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Wednesday, May 04, 2011

A Word for the Underclassmen: What I Wish I had Known/Done Earlier...

I have finally graduated and my college career is over for good.  When I was told, "Enjoy it; it will go by fast," I thought, "Yeah right, four years is a long time."  I admit - it went by fast.  I really cannot even believe it.  I vividly remember moving in as a freshman, meeting my roommate, going to my first class, and starting my job on campus.  Now it's four years later and I have learned so so so much.  There are certainly things that I wish I had done or known earlier, and I would regret it if I didn't pass on a few words of advice to my friends who are still in college or are preparing to start this Fall. So, here's to you!

Campus Activities and Involvement:
- Try everything at least once - Crema, Exalt, FNL, prayer walks, the homecoming parade, basketball games, soccer games, etc.
- Look into student organizations that interest you - Business as Mission, WCF, etc.
- If you loved NSO, apply to be an NSO leader.
- Participate in the Finals Midnight Scream.
- Mentor a child through the Marion Boys and Girls Club.
- When the weather is nice, don't stay inside.

Interaction and Relationships:
- Interact with your professors outside of the classroom. Your professors are an incredible resource and will completely change your entire college experience [for the better] if you let them.
- Don't spend hours chatting on facebook when you can be chatting at McConn or by the fountain.
- You will find community on IWU's campus when you look for it.
- Don't be too busy, bored, or conceited to listen when people are imparting words of wisdom. Listen when people are talking!!

Classes and Books:
- Never buy brand new textbooks and never buy without comparing prices. I have saved $100's by purchasing my books on Ebay and Amazon.
- Sometimes you can get by simply skimming or not reading a book... sometimes you cannot!  Figure it out.
- The Bible is the most important book you can read. It offers incredible amounts of wisdom and insight.
- World Civ with Mark Smith is the way to go!
- If you can, take the following classes:
   * Basic Christian Doctrine (Chris Bounds)
   * Christian Spirituality and Experiencing God (Jim Lo)
   * CS Lewis (Charles Bressler)
   * Inductive Bible Study (Steve Lennox!!)
- For INT majors, take more Biblical literature classes than what is required. If you plan to be a missionary, you must know Scripture and know it well.
Don't be stupid and save all your research and projects until the end of the semester or just before it's due.

Other: (These may be what I would emphasize the most!)
- Realize that your education is a huge investment into your future, but realize also that your grades and performance do not define who you are.  Who you are becoming is worth more than your diploma.
- Make a college bucket list and re-evaluate it at the beginning of every semester.  Four years will pass quickly, and you will never get to experience anything like college ever again.
- Take pictures of everything.
- If you have an idea or a dream, share it with someone and pursue it!
- Your legacy is more in who you are than in what you do.
- Above all, God is faithful. Seek His will and trust Him.

Love love love, Jewel

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