By Adela Penagos, PhD, President
You are likely getting ready for prom, graduation, or even quitting a job to start a new graduate or professional program. Regardless of the circumstances that are pushing you to a new setting next academic year, it is time to balance between cherishing the memories and meaningful friendships you have created in your current situation and planning for a new chapter in your life. How can you invest your time wisely to avoid future regrets?
1. Spend time with those who matter to you.
Our friends and families are extremely important to help us get through the good and bad times in life. Hence, spend the needed time with those who matter, so when you go away to college, your friendships continue to flourish and when you meet again, you can catch up were you left off. The last thing you want is to abandon any of the people who have supported you throughout this journey. Remember that the skills serving you to solidify these relationships will be stepping-stones as you continue to move forward and create new friendships.
2. Embrace the place you’ll call home for the next few years.
Ideally, you have selected a college or university that was on your list as one of the best fits for you and that you are proud to call home. Get to know some of the traditions that you will be part of in the very near future. If dorm life is highly valued in your new environment, familiarize yourself with the dorm mascot. If there are certain acronyms your peers will be throwing out in their lingo during their conversations, start memorizing them to make sure you fit into the culture from the beginning. If sports are an important part of the social life of your college, get ready to partake in the school spirit. Do whatever it takes to make your transition as smooth as possible.
3. Connect with your new classmates.
Most colleges and programs create a Facebook page, write a blog, or establish another social media presence to help newcomers get to know each other and connect prior to arriving on campus. Take advantage of these platforms to get acquainted with your future classmates. If alumni have send-off events or any other gathering during the summer to welcome you into their “family,” attend these events, as they will allow you to connect with your peers and also with others who have been in your shoes before.
Starting a new chapter in our lives can seem a bit overwhelming, but it is also one of the most exciting times. We can learn much about what we have and about all of those who have helped us to get where we are heading. We always have the opportunity to embrace a new beginning each day. Make the most of your new journey and blossom!