Advice for Freshmen from Upperclassmen By: Onosetale Eimunjeze

On Aug. 23, 2022, Hardin-Simmons University welcomed its class of 2026, prepped and ready to help facilitate a smooth transition into college life.

It is not news that college experiences are not one-size-fits-all, but various ideas and recommendations from people who have walked similar paths tend to go a long way.

Three upperclassmen were interviewed and spoke on what they expected college to be and what their college experience has turned out to be. At the end of the interview, they gave some advice based on a few things they considered important to not just survive college but also create your own authentic college experience.

Ryan Batchler is a senior psychology major from Flower Mound. He spoke about how he thought college would be a huge growing experience. He was scared that he was going to be awkward and meet people who did not actually want to get to know him. However, when he got here, he realized that everyone is just as awkward as the next person. Overcoming that awkwardness requires you to be part of the HSU community.

“My advice is to get out of your room, try everything or at least one event from every club… you won’t regret going to something,” Batchler said. “If anything, you’ll meet someone that could become a lifelong friend.”

Becky Kudayah is a senior biology major from Frisco. Some of her expectations turned out to be true. I thought college would be extremely hard and it is extremely hard,” Kudayah said. But what she did not expect was the faculty, staff and students to all be so helpful in navigating college life. Her advice was to not let your advisor do all the work. Graduating as planned while scheduling your classes around work and your personal life requires teamwork. “Get your degree plan, figure out what classes you can take and their class times, and plan alongside your advisor,” Kudayah said.

Cierrah Fulenwider is a senior psychology major and strategic communications minor from Weatherford. Her idea of college was how movies from the early part of the new century portrayed college: jam-packed weeks, strict classes, papers due all the time and like “Legally Blonde,” a social life that puts your academic priorities in the back seat. But it did not turn out like that. Fulenwider said that a lot of things were much more lowkey and not as intense as they were portrayed to be in movies.

“Find your favorite study habit and stick to it early,” Fulenwider said. She discovered hers later on and recognized the impact it could have had on the academic aspect of her college experience. Socially, Fulenwider recommended embracing change.

“It’s okay to not have the same people that you came in with, you’re going to grow, adjust and become a completely different person and that’s completely okay.”

College does not have to be what you expected or even wanted it to be. When it is all said and done, college should be what you need it to be.