Well, I’m feeling rather lazy today, so rather than come up with a topic to write about myself, I decided to ask some of the other tour guides what they would tell incoming students. So as a result, today you get “College Advice 101” from Leslie and Caitlin.
Leslie said that the defining feature of her experience was that college is a lot of fun, and one should enjoy it and take the time to take it all in. Yes, classes are pretty important; in fact, they’re the central reason that one would attend college, but there are more facets to time spent at a university than academics. Also, she wanted to let students know that GVSU creates a great sense of community amongst its students. Whether it’s through classes or housing arrangements, or perhaps through clubs and organizations, one of the best features here at Grand Valley is the ability to be a part of a welcoming, friendly, and active body of students and peers.
Caitlin echoed Leslie’s advice, but with a slightly different twist. Her advice was for students to get involved across the campus (although this is really applicable no matter where you go for higher education). College probably won’t be an enjoyable experience for someone who simply goes to class and then just goes back to their dorm/apartment. In order to really enjoy the experience she (as well as most students you’ll talk to) suggests being a part of activities beyond the classroom. Whether this is a club, a study group, or just a group of friends who you can spend time with, it’s important for a student to break out a little and see all that a college has to offer. Her second piece of advice was to take advantage of your resources; if you are struggling, it’s not tough to find help. Tutoring is free for all 100 and 200 level classes, there are a number of help offices across the campus for different departments, and students have free access to academic, career, and personal counseling. Even if you’re just struggling to get involved on campus, that’s not a problem; just drop by the student life office or website, and they can help you find an organization you might be interested in.
And just so I don’t seem too uncommitted, my advice is for any student who will be a senior this fall to start their college visits soon and see a lot of places. Not that I’m trying to put pressure on you guys, but there are a lot of options out there for post high school studies, and if you look around during the summertime, you have less to worry about once school starts in the fall. Plus, as much as I love Grand Valley and love taking classes here, I know it’s not a perfect fit for everyone, and even though I’d love for all of you readers to come here for college it is important to see a wide variety of options and choose what fits you best. Also, I strongly suggest that you guys never think to yourselves “college isn’t for me.” Sometimes students are concerned about the academic challenge, or the financial burden, or simply don’t want to spend any more time in school, and I really recommend that those students reconsider. A college degree is a vital asset when filling in a resume or a job application, and there is assistance available for any and all of the above objections for attending college (at least at GVSU).
But, I think that’s a good place to finish. We all hope to see you guys come by for a visit sometime, and hopefully you’re enjoying your summer so far.