It’s that time of year – vacations are over and schools are back in session. August is probably one of my favorite months of the year. It almost feels like another fresh start – another New Year’s Day – but warmer!
While it was nice to have a quiet campus and not have to stand in line at Starbucks, I’m ready for the students to be back. As a young professional, I vividly remember moving back to campus when I was a student here in ACES. Between catching up with friends and preparing for classes, it was such a memorable time.
I’m now going on year two as an ACES alumna and I can’t help but wonder what advice I would give myself at the start of the school year. So here’s my two cents broken down by each year.
Freshmen: What an exciting time for you! You are starting a new chapter in life and ready to get the ball rolling for your first year of college. But don’t run too fast and get overwhelmed with your classes, your extracurricular activities, and your social life. Set a good routine and concentrate on your classes. You are here to get an education – everything else will line up behind that. Oh, and don’t forget to call your parents every once in a while.
Sophomores: You’re no longer the newest people on campus as you have a year under your belt. This is the year I encourage you to get involved in the organizations you’re really passionate about. Pick two to three RSOs and grow as a leader. Keep focusing on your studies too – don’t become lazy! Keep your GPA up as it’s important when filling out scholarship and internship applications.
Juniors: Oh, you’re an upperclassman now! This is a pivotal year as you really start thinking about post-college life. Stay involved on campus, but dedicate some of your time to perfecting your resume, job shadowing, and applying for internships if you haven’t already.
Seniors: Savor every moment because this is the year that will go by the quickest. Make a senior bucket list and check it off with your friends. Apply for jobs and internships as soon as possible. And most importantly, graduate!
Best of luck this year, Illini! Study hard and have fun. Keep writing your #ACESstory!