Western Courier

Real world advice for the class of 2015

Brenda Krause

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I’m halfway through my college career and can still recall taking my tour of the campus. Similar to the current incoming freshmen, I was indecisive, nervous and full of questions. I had no clue as to what was going to become of me. Would I succeed? Meet new people? Could I be happy in a small-town setting? These were merely a few of the countless issues running through my mind.

Lesson #1: Beware of Adams Street

My prayers seemed to be answered once I discovered the infamous Adams Street. In my defense, I had never heard of it until I experienced it for myself. Let’s just say the rumors are true. To a new college student it can be disgustingly attractive. Looking back two years later, I can honestly say it’s nothing more than a ruse.

Lesson #2: Get Involved

It’s ridiculous to hear there is “nothing to do” on this campus. I once believed this to be true, that is, until I discovered the Western Illinois student organization database. The plethora of organizations offered on this campus is mind blowing. I picked out clubs that interested me, and I went to meetings. I’ve met amazing people with similar passions.

Lesson #3: Buckle Down

As if living in a dorm with thirty other girls wasn’t stressful enough, I also had to adjust to the obscene amount of homework. In high school, showing up to class and cramming for tests guaranteed you a passing grade. It’s a rude awakening for most freshmen when they discover college is not nearly as easy. Actually paying attention and studying the material is crucial. It’s important to have a good time, but you’re not paying thousands of dollars to party.

Lesson #4: Utilize Resources

The transition from having strict rules enforced at home to having total freedom can take a toll on our bodies and minds. The cafeterias on campus offer a wide range of scrumptious, yet calorie-packed meals. That “comfort food” leads to what is commonly known as the freshman 15. The Spencer Student Recreation Center is an accessible, free service offered to all students. Counseling services are also free for students.

I suppose the best advice I can give to the class of 2015 is this: Be well-rounded, experiences are vital – even the mistakes – and know when to buckle down and never give up. The “college experience” is what you make of it. Live by this and you’ll be in good shape.

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The independent student newspaper of Western Illinois University. Serving Macomb since 1905.
Real world advice for the class of 2015