Making the most of your college experience might mean taking challenging courses and joining various campus organizations and clubs, but Will Wilson ‘17 offers even deeper insight into how one can get the most out of their time in school. The Laurel Springs alumnus discusses how being mindful of his interactions with others gave him a fuller appreciation of life at Sarah Lawrence College during his freshman year.
If you’ve heard anything about Sarah Lawrence College, you’ll know it’s an unconventional school, but the basics of social life and interacting with your teachers are generally the same. If I had to sum up my first year of college into three pieces of advice they would be: engage, listen and question.
By engaging, I’m referring to your involvement with your new peers, professors, campus faculty, and generally anyone you encounter. You do not need to be friends with everyone or talk to everyone you see, but these are the people that you will spend the next four years with. These are the people that could be that connection that one day helps you land your dream job. So don’t be afraid, the first month is scary for everyone but be yourself, be kind, and engage.
To listen is a very straightforward piece of advice I believe to be one of the most important things in life. We should all listen more. As you get settled into college, you will realize you know more than you thought while simultaneously realizing you know nothing. That is okay because the best way to learn is to listen when engaging, whether you are in class, at a party, or at lunch with a group of friends. There is always something to learn when listening, just don’t forget to ask questions.
Listening is crucial, but if you only listen you’re only completing half of the engagement process. To fully engage in your college experiences, listen and ask tons of questions. Asking questions will not always give you the easy answers you are looking for. Many times they will generate more questions, but never stop asking questions. Get to know the people around you, your professors, the faculty. They are all learning just like you, so never be afraid to ask.
I hope these small pieces of advice help you as you enter your college experience. Lastly, just relax and enjoy yourself. It will fly by before you know it and these will truly be some of the best moments of your life. Be present and appreciate them while they last.