs, and Rocks” is a great example). Not only will classes like this serve to fulfill a UC credit in a fun way, they may also allow you to discover new passions within yourself, and have fantastic stories for parties.
Though this advice may seem to you to be the premature musings of a not-yet-senior, I encourage you to view my pointers in a different light. I am you, with one year of experience under my belt, but without the veil of nearing graduation clouding my judgment. I know that very soon you will begin to miss the luxuries of a kitchen and a shower that doesn’t require flip-flops, but you will also experience things that you didn’t even know you wanted. Good luck, and I’ll see you all in the cafeteria.
– Destiny Rose Murphy ’19
Click here to see more of Destiny’s work.