Public Service Announcement (directed toward desperate freshmen or faculty and upperclassmen who need a laugh):
For those of you who are lost on campus and are searching for a teeny bit of emotional sunlight, I have a solution. Many of you are like me — dropped in the middle of a few cornfields to go to school and give it the good old college try. You better get comfortable being uncomfortable, otherwise you just might drown in our new era called higher education. More times than not, the worst thing a freshman can do is take over 16 credit hours or an 8 a.m. class. At least, that’s what we were told.
Take the time while you can, they say, enjoy your freedom while it lasts. However, I would argue the worst thing I could do as a freshman was say, “No.” By saying “No,” you immediately eliminate the possibility of making an extra memory, building a new relationship or opening a new opportunity. It sounds cliché, but because it is a cliché it has a source of universal truth, which is why they are so popular anyway. I would rather sacrifice two more hours of sleep or a little bit of my sanity for one more memory. Time is irredeemable. Events are instantaneous, but memories always persist. “No” is the cap on the bottle, so take the cap off and let the world inundate you with experience. Sappy? Yes. Worthwhile? Also, yes.
Freshmen: Your history is unknown to everyone around you (unless, of course, you went to high school with these people). You are now free to shape yourself into exactly the person you want to be. You are free to do it shamelessly because it is who you are and no one can debate it.
Forewarning: Say yes with restraint. Do not say yes if it endangers your safety, health or education. For the former homebodies, go to a football game. For the former athletes, try out a cappella with a friend. For any sort of social butterfly, make it an achievement to get a bid at a sorority or a fraternity. Get out of that comfort zone.
What do you possibly have to lose? The worst-case scenario is that you absolutely hate it and lost an hour or two, but at least you met someone or were with your friends who might have loved it. You were there with them and that’s all they really care about. Who knows? You may fall in love with your next “Yes.”