Every new school year brings new challenges and lessons to learn. As I am wrapping up my career at Fairfield, I have reflected on the reoccurring lessons that I have taken away each year. My piece of advice for this week? Don’t close your door when you first move into a new dorm or house. Freshman year, my roommate and I kept our door open all of the time. Within the first two weeks, we knew everyone on our floor and other people throughout the building. People would walk by and either wave or come in and talk for a while. My roommate and I loved when that happened.
Keeping your door open is equally important for your other years at Fairfield as well. I did the same thing sophomore year and it not only brought more friends into our room, but also allowed my roommate and I to become close with our Resident Assistant and Area Coordinator. One night, our AC stopped by to say hi to the girls that “keep their door open.” After that, we had a great relationship with all of the people in the building. The Townhouses were just as easy to meet people! We kept our sliding windows wide open so that we could meet our neighbors. It sounds like a simple piece of advice, but leaving your door cracked can make a huge difference at Fairfield for you and your friends.
A big mistake that I’ve made throughout the years is forgetting how important it is to keep and pay attention to your syllabi. I know it seems like a no-brainer, but let’s face it; most of the time professors get off track about two weeks in and that three-page sheet of information ends up in a crumpled ball at the bottom of our backpacks. That is a constant problem for me and as a result, I am left to rely on my own intuition and others in the class for due dates and test days. Simply neglecting to give your syllabus the attention that it deserves can come back to bite you.
Sophomore year brought on a lot of confidence acquired through the months of freshman year’s past. I thought that I had gotten my routine down and that I could work the system any way that I wanted. I was taking classes at better hours (no more 8 a.m. classes) and even taking them with my friends to have a greater blanket of support. However, my relaxed mind turned on me after one weekend where I decided to ignore the syllabus for my history class and any of the work that was outlined on it, to instead invite my friends from home and have a weekend filled with much more play than work.
Reality stepped in when I walked into that history class Monday afternoon. I sat down at my desk, settled in with the confidence that I was about to sit mindlessly through another class lecture. That was not the case. I looked around and saw people shuffling through their notes and the class textbook. Next thing I know, my professor walks up and pours three pages of stapled paper on my desk and the thing that all college students fear the most: the blue book. I realized that I had made a horrible mistake: the midterm that I had assured myself was the next week was in fact today. Also, I hadn’t studied one bit. So, take it from me: keep each syllabus in a safe place where you will see everyday so that you won’t end up crying to your mother after you basically filled three pages worth of test questions with the words, “I will never forget to look at the syllabus again.”