By: Luke Byerly ~Managing Editor~
If you’re an incoming first-year, the past few months have probably flown by. Between choosing a college, getting ready for school and saying goodbyes, the summer before college is an eventful time. I would like to tell you that things will probably slow down, that you will be able to relax soon and take in the last few months. In my experience, however, that is not the case. In fact, the reason that most find college to be such a different experience is primarily due to its fast pace.
Between starting new classes, meeting a barrage of new faces and living away from home for the first time, college is meant to put you outside of your comfort zone. There are ways to help make the transition easier, however.
Trying to make the transition more comfortable might help you in the short run. It might make you feel more secure, more like you’re at home, but those uncomfortable issues are exactly what college makes you face. Whether it’s the first week of freshman year or senior year at Xavier, you will continually be confronted with issues that are uncomfortable, real world issues.
Whether it is separation from your family after drop-off day or an ethical dilemma in philosophy class, the university is designed to prepare you for these real world issues by presenting them to you. As the mission statement puts it: “Our mission is to educate each student intellectually, morally and spiritually.”
As a senior entering his final year I have a bit of advice for you: embrace the experience to grow. Shrugging off the uncomfortable situations is definitely an option in college; nobody will force you to face them. However, these situations are not so easily avoided in real world, which waits for you after and partially during college. By robbing yourself of the opportunity to learn how to cope with these circumstances on your own, you are choosing to throw yourself to the wolves when you get to the real world. In order to help yourself tomorrow, you must be proactive today. And Xavier is just the university where you can do that.
Xavier is different from other universities in its Cura Personalis, (care for the whole person). The university is just as concerned with the moral and spiritual education of each student as the professional education. This may seem like a waste of time early on; after all, you came here specifically to learn how to master a profession later on in life. However, many students come to enjoy the core classes concerned with developing moral and spiritual knowledge the most because they prepare you for another aspect of life out of college: life as a caring and concerned individual.
So my advice to you is to consider the benefits of each experience here before you brush them off. Challenge yourself to go outside of your comfort zone and develop yourself in ways that will help you with the rest of your life. Join the club that you aren’t so sure about. Take the philosophy class that really intrigues you, even if it’s an 8 a.m. class. Meet new people who might end up being your best friends. Fall in love with someone, and maybe out of love and in love again.
Have the confidence to put yourself on the line when it’s easier to now and you’ll have greater success when it becomes more difficult. And if you can, find what truly makes you happy and take it with you when you leave the university. Xavier will give you the opportunities to find yourself, but you must find the courage to take advantage of those opportunities.