Categories: College Life

What I Would Do Differently At FSU: Advice From A Senior

Looking back at my time at FSU, it was short but sweet; I had some crazy memories and some wild times–and that doesn’t even include my time in Salley Hall (if you know you know). When something comes to an end, we tend to wonder what we could have done differently, what we would’ve changed if we could. As an antisocial perfectionist with an overachieving personality, I didn’t give a lot of time to fun. So what would I have done different and why should you care? While I’m sure you have it all down pat and you’re living life to the fullest, you may get to where I am and wonder as well. So here’s my advice for FSU:

1. Go to the games

Maybe you’re not into football or sports in general, but you are really missing out if you don’t go to the FSU games. In that stadium, there is a spirit that is unmatched by any other. The combination of the fight song, screaming alongside your friends, and acting stupidly happy to be a student of this school is an unforgettable feeling. So even if you hate it, even if you get a drink spilled on you and sweat like crazy, please go. I went a few times, but not nearly enough. I was the girl you would find at work, catering to the people who were grabbing a meal before the game. I missed it though. Advice for FSU: Go to the games.

2. Do the full four years

In case I haven’t mentioned it before, I am a member of the Degree in Three Program at FSU. This means that I have only had three years to finish my degree instead of four. There are various reasons to do this and mine were financial. I may not have had the full four years, but I have done my best to live them intentionally. If you have the chance and you don’t need to graduate early for any particular reason, stay for four. I feel as though there’s a whole year of my best years that I am skipping out on. Advice for FSU: Take all four years of school.

3. Honors in the Major

For my fellow overachievers, you don’t have to be an honors student to participate in the Honors in the Major program and receive this designation on your diploma. In general, you have to apply, have your thesis approved, and present this in front of the faculty of your major. This varies slightly across all majors; however, it takes two to three semesters to complete the entirety of the program. I found this out this year–I graduate next semester. I am ineligible now. It was disappointing to be presented with the opportunity and not be able to take it. This is another time where four years may have benefited me. Advice for FSU: If Honors in the Major is something you want to do, consider it now before you can’t.

4. Have fun

Yes, this is college. Yes, we all want to do well. Yes, we’re here for a degree. No, we are not only here for a degree. Put down your homework, go out, see a movie, grab Whataburger at 4 a.m. with your roommates. Live. I was so busy working and keeping myself dedicated to my studies that I barely took breaks to go out and make friends. Sure, my GPA is great—I’m unapologetically proud of that–but these memories are something you will also carry with you forever. One day, when your kids ask you about college, have a crazy story to tell them. Like that one time you went to Collegetown for one drink and some trivia but ended up in a club on the other side of town and finally came to a Starbucks around 6 a.m. (you never went to bed) where you and your friends were trying to recuperate–I’m just kidding, but wouldn’t that be some story? Advice for FSU: Live it to the fullest.

5. Give yourself time to figure out who you are

College is where we find ourselves–how often have you heard that? Probably too many to count. While it may seem overrated, look at yourself versus a year ago, or two years ago, pretty different, right? Yeah, I had bangs, my hair was five shades darker, and I wanted to be a psychology major. My advice for FSU is to not rush into becoming who you were meant to be. The world wants you to have an answer, but there are people much older than us without a clue. It’s okay to fail from time to time and be clueless. That’s right, I said it. If no one has told you yet, it was time someone did. Try a million things before you figure it out because you need the experience, you need the time to grow. Advice for FSU: Don’t rush, figure out who you are as you go.

6. Work less

I couldn’t count how many times I got the look of eyes bewildered every time I said that I work full-time while completing full-time school. It didn’t start that way, but it quickly became something that felt weird not to do. Though I quickly lost the ability to go out on the weekends, I stopped going to football games, and when I wasn’t working, I was studying. Sometimes, it felt like I was doing the right thing, but other times, I felt like I was working away my time here.  I was rushing to be an adult when I had my whole life to work away. Advice for FSU: Don’t work more than part-time if you are presented with the choice. I lost too many opportunities to enjoy my time here.

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7. Take part in homecoming festivities

As many of you may know, Homecoming at FSU includes a Pow-Wow with a celebrity that FSU brings in for their students, a parade, activities on Landis Green, and, of course, the homecoming football game. If all goes well, we will win the game. This is one of my favorite times of the year because we are arriving fresh into fall, it’s Halloween time, and there is so much pride coming from every student. I attended a couple of these games, never made it to a Pow-Wow, and forgot about the parade. I’m boring, I know. Advice for FSU: I would’ve loved the chance to go and I highly recommend that you make it to it each year, it is slightly different from year to year.

8. Parent’s Weekend

For the freshman, this is the first time to get away from your parents, you are eighteen years old, and on your own. Parents who? Yes, I know the feeling, but we all know you miss them. I miss them and I’m a senior. It’s for this reason that I suggest taking advantage of Parent’s Weekend. I was unable to have my parents come to visit me during this time for all three years. Honestly, I missed them more seeing all of the other parents visiting their kids. Something about seeing parents reliving their younger years with their “Florida State Mom” shirts just makes you wish they were here. Advice for FSU: Don’t be too cool for your parents; encourage them to come to see you.

I want to encourage you to see this article as advice from me to you, things to take advantage of during your time at this school. This is not one big, depressing list of regrets. I am someone who encourages people to live with as little regrets as possible, so while I would not change my choices over the years, there are things I wish I could’ve done. Think of me as a friend attempting to give you advice based on my experiences. You go to one of the best public universities in the country, appreciate every moment of it and what it has to offer you.

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Taylor Saathoff

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