Basically: Just Your Friendly Neighborhood FYEM

When did we all suddenly arrive at the second week of classes? As you’re rushing into classrooms or dying on the Shilling stairs and thinking that this is the end, you’ll probably see a lost looking freshman ….who also inconveniently is standing in the middle of the hallway.

Now trust me, nothing bugs me more than a freshman that decides they need to take the elevator from the 1st floor to the 2nd. However, you have to remember how you felt after your parents dropped you off in a strange place that reeked of what you later found out was soy. Then you went through a long week of seemingly endless sessions and icebreakers, aka First Week. Finally, you were cut loose into the real world of college, where you realized you had no idea what you were doing.

Before you start screaming at a first year for sitting in the practice room and not actually practicing, think about all the dumb stuff you did during your first semester of college. Let’s flashback to all the friends you had that you now pass by awkwardly because you realized you have nothing in common and were only friends because you had seminar together.

When you think of all the annoying things you did as a freshman, do you remember who made you stop doing those things? It definitely was not that rude upperclassman that looked at you like you were dumb. No, it was that upperclassman that said, “hey, maybe don’t do that,” the person that made themselves a resource to you instead of bossing you around. Remember how much you respected them? Be that upperclassman, not a know-it-all.

To my freshmen reading this, I only have one piece of advice for you: drop the “too cool for school” high school attitude if you haven’t already. Most importantly, use your resources, such as your paraprofessional staff. As a FYEM, I’m here to be the first face you see on campus and make sure you don’t fall off the rails during your first semester.

Here’s the lowdown though, I notice when you need help but don’t ask for it, and I’m not afraid to tell you that your study skills suck. It’s easy to be able to tell that you’re not sleeping when you’re dozing off in class, and that you didn’t read the assignment when you look down as the professor asks a question. Don’t be shocked if I ask you if you’re okay, and don’t lie by saying everything is fine.

Your tuition dollars pay for performance learning and all the resources you could ever ask for, yet they remain underutilized. As a FYEM, I want to see everyone in my section succeed, but I can’t help you if you don’t tell me. I can’t baby you and make you study; I can only try to shove you in the right direction and hope for the best. The only person that can make you succeed is you.  

Simply put, everyone chill out and be patient. Everyone is new to campus at some point, just be a resource instead of an enemy. Tell that freshman POLITELY that they should not yell in the library because you’re trying to study. To my freshmen, admit when you need help and actually seek resources. Don’t know where to go? Ask! Ask who? Ask your FYEM, your RA, your peer mentor, your professors, Office of Student Success, ASK ANYONE. Don’t wait until you fail; set yourself up for success. With all these ideas in mind, Millikin can continue to be the tight knit community it has always been.