Some advice to first-years

As we get closer to the beginning of this school year, I want to take this opportunity to share some of my best advice with our newest Xavier students.

I should put out a disclaimer here that I am not at all perfect and that you can take this advice with a grain of salt if you want. However, I am going to be a junior here in a few days and have learned a lot throughout my time at Xavier so far, so here are some of my biggest take-aways from my first two years in college.

First of all, don’t let Manresa scare you away. I was way too introverted to like Manresa; the chants alone were enough to make me question if Xavier was the right place for me.
Obviously, I wasn’t a huge Manresa fan, but you should also know that you do learn a lot of valuable things about Xavier and transitioning to life on your own. You may not make all your best friends within the first three days, but don’t let three days of orientation defeat you.

Speaking of friends, you’ll make them, I promise. I am not going to lie, I am not always the most approachable person. I was so scared coming into college because I knew that I don’t make friends easily. That being said, I have made friends for life here. My random roommates, whom I was admittedly very pessimistic about prior to move-in, are still my roommates two years later, and I can’t imagine my life without them. I’ve made friends in some of the most unlikely places; you just have to be open minded about it.

Something else that you should be open-minded about is student involvement. One of the best things about Xavier is that you can be as involved as you want to be, but that also leaves a lot of room for people to distance themselves. Try new clubs or find a job on campus. Staying involved will open so many opportunities for you to meet new people or to learn about a whole new part of yourself. I came into the Newswire with no journalism experience, so you can always end up finding something that you didn’t even know you loved if you just try it.

My next piece of advice would be take classes just because you’re interested in them. Everyone has core requirements that they have to fulfill, but try to fill them with interesting courses.

I know that a lot of people come into college thinking that they know what they want to do, which, as rare as that is, could be possible. The more likely story, however, is that you will change majors at some point and you will find a different path for yourself.

One corny but true piece of advice, and it’s probably the last thing your parents said to you before they dropped you off: Have fun. College is a time to find things you love and things you hate and to have fun while you do it. Study hard and do your best so that you stay successful, but you really will remember the fun you had the most.

Xavier teaches us to be men and women for and with others. You are all coming into Xavier with a fresh start, and my best advice is to try and be the best version of yourself, for you and everyone around you.

It’s ok to call your mom crying because you miss home, and it’s just as ok if you don’t miss your high school life as much as you thought you would.

Sometimes your freshman year is about learning how to grow up more than learning about calculus or astronomy. At the end of the day, you’re going to get out of Xavier what you put in it, so give it an honest shot.


Sydney Sanders is a junior Philosophy, Politics and the Public and political science double major. She is the Head Photo Editor for the Newswire from Cincinnati.