Dear incoming freshmen...

Dear incoming freshmen...

May 5
Sara Tondini, Animal Sciences graduate student

I attended my last class as an undergrad in ACES this week, so I feel like I am now qualified to give my two cents to the incoming freshmen :) these are not the first or last cents you will receive, but they are valuable ones!

1. Learn stuff

You're going to spend a lot of time memorizing definitions, making flash cards, attending lectures, doing group projects. Soak it in. Don't just go to class for the I-clicker points. You're going to learn so much in the next four years, and if you can retain the good stuff, you will be a happier, wiser person. I don't just mean the things you learn in class either. You'll learn lots between balancing work, and going out with your friends, and adopting a puppy your junior year because you didn't quite understand all the responsibilities it would take at the time (do your research first, but honestly puppies are the best). Take from it all and make good choices, and make mistakes, and then grow and LEARN.

2. Make good connections

All of the really awesome things I've been able to do during my four years here like my internship, my jobs on campus, my research experiences, and being a blogger for the Voices of ACES :) have been the result of knowing some really awesome people. Your professors, your advisors, your co-workers, and guest lecturers are all people you should get to know.

3. Try something new

Those people you made connections with will open the door to new possibilities, and you should take them! I was pretty nervous to move away from home for the first time to spend the summer on a farm in the middle of nowhere hanging out with cows, but I did! It opened my eyes to the area of research which ultimately led to my decision to attend graduate school. You honestly cannot imagine the amount of possibilities that lie ahead of you. Try new things, so you'll know for sure whether you love cows or not.

4. Enjoy it!

You guys, these next four years are going to fly by. I know you have heard it before, but this time I really, really, promise you they are. Four years ago today, I was a completely different person. My experiences have shaped me and changed me and readied me for whatever happens next. So go to class, but sometimes skip it if it's really nice out and your friends ask you to take a walk around the quad. Ask questions and join new clubs and meet new people and move away from home and come back home and seize opportunities that make your heart happy and a little scared. Expect that you will fail now and then and expect to feel elated as you walk across the stage at graduation to accept your diploma. You will live in a crazy world of ups and downs with a bunch of people you don't even know yet. It will make you genuinely grateful for this place you will soon call a second home, and it will make it even harder to say goodbye.