“Care less about grades, care more about thinking and learning. Try study something different from your major. Drinking is overrated.” -Alex Liang, 2015
“Choose classes that fulfill your requirements, but don't forget to also take some classes for the pure sake of interest or curiosity. You never know if it might lead to something else you are passionate about or perhaps a new minor. Know your limits when it comes to balancing school and social activities/hobbies, but be ready to push those limits when necessary. Be extremely communicative with your professors about your academic needs, questions, or concerns. They are there to help you and support you, and in my experience, they are always willing to go to extra lengths (office hours, meetings, extra assignments) to make sure you are able to excel. Don't be afraid to use the library, and don't be afraid to ask for help using the library or using the tutoring system whenever you may need it. Check out all the campus buildings at some point in your college career, even the ones you aren't taking classes in or the dorms you aren't living in. Leave extra time to get to class and look up from time to time in case you run into someone you know (it happens a lot!) and are able to exchange some greetings/pleasantries. If you ever have downtime and are looking for something to occupy your time, check out the LU calendar from the web page to see what events are going on. Pay attention to flyers and bulletin boards. Talk to people you know to find out what's going on. Take a walk around campus (it's a nice place) and see if there is anything unique taking place (there often is). If you're unsure whether you want to get your food from the cafeteria or not, they usually post their menu online in advance, so check it out first. Don't forget to check your campus box from time to time so that mail and flyers don't pile up. Freshman Studies might get to be a pain sometimes, but know that it is SO helpful to your future as a well-rounded, educated adult. Take advantage of trips to Björklunden whenever possible. It's awesome. Check out the surrounding area of Appleton from time to time. There are some good restaurants, a public library, and some other cool stores/shops/museums nearby, and if you or someone you know has a car (or you coordinate with the shuttle), the mall is pretty great, and it's practically a straight shot down College Ave (albeit a bit too far to walk). Vote in local, state, and federal elections whenever the opportunity comes around. Try something new or different, whether it's a sport, hobby, club, social group, volunteering, etc. Now is the time for it, and you never know where it could lead you. Make the most of this experience; it's like nothing else in your life.” -Alyssa Rosenbaum, 2013
“Things I'm glad to have done at LU -- study abroad, learn (really learn!) a foreign language, find a lifetime partner.
Things I wish I'd done: Read the 5 anthropology books assigned before mid term (3 days in the library wasn't enough and I got my lowest LU grade first term of freshman year). I spent the remaining 4 years trying to pull up my GPA from that boat anchor of a grade. Wish I'd gone to more concerts and guest speakers. This is likely the only 4 years of your life where you get to devote yourself to a life of the mind: you'll be glad later for everything you've taken time to see and do while at LU.” -Amy Merriam Steed, 1974
“Speak with older students about who their best professors were. Choose the teacher, and take his/her class. Don't sweat the subject material, it all connects if you think about it enough. In my day the names were Cheney, Maravalo, Hah, Povolny. Today there are new titans of the faculty. Seek them out. Be Aristotle, and find your Plato(s). Lawrence has always been about excellence in teaching, so, seek it!” -Andrew McNeill, one shy of 1980
“It took me until my last term at LU to "figure out how to do college," in part because I was managing around a rowing team schedule that had me asleep by 9:30 pm and up for 5:00 am practice and often away on weekends for competitions. What that meant for me was getting my work done as soon as it was assigned, getting everything done as early in the day as possible, and even working ahead if I found I had the time. In doing this, I found that I still had time for things I enjoyed in the afternoons and evenings, free from concern, and managed a 4.0 term to boot. Best of luck!” -Andrew Miller, 2000
“Take this opportunity seriously. You will be exposed to brilliant people that can teach you how to think and create and make a difference. Don't waste their time or yours. There is plenty of time for laughing and goofing off, but don't let that become your priority. Protect those precious brains cells by learning restraint, a skill that will serve you well going forward. Invest in friendships that can be sustained for a lifetime. They may be all you have left when your crowning achievements are in the rear view mirror. Above all else, be a good person.” -Ann Hopkins, 1977
