By Shannah Cotton, Assistant Editor
As the spring 2013 semester drew to a close, four University of Maine at Farmington (UMF) seniors offered a conglomerate of advice to incoming freshmen; underneath all the advice given were the words “know thyself”, the true journey that students embark on throughout their college career.
“There’s no point in changing who you are in order to make friends” said Noelle Dubay, a Creative Writing major from the class of 2013, “Sure, go see a horror movie you wouldn’t normally go see–but don’t stray too far away from your core values”.
International and Global Studies major, Liz Dunn agreed that staying true to yourself is key, but added on, “In genera,l over your four years, just be open to very different people. You might find your best friend in someone that you wouldn’t normally talk to”. Dunn understands that keeping an open mind is also a necessity for finding friends. “All my friends are different from me because everyone is so unique. What’s important is that friends compliment one another, whether that is with things they have in common or with differences that balance each other out” said Dunn.
School activities are also an important part of finding friends. In a recent email interview Aaron Burr, a Business Economics major, advised freshmen to take a chance on school-run activities, “join a club or sports team, even if it’s something you’ve never tried before”. Burr himself joined the Rugby team and the Lacrosse club his freshmen year where he met new people. Being from out of state, he was in a whole different environment, but that didn’t stop him from putting himself out there. “I met one of my best friends from college just by knocking on my neighbors door my freshman year to see if he wanted to go get dinner at the café” said Burr.
When it comes to doing well in school, Katie Doucette, a Rehabilitation major, finds the road to success easier than one might think “I have been on the dean’s list for four semesters. It’s not hard to get good grades if you just apply yourself. The teachers are always around to help if you need it because it’s such a small school,” said Doucetter. Doucette also utilized the writing center during her senior year, finding that as a great resource to help with final papers.
“Don’t bite off more than you can chew; don’t try and be involved in too many groups. What I like to do to stay on top of homework is doing it during the day when I’d otherwise be bored,” said Dunn, who has had a 4.0 throughout college. Dunn’s study skills have certainly paid off; especially the things that she avoided doing to stay on top of it all “Don’t save it all for the weekend. Don’t wait till the night before the test to study. Try to be studying a little bit all the time”. She will be teaching English in France for the 2013-2014 school year.
Dubay, who is enrolled in a PhD graduate program this Autumn, considers her own core value to be intellectual integrity. “If you’re not in college to do well in your classes, then aren’t you wasting an awful lot of time and money?” said Dubay, agreeing with Dunn’s mindset on school and good grades.
Looking back on his time at UMF, Burr regrets not putting in as much effort as he could have during his first two years. “Your freshman year sets the tone for the rest of your college career; take it seriously” said Burr.