By: Kwynn Townsend Riley – Columnist, Junior
As I am entering my junior year at the University of Dayton, I want to congratulate and encourage all of our incoming first years. As a Resident Assistant, I want to inspire them to make these next years here on campus the best years of their lives. With that being said, I have four pieces of advice I want to tell the first years, and the student body at large.
Growing is a process, it requires pain, patience and pleasure.
In your time at UD you will encounter the good and the bad days. Reflect and endure through them all. Patience is a key tool in developing into adulthood. Even though we are nicknamed the “microwave” generation, our career does not happen in a minute and thirty seconds. We have to work and wait then work some more. But most importantly, we have to enjoy what we have. A flower does not think of competing against other flowers, it just blooms. You have to enjoy you, even if you think your petals are not as beautiful as others. You have to find pleasure in the fact that you earned a “C” instead of an “A” after working hard, and laugh on the days you fell asleep through class or got yelled at by your parents. Enjoy, wait and work.
It is OK to be selfish.
Sometimes you have to put yourself first in order to accomplish your dreams. Sometimes you have to do what makes you happy. This may include things that are not popular amongst your friends, things that your family may not agree or things that you may not see on the media all of the time. But that is OK. It is OK to be by yourself, it is OK to do the things that what you want to, it is OK to be you.
We are all here at UD in a community, to coexist, not to conform.
In college, you have the power to do whatever you want, and be whatever you want. You applied here, you are the one living here, so make it worthwhile for you. Do not be the same person you were in high school. Be better, be fresher, be more developed. All of the things that you did in high school worked because it got you here at one of the greatest Catholic universities in the nation. But that is another version of you; you have to extend and try new things. Join new organizations, test the waters. Do something you have never even thought of doing.
Learning does not only happen in the classrooms.
Learning happens wherever there are people who are willing to share their stories.
Listen, discuss and converse with those around you. Especially those you live with on your floor and in your building. Talk, share your story, too, you never know who might be interested.
I wish you all a very successful year at UD, a year full of laughter, love and peace.