“Start cultivating relationships with Lawrence faculty and staff right away from day one. Seek out opportunities to work in labs, work over the summer on research, do independent study, etc. I worked with several professors on independent study, practicum, as well as attended conferences and did poster presentations while I was at LU. I have since maintained those relationships and used those professors as references for graduate school applications and job applications. I think it really helped my applications that they were able to get to know me during our time working together outside of the classroom.” -Anna Kiel Freiberg, 2006
“Four years goes by so quickly! There will never again be a time in your life like this. Form strong friendships with students and faculty, learn like your future depends on it, and include an international travel experience in your education.” -Anne (Sturgeon) Frenchick, 1973
“Students of color and first-generation students: YOU BELONG HERE. Don't ever let anyone tell you differently. Speak up in class---I didn't and my learning suffered for it. But more importantly, others can learn from you because you bring a unique perspective to your classes. Value the perspective you bring and remember that no one has it all figured out, nor does anyone expect *you* to have it all figured out. Enjoy learning, exploring, experimenting. Take risks. Take a class outside of your comfort zone. Seek help early and often. Visit the career center right away. And remember that you only get to experience this once, so take advantage of every opportunity available to you.” -Ariela Rosa, 2015
“Make an effort to get to know your professors in your area of greatest interest … or even those whose classes you take that are outside of your major.” -Barnie Haen, 1981
“1. Go to all (or most) of the things.
There will be events sprouting all around you, waiting for you to pick them. Go to the ones that interest you, yes, but challenge yourself by going to the ones that don't. You can always leave, but you can't always get that same opportunity.
2. Show that you want the job you want.
If there's an on-campus job you've got your eye on, don't be shy about checking in once or twice while the job owner is making a decision. It's more than okay to show eagerness. Just maybe refrain from camping out in front of the door. It worked for me with the library! (Literature section, I still think of you.)
3. Explore different parts of your personality.
This goes with #1. In high school, you may have been The Quiet One or the Nerdy One or the Sporty One. If that's what you love and who you are, great! You'll find your people no matter what One you are.
Yet if you want a different label or hey, no label at all, college is the perfect time to step out of your (dis)comfort zone. Be an introvert who excels at public debate. Combine your love of tech with anthropological flair. The point is, don't let anyone, not even yourself, hold you back from where you feel you want to be.
Oh, and if anyone asks you what you can possibly do with an English major, say this: "Anything I want."
College will be your world for a few years. Make the most of it!” -Becky Grendysa Benishek, 1997
“Find something that is: non-competitive; not graded; does not attract anyone's attention; not academic; does not require thought; is not difficult, is not hooked into anything electronic; does not relay any message or advertising; and is relaxing to you (not necessarily anyone else). Examples might be: walking up and down College Ave., reading celebrity gossip articles or true crime books; sitting in a chair under a tree with nice leaves. Then schedule this thing to be done on a regular basis by yourself. Do this regularly until you see it not as a guilty habit, but as a means of re-calibrating your mind and escaping from all the mental noise that builds up. Be proud of the time you spend on it, and make plans to continue doing it after Lawrence.” -Brendan U. Dunning, 1991
“Study more and party less. Ask what the professor is trying to teach you. Some things like the multiplication tables can only be memorized but once done open a whole new world. History is underrated. But really happened” -Brent Erensel, 1978
“Participate in an off-campus program for one or two terms, or even a whole year. Do not spend all of your LU experience in Appleton! Take some of that time to expand your horizons and grow.” -Brian Farmer, 1974
“Read more. Read more carefully and critically. Engage more fully in your classes. Don't let the social aspects of your college experience outweigh the academic. Make lots of different friends.” -Byron Nordstrom, 1965
“Take it all in. You will do well. You were admitted to Lawrence for a reason.
I spent my first two terms at LU convinced I wasn't smart enough to be there. I spent my weekend nights reading and re-reading my notes and textbooks. What I missed were concerts, parties, dorm events. When I finally opened up to social gatherings and even just study groups, I realized I had been missing out on something magical.
