An open letter to Freshmen

By the time you settle into your dorm, you will have been told many times, “get involved.”

Heed this advice.

Getting involved is often the key to collegiate success, after all, and involvement will be repeated and instilled in the minds of students by their peers, professors and advisors.

UTSA offers a wide variety of organizations, clubs, jobs and Greek life organizations. From the anime club, to a social fraternity to pre-medical society — no interest goes unrepresented.

College is a time for young scholars not only to fulfill one of their most important education endeavors, but also to develop the social and networking skills that will carry them for the rest of their lives.

Why is getting involved so important?

Any graduating senior can tell you the importance of networking. When you graduate, so will thousands of other qualified young professionals. A 4.0 GPA and impressive resume are undoubtedly important. But universities produce hundreds of accomplished students.

The competition is stiff.

The ability to network and successfully interact with a potential employer can be the difference between unemployment and that six-figure salary.

So get involved. Join a club. Attend socials, volunteer events and every meeting. But don’t stop there. Get involved with your community. Read the news. Vote. Make friends with everyone. Say yes to every opportunity.

If not, regret the opportunities you missed.

You are not in high school anymore. While some students may be able to rely on parental support or financial aid, many will not. Financial independence is both liberating and terrifying— don’t let it overwhelm you.

Go out. Throw a party. Buy something expensive. But stop there. If you learn nothing else during your freshman year, learn moderation.

While independence and social endeavors are hallmarks of a college experience, discover a passion for your studies. If you do what you love, your work will flourish. Don’t be afraid to love what you’re learning.

Never underestimate the value of an inspiring professor. Some professors can’t or won’t care about you and that’s ok. But don’t pass up the opportunity to develop a relationship with a professor who instills in you a passion for learning.

Pick a major; then change it. Just make sure it’s what you want.

College is one of the only places where it’s safe to make mistakes that help you grow into a better person — so embrace your time here.