Incoming Cougs can lean on seniors

Upperclassmen are leaders in many ways — whether this is your first year in college or your first time on campus



Senior Maddie LaPourte (left) speaks to junior Conner LaCroix (right) in The Spark.

MEGHAN HENRY, Evergreen managing editor

“These will be the best years of your life.” “College sets you up for your future job. Take it seriously.” “Don’t waste your time — it will be gone so fast.”

These are valid pieces of advice we have all received on our way out the door of our childhood homes.

And as we all descend into Pullman this semester, we have dreams of Cougar Football Saturdays, in-person classes and lunch hangs with friends. We are all hoping to revive the college life we were told to expect.

Every student has been duped out of months of memories. And we have the opportunity to make it up. Instead of tumbling through the learning process, it might be nice to have some advice directly from WSU seniors.

They are the people who have seen many sides of Pullman. And for the most part, our seniors are ready to take advantage of everything they have missed in the past 18 months. They want the incoming freshman to grab every opportunity without hesitation.

Incoming college students all have different ideas of what they want to get out during this time. Lauren Peck, senior math education major, said she was looking for a fresh start.

“I was really excited to … just be my own person and kind of figure out who I was apart from who I was in high school,” Peck said.

For Peck, getting involved in a sorority eventually led her to find a church group of Greek students who met weekly as a community.

For other students, leadership opportunities were the biggest highlight of their first years here at WSU.

Whatever your goals may be for your first year — a high GPA, joining a research lab, finding a cultural-based club, a sorority or an intermural team — it is all possible.

Rachel Willison, senior marketing major, said the biggest thing that will get in your way will probably be yourself.

“I really don’t recommend being holed up in your dorm room,” Willison said. “I did that a little bit for my first month or so and it really wasn’t enjoyable. I really recommend getting out there, being social … going to sporting events. You’ll get so much out of it.”

As much as people will say it is scary to put yourself out there, it is worth it to find your footing by trying new things. Going to the dining halls is one of those new and intimidating experiences I would highly recommend.

I know there are endless rumors about inedible college food — I definitely heard them. But Cougar Cash and RDA are deeply mourned by upperclassmen who no longer live in residence halls. Take advantage of Northside and Southside’s breakfasts and Hillside’s famous buffets.

Seriously, it is so good. I am tearing up now just thinking about my freshman self waking up at 7 a.m. to get the good waffles from Northside.

Seeking out mentor-like advice in college might be something to look into as well.

Nate Richardson, senior kinesiology major, said that seeking out a mentor was one of the most influential choices he made in his first years here.

“I found role models … people that I saw taking similar paths in life to myself and were successful,” Richardson said. “So I would talk to them about what they did that worked.”

Whether it is advice on where to eat on campus, how to study or which professors should be avoided, it is comforting to know you can talk to someone who has been in the same boat.

Whatever this year brings, the resounding piece of advice from every senior I know is this: college flies by. Make the best of it while you are here!