Yes, I threw myself into one half of Lawrence--the amazing academics, the wisdom of my professors. But all the while, I hadn't even watched my best friend play trumpet for his combo once. I had declined an invitation to a King Lear writing party, followed by classic American movies to show our dorm mate who was from Amsterdam. Those experiences are just as valuable as Plato and chemistry labs.
The entire campus lit up with opportunity when I finally opened my hear to it spring term freshman year. (That's corny af, and not as eloquent as it could be, but you get the point!)” -Caitlin Buhr, 2013
“Enjoy the little things because one day soon you will look back and realize they were actually the big things.” -Cameron Blegen, 2012
“If I were doing it all over again, I would tell myself that you don't have to be involved in everything. It's alright to pick a few things that really interest you and focus on them. You'll get a deeper experience in those areas as a result.” -Cameron Nasatir, 2017
“Learn a foreign language well! I wish I had taken more language classes at Lawrence, as I encounter Spanish and French speaking patients almost every day as an Ob-GYN in Philadelphia. Other advice: study abroad somewhere that really interests you (even if it doesn't match your major), eat brunch early on Sundays, and get to know as many people as you can from different areas of Lawrence.” -Carolynn Dude, 2003
“Keep your eyes wide open, for your lifelong friend may be where you least expect her/him/they to be.” -Cathy Dempesy-Sims, 1982
“Embrace the liberal arts and go to lectures, plays, concerts, symposiums, and as many of the cultural events that pack the Lawrence calendar! Take risks in the classroom and then keep talking about what you are reading. Knock on the door of any professor and ask questions: engage and seek understanding. Read Andrew McNeill's advice here (he has such wise advice I can't possibly add much to it.) Be confident and inquiring. Be proud of Lawrence and push the community to be its best. Light, more Light!” -Charlie Newhall, 1986
“Be aware of your surroundings, both physical and intellectual. Know that you may never experience these people and places again. Make the most of your time in class and your walks around campus. Take time to identify each tree and bird. Listen to the river. Listen to the sound of the wind in the trees. Listen to the people around you, fellow students, strangers, professors. Learn from each of them. Spend less time thinking about yesterday (and your past). Spend less time worrying about tomorrow (and your future). Focus on today. Turn on your senses to hear, see and smell every experience. One day, each experience will hold considerably more value than you can imagine. The deeper you experience today, the greater value you will reap down the road. Learn to learn. Learn to write. Learn to speak. Most important, learn to listen. Listen especially to your own "quiet little voice." (It's the one that tells you when you're about to do something you know you shouldn't do.) Have a nice day!” -Charlie Seraphin, 1972
“Get your bearings, focus in class, but leave time to go crazy every now and then (maybe even on weeknights...).
Take care of each other and stand tall.” -Chela Gans, 2014
“Explore EVERYTHING that Lawrence has to offer to find your true passion. Part of the beauty of the liberal arts experience on a residential campus is how far you can expand your exposure to new thoughts and ideas. Not just through classes, but extracurriculars and organizations and simple conversations with your fellow students and the faculty and staff. And, when you find your passion, don't be afraid to take a risk. I changed majors my Junior year and it was the best risk I ever took because it lead to a career that I wake up each day excited because I truly love what I do. If I wouldn't have explored outside the life plan that I made freshman year, I never would have found my passion.” -Christie McCowen, 2009
“Welcome to your Freshman Year! You made a excellent choice, Lawrence is a wonderful experience with top of the line academic programs and classes. I would advice all students to study hard, the academic program is very rigorous but offers many interesting courses to fit your interest and passion. Time management is also very important, use your time wisely to complete course requirements thoroughly. Give your very best to your first term, the rest of your first year and continue over your time at Lawrence. There are many activities and events to get involved in within the Lawrence Community, I recommend joining something you find engaging. Overall, enjoy the time and experience!” -Christina Bettencourt, 2013
“Keep an open mind regarding your course of study. Lawrence has so many opportunities, and you will be able to sample an elaborate smörgasbord of intellectual delicacies. This is not to advise you to become a dilettante, but rather to see where your passion leads you during these four years. You may be surprised!” -Cindy Percak, 1973
“Don't be afraid to fail. Take a difficult class you are uncomfortable with. You don't need to be perfect and you don't need a 4.0 GPA to be successful!” -Dan Perelstein, 2003
“Don't be afraid to make more friends than you think you need. You never know when you will need someone or they will need you.” -DAVID RUSSELL CORDIE, 2013
“Compartmentalize. Keep emotional issues separate from studies.
Prioritize. Study first, Everything else later. Making a prioritized list helps.
Get active. Do something about the issues you care about.
Vote.” -David Shlaes, 1969
Focus on what is in front of you. You have arrived at a special place to spend your College Years. This period will provide opportunities that will be very rare in the years ahead. You will have the chance to read, think, and learn that the hectic pace of post-graduate life will rarely afford you. You will have countless hours to spend deepening relationships that will matter to you.” -Dean Hacker, 1992
“Looking back on my college years, I would tell myself to not be quite so serious and drink more! I had my first drink the day I graduated. Not that I didn't have fun without booze; I had plenty of fun. I just think I should have let loose a little more.” -Debbie Alexander, 1999
“Do NOT have a TV in your room. You don't need the distraction. Keep your study area relatively organized, and your mind will stay equally uncluttered as you learn and write. Do your best to manage your time wisely, but be sure to include free time to laugh and enjoy others. Rely on your faculty advisor as a mentor. Good Luck!” -Dorothy E. Fischer, 1977
“Before starting Lawrence, I was advised to select courses with the best instructors, not on the basis of desirable topics. I largely followed that advice and was never disappointed. An excellent instructor can make (almost) any topic interesting. A less able instructor can kill interest in even the most attractive topic. To identify excellent instructors, find out who juniors and seniors respect.” -E James Kehoe, 1971
“High school to college is a significant transition. You're in a new social and academic environment: more freedom and generally more difficult classes. To get off to a good start and not fall behind, focus on the class work while you enjoy some new social interactions. Translate the freedom part into choosing to take maximum advantage of your special opportunity to succeed. The Lawrence faculty, staff, and alumni are on your side.” -Erlan Bliss, 1963
“Try everything you are interested in! Try even something you are not so interested in! College is a time to explore. Go to all of the free events you can attend, especially the ones at the Con. Lawrence provides amazing music, for which you usually have to pay for out in the world!
Make sure that you stay organized, and learn from the little mistakes you do during your time at Lawrence. Be compassionate with yourself, because those mistakes will make you the adult you are becoming, and they are the ones you learn from the most. Make sure to eat healthy-ish, and work out! Working out will keep you organized! Most of all, remember that your time at Lawrence is actually quite short. It's a privilege to be at a place like Lawrence, and you belong there. You are where you need to be.” -Gabriela Szteinberg, 2007
“I encourage students to get involved with the local community. During my undergraduate career, I did not make use of the community outside of the "bubble", and since leaving I have discovered the joy involved in investing your time and energy into a place. I believe that I would have had a more fulfilling experience of college by doing more local internships, volunteering, and generally participating in community events.” -Hannah Ganzel, 2017
“I graduated in 1960 thinking I was well equipped to step into adult life. It was only partly true, but very much of value. I was, however, unprepared for the amount of change that would occur. I recently finished a new book by Hans Rosling titled FACTFULNESS. He suggests that like auto manufactures who use "recalls" to correct or replace defective parts, educators should provide "recalls" to correct /change what was fact or real at the time of schooling and update to what is more current. Stay very guarded and prepared for massive change.” -Henry aka Mike Harris class of 1960, 1960
“1. Everyone attending Lawrence should understand that they are among the privileged elite. Very few have an opportunity for the learning experience Lawrence offers. Embrace it; pursue knowledge and post-graduate goals with a passion; take advantage of everything available. But don’t for a moment think that privilege equals entitlement. College education is expensive; someone is paying for your time on campus. If it is your parents, thank them. If you have a scholarship, thank those who earned and donated that money.
