Lessons learned from my first year at SMU

It was only one year ago that I was attending AARO myself, unsure of what my first year as a Mustang would be like.

By the time AARO was complete, I was both excited and nervous. Excited because I was even more sure that SMU was the right choice for me, but nervous as to all of the challenges that lie ahead, like navigating the tricky University Curriculum.

After the (somewhat exhausting) experience of Mustang Corral, I was left to figure out everyday life as a Mustang. Adjusting to a new system with college professors, flexible scheduling, and finding meaningful ways to spend my free time was a challenging yet rewarding experience for me.

I believe that everyone will have a somewhat different experience with the transition into college, depending on one’s unique background, preparation and personality. Hopefully you take to college like a fish to water, but if you struggle a little bit at first, SMU has many resources to help you out. For example, class tutoring is available at the A-LEC and counsellors are available free of charge, so don’t hesitate to ask for help.

With all SMU has to offer, trying new things became what I enjoyed most during my freshman year. In the classroom, I did everything from building a robot to learning about the history of heretics and witches. But entirely more important to students are the social and extracurricular opportunities that SMU offers. I had the pleasure of joining a professional fraternity, playing loads of intramural sports, and racing with SMU cycling, which is something I have wanted to try out for years.

Opportunities to get involved are limitless for young Mustangs. From Greek life to cultural organizations to student government, there is something for everyone at SMU. All of these options mean that you will have to choose the one’s you are really passionate about, because over-extending yourself and eventually getting burnt out is a real threat.

Dedicating your time to two to four organizations will be the most rewarding, as you will actually be engaged and able to meet other people rather than just being on an email list for 15 clubs but never making a meeting. However, this is just a guideline, as some people may be able to do more and others less depending on one’s course load and other commitments.

My best advice is not to miss out on all that SMU has to offer for its students, especially in the first year. While there obviously will be lots of changes for everyone in the class of 2019 over the next few months, it all will be a great learning experience. Through the ups and the downs, I have found that the people and organizations at SMU are there to help your bad times seem better and make your good times even more enjoyable.

Join an organization and engage yourself in our herd of sorts, our family of Mustangs.

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