Debunking freshman expectations

I’m going into my final year here at Baylor and I’m one of the students who doesn’t want to leave. I was a transfer student coming from another college, so I had a little bit of college experience under my belt, but that didn’t stop me from having those first-time jitters and assumptions – I felt like I was starting over again. Those expectations started to fly out the window on my 28-hour drive to campus. Baylor became my new home, and I hope the same for you.

You’re a new student on campus. First of all, welcome to Baylor – we are so excited to have you be a Bear! It’s a new world filled with experiences just waiting for you. But this is all new to you and you may have some expectations. Here are some expectations versus realities about your first year at Baylor.

Expectation: I’m going to have a hard time making friends, what if no one likes me?
Reality: My Instagram followers keep climbing and climbing!

New students are all in the same boat when they first come to college. They’re excited, and maybe the nerves are running a little high, but realizing everyone is feeling the same way can help. Don’t be afraid to say hi or smile on campus. I made friends with my roommates, in class, at work, at sporting games and in the library.

Expectation: I’m not going to be in Moody the first two weeks of classes.
Reality: I’ve already found my Moody spot on the fourth day of classes.

Classes are going to come fast and you don’t want to get behind. Surprisingly yes, students are at Moody Memorial Library the first week of classes. It’s important to get a head start and keep on top of your work. Make it a habit for the rest of your time here. Get to Moody early to get a seat.

Expectation: I’m going to dress nice while going to class.
Reality: Third day of class? Maybe I’ll break out the oversized shirts now.

Everyone says they’re going to dress nice the first few weeks of class. It’s a new start, so why not dress the part? Well, once you step outside in the Texas heat in a cute dress you got from Forever 21 and walk down the stairs, you’re probably already drenched and ready to change. Don’t worry – we’ve all been there.

Expectation: I’m going to have a hard time getting involved.
Reality: I’m in so many clubs and organizations, I don’t know what to do with myself!

It’s a common question incoming students have: How do I get involved? Here on campus, we have over 300 clubs that are ready for students to join. Late Night, on Friday, is an event on campus that showcases all the clubs for new students to see and talk with some of the student leaders.

Expectation: Having a CL watching over me is kind of weird.
Reality: I can’t hang out right now, I’m going to get lunch with my CL!

My first year at Baylor, my CL or Community Leader, and I became amazing friends (shout out to you Jenna!). While the concept of having a CL seems new and different, it can blossom into an amazing friendship. Take advantage of that special bond because sometimes your CL knows you better than your own friends.

Expectation: I love my major and I’m never going to change!
Reality: Where do I fill out a change my major form?

I’ve changed my major 6 times – it’s going to happen and it’s okay if it does. As you change, interests may change. I was a criminal justice major when I first applied to schools, and now I’m a journalism major. I’m not the same person I was as a freshman. Many people here on campus don’t graduate with the same major as they came in with. P.S. You can change your major in BearWeb.

Expectation: I’m not going to get home sick at all.
Reality: Hey mom! Just calling to let you know I just got an Iced Cowboy at Common GroundsI’ll call you back after I get lunch at Penland!

Some people get homesick and sometimes they don’t. It’s a natural feeling when you go away to school. It doesn’t matter if they live 10 minutes down the street or several countries away, it happens. It doesn’t diminish your college experience at all. We’ve all been there, crying in our dorms, wishing we could go home. Just know it passes. Surround yourself with your fellow Bears. Asking your parents to send photos of your dog always helps too.

Incoming Bears, this is going to be a great journey for you. The Baylor Family is one like no other. Keep your mind open, get sleep, smile often and don’t be afraid to explore.