2. Get a job, or even two jobs. Working part-time during college will help you understand the value and dignity of work, the necessity of a paycheck and upon graduation will enhance your sense of satisfaction that you earned your degree. It will also reduce your student debt.”- J -Jack H Morris, 1960
“Don't confuse social media with genuine communication. Dabble in as many types of classes as you like; any knowledge may prove useful some day. And open yourself to the possibility that the people you are meeting now may be some of your closest friends for life.” -Jane Berliss-Vincent, 1981
“Make the most of your LU experience! I’ve been out almost 40 years working in the field I trained for and I draw upon those experiences daily. Because of the rigorous expectations Lawrence has, subsequent challenges were easily met and exceeded. I was one who contributed financially to my Lawrence experience for 10 years after grad school with a monthly student loan payment. I can honestly say it was well worth the investment. Invest in a sure thing... you!” -Janice Parker, 1980
“Strive for a balanced life while at Lawrence, and foster relationships with staff, faculty and peers. Experience the amalgam of humanity around you, and question others and yourself. Engage academically and socially. -And make time to go to Bjorklunden:-)” -Janine Yanisch, 1987
“My advice is to take courses in as many different disciplines as you can. Even if you do not do well in a class, or think that a subject is not for you, you will learn something, be well-rounded, and it will serve you well in later life. In other words, take advantage of the Liberal Arts education Lawrence offers you!” -Jayne Griese, 1980
“-- Revise, revise, revise -- and revise again.
-- Push and stretch yourself to learn as much as you can in each class.
-- Find friends who will always have your back AND who will always challenge you.
-- Every term, visit all of your professors at least once during office hours, and ask intelligent questions. Don't waste their or your time by going in unprepared. Also: Show respect, but don't be afraid to challenge their opinions.
-- After you find your footing as a Lawrentian (perhaps sometime in your sophomore year), select a couple of professors as mentors. Cultivate these key relationships with great care.
-- Do your best, but resist perfectionism at all costs. It's poison.
-- Step out of your comfort zone now and then, and dive into a co-curricular activity. For example: If you're majoring in one of the natural sciences, consider trying out for a role in a theater production.” -Jeffrey A. (Jeff) Walker, PhD, 1986
“Study abroad. It is my biggest regret that I never did. I really wish I had gone to the London Center, but go where ever you’ve always wanted to go!” -Jennifer Burns, 2004
“Laugh with others, and even (especially!) at yourself. Keep cultivating a sense of humour; it can be easy to take oneself over-seriously in university.” -Jessica Holden Quetua, 1999
“VOLUNTEER. Make a difference for someone else. Seek rewards beyond your GPA. College is expensive, but it doesn't cost any more to share your talents with others.
GET OFF CAMPUS – in Appleton, with a semester abroad, and to Björklunden.” -Jim Rand, 1977
“On the eve of a new year at Lawrence, here's a note to self: Follow my BLISS. Live life fully. Hold others in unconditional high regard. Hold myself in unconditional high regard. Be open to multiple perspectives, and that there well may be multiple truths discovered in those perspectives. Listen for the stories that are discovered when relationships develop. Every day something new will be on my horizon- out there where the blue begins. Mentorship happens effortlessly because others are on the horizon following their bliss, too. Life is amazing because Lawrence reminded me that I am the best me I know.” -Joch Woodruff, 1971
“Take advantage of opportunities to travel abroad, listen to guest speakers, go to concerts and learn new cultures. Try things out of your comfort zone. Take this time to discover who you are and what you enjoy. These opportunities will diminish once you are settled into a career and family life. Use your time at Lawrence to explore. The school is made for that so take advantage of it.” -Jodi Schmeling, 1997
KEEP COOL” -Joe Lipari, 1972
“A liberal arts education is a wonderful road to an enriched life. But make sure that you get connected with an experienced counselor and that you have marketable skills, better yet a vocation. I never got this advice and came out to a series of minimum wage jobs, never a career. You can't enjoy appreciate the beauty of the world if you can't afford to.” -JUDITH BARE, 1956
“Understand that this opportunity (four years of intense study, ample time to socialize, etc.) is unique and must be cherished. Even those who choose to pursue studies at the graduate level will never again be given the same kinds of experiences as may be found in the "Lawrence Bubble." Treat your time, yourself and this opportunity with respect and none of these resources will be wasted.” -Kassandra Kuehl, 2005
“1.) Talk to your professors. Go to office hours, ask questions that you think are trivial but may lead to bigger topics, and take advantage of opportunities to engage them--both about their field of study and about life in general.
