Orientation Opinion: Learning to love Kent State

Katie Smith

Column 2 Learning to Love Kent State

Quite frankly, I didn’t like Kent State University my freshman year: It was too close to home, I was shy and I wanted to transfer. At the end of my freshman year I realized any experience is what you make of it and I was making my college experience complete crap. I started my sophomore year at Kent State with a goal: to start loving college.

Now I’m older and wiser – or something like that – and I’m hoping you can learn from my mistakes. If I could go back, this is how I would have fallen in love with Kent State much sooner.

First, I would have made an effort to make friends on my floor. Introduce yourself to people, find common interests and go from there. This isn’t the time to be shy and hide in your tiny, stuffy dorm room.

Second, I would have joined organizations. After I joined clubs my sophomore year, I was able to figure out where my main passions were, and I also met some of my best friends. There’s many major-related clubs, there’s Greek life and there’s even religious groups to join. Hello, networking opportunities and resume builders. If you’re unsure how to get involved, stop by BlastOff during Welcome Weekend.

Third, I would have focused more on understanding the information I was learning, not just memorizing it. Study habits are important and it’s better to lock in some solid study skills as a freshman than trying to learn how to study as a senior.

Fourth, I would have realized these were going to be the best years of my life. After you graduate, real life begins. College is your time to enjoy yourself. You can figure out your five-year plan later. Don’t go crazy, but don’t forget that you have the rest of your life to work. It took me three years and one summer internship later to understand how surreal college really is.

It might seem hard at times, but there really is a place for everyone at this university, and I hope you realize that much sooner than I did.

Katie Smith is a senior public relations major and a columnist for The Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected]