Heidi Tien
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Life Lessons Learned From Being A University Freshman

I grow as I live and learn


DEADLINES DO MATTER!! Never forget or miss the deadlines. If you ever forget, make sure your syllabus is always by your side or stay in front of your eyes. Write those deadlines down in pieces of sticky notes and put them on your desk in front of you, so that whenever you sit down on your chair by your desk, you will see them clearly and remember them. However, if you like to write those deadlines into your daily planner, that is nice as well, but make sure your daily planner NEVER gets out of your sight, that your daily planner is your number 1 go to every morning before you leave and also every evening before you close your eyes. Regardless of your majors, plenty of professors DO NOT EVER accept late assignments. Yes, it is rigorous, it is harsh, it is strict, and of course, it is so so hard, because life can be crazy and hectic, and we accidentally forget. But no matter what, keep your deadlines at your most go-to places every day in your dorm room/apartment, and make sure that you remember them and adhere to them accordingly. Make time for yourself, plan your homework assignments ahead so you can have enough time to revise, edit, and proofread the contents of your works, and also enough time to submit your works, because there will be times you have to submit your works electronically before coming to class, so make sure you remember your deadlines and plan ahead as many times as possible, so you will not rush at the last minute. Truthfully, while in college, missing deadlines can lead to failing a class, but in the real career after college, missing deadlines can seriously lead to getting FIRED! Especially in the JOURNALISM INDUSTRY!!!!!!

The girl who writes this piece has taken her ENTIRE freshman year to fully understand this scary concept. Now she has a price to pay for her missing deadlines and she is still practicing the habit of being on time in everything she does.

FURTHER GROWTH AS AN ADULT: Being aware and responsible of your own money in your bank account. Doing your own laundry. Cleaning up your room by yourself. Making your own appointments with different people, especially with those who are the authority figures on campus such as professors, pastors, directors, career consultants. Being 100% conscious of what to eat and not to eat, in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle and also avoid weight gaining and the freshman 15. Considering the eating place that is healthy and affordable, according to either your dining plan or the amount of money that you currently have on your debit card. Learning the directions to go to different places off campus. Knowing when to buy house supplies such as laundry detergent, shampoo, and probably dishes, knives, forks, spoons, and napkins, in case you have to live in an apartment. But laundry detergent and shampoo are the top priorities when it comes to purchasing your house supplies. Keep everything organized, throw away what you do not use again, such as papers of any kind, donate or sell back books that you have read before but never have a chance to come back to them, because life is busy and is always moving forward, so that when you move in and out, your luggage would not be super heavy. Searching for your own jobs, especially when it comes to summer vacation, be fully aware that all of the eating places on campus would never hire students to work over the summer. Make sure to get on your own feet, get out there, and look for jobs off campus in order to earn money to support yourselves during the summer. Seriously, even though it seems like summer is a time for relaxing, but you also have lots of areas that need money, and having a summer job is the best way to afford those areas. Having respectful conversations, especially when it comes to living with roommates. Communication is key because different people, whether they are roommates or not, need to know the expectations, lifestyles, ways of thinking and working of the other person so that having conversations is the only way to achieve agreement, understanding, and reconciliation.

These are the lessons that the girl who writes this piece has taken many many years to fully learn and understand, and currently, she is still practicing and exercising these lessons.

SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES!!! PRAY CONSISTENTLY! MEMORIZE BIBLE VERSES. Actually, after memorizing those PERFECT Bible verses, seek help in figuring out how to adhere to those verses and live those verses out, in order to gain spiritual maturity.

This girl who writes this piece has learned this concept from D-groups, and she is very grateful for that.

BASIC PROFESSIONALISM AND DISTANCE/BOUNDARY! This is the lesson that the girl who writes this piece has taken many years to completely understand. Now she has fully understood the importance of having beautiful distance with others, especially with the authority figures. She has learned this concept through writing emails, that no matter what happened, writing emails to the people with authority can never contain anything about love and affection, but only about necessary businesses that are related to school and navigating life as a university student, or setting up an appointment. Similarly, she has learned that text messaging can only happen between friends, and when someone who is a staff member, no matter what title they have, she is not allowed to text them for anything, but only email. Once she emails the people with authority, it has to be formal and professional, which means emailing professionally does not have texting languages or saying “hey!” Other than that, texting an authority figure can only happen when there is really urgent and emergency incident, not every single thing. Additionally, this girl has learned about dressing up appropriately and professionally when it comes to important meetings or interviews. But most importantly, she has learned with real struggles to come to class on time. The struggles were the hectic weather, raining early in the morning, along with the super early class at 7:40 AM. So this girl ended up being unable to get out of bed because of how cold it was every morning, also how late she had to stay up the night before because of homework. As a result, she ended up being tardy for the first three weeks of the semester, and she did feel horrible about it because of the lectures that she had to miss. But she had to keep trying because that 7:40 AM class is one of the mandatory core lower division for her major, so she had to think to either accept the challenge or waste a precious semester and stay behind with her major requirements. As she kept going, there were many nights she did not sleep because of having so many papers to write in the same week, and she did stay up until the time this class began. Ultimately, she was able to come to this super early class on time, attain critical thinking skills in writing papers for this class, and now she has earned an A for this class (THANK GOD!). All in all, from this struggle, she has been more conscious that being on time and doing everything with her very best effort without complaining are the basic professional skills she has to have, in order to embark on the scary and hectic adult life and career. 

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