2.) Try new things, even if they don't seem applicable to anything in particular. You never know--and only your future life will tell. You may find a treasure.
3.) Rely on yourself and be a good problem-solver, but also use your Lawrence resources. If something is wrong, talk to someone. Don't be afraid to reach out. Ironically, that's part of doing it for and by yourself.
4.) Acknowledge that failures are chances to build ourselves. Don't be too hard on yourself when things don't go perfectly or go downright poorly. Learning can be messy. Embrace the highs and the lows, and keep putting one foot in front of the other.
5.) Try to find things you really enjoy, whether they are small, everyday things or specific, well-defined extracurriculars or academic pursuits that make your heart sing. And then enjoy them.” -Kristin Kusmierek, 1990
“Take time for yourself. Self-care is extremely important to one's overall health and well-being. To be your best self you have to care for yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally. Courage is reaching out for help, support, or someone to talk to. Be sure to use the many resources at Lawrence to help you!” -Lauren Stinski, 2015
“Take care of yourself, always. I didn't figure it out until I was at the London Centre my junior year, with only two courses and an internship, but going to bed at a reasonable time and sleeping 6-8 hours a night is a game changer. It's hard, absolutely. As a music education major, I was always taking 30+ units per term, and juggling practice time with homework, ensembles, and everything else was stressful, but you have to prioritize your health. Whether it means getting an extension on a paper, or choosing not to take on an extra ensemble, or dropping an elective that looks so interesting, but adds six units to your courseload - do what you can to take care of yourself. Reach out to the on-campus counselors if you need it. Get a tutor. Ask your professors and advisors for help - they can't make accommodations if they don't know there's a problem! Find your friends and know that you are there for each other, because that is important. Schedule in some you time - my calendar today, as a 4th year teacher, still has time blocked out every day, to just take a minute for myself. Remember that it is okay to not have a 4.0 because you are not defined by numbers. It is okay to say no to extracurriculars if you need a minute to yourself. Above all - try new things and have fun. There are so many opportunities at Lawrence that could lead you toward your future career, or just a fun way to express yourself!” -Lauren Thompson, 2012/2013
“Plan time for yourself. This can things like playing a game, hanging out with friends or having some me time. Just plan that time out and take that time for yourself. Don't over work with yourself with studying. GRADES ARE NOT EVERYTHING. I know this is easier said then done, but try to do it. It something I would have liked to do.” -Lauren Welton-Arndt, 2017
“Develop a close relationship with one or two faculty members. Professors can be terrific mentors and can positively affect your professional future.” -Lee Galda Pellegrini, 1967
“Do not party so hard. If you feel depressed, anxious or overwhelmed, seek help. I was suffering from all of these, and back then, it was so badly stigmatized, I tried to manage on my own, and self-medicated. Put self-care first: eating healthily, getting enough rest, getting some exercise daily, even if it is just a walk, making healthy friendships, don't push yourself too hard; "no pain, no gain" and perfectionism don't work & can lead to burnout & a breakdown. I would advise against getting too involved in a romantic or sexual relationship right away, as many of my friends did, & it ended up derailing their academic and healthy friendship pursuits. If you decide to be in a sexual relationship, always use birth control & condoms, and do not feel pressured to be sexual and do anything you do not feel comfortable doing.Your same-gender, non-romantic friendships will be your most supportive & lasting. Not everyone is having sex; you might think they are, & feel pressured to, but as a matter of fact, many, many, many students are not. My best friends in life are still my LU friends from freshman year. Do not leave your drinks unattended when you go to the bathroom or get up to go anywhere at a bar or restaurant. Relax, realize no one is perfect, try to balance work & play. I would advise taking a wider variety of subjects in course, because you might think you know exactly what you want to study and who you want to be when you grow up, as several friends and myself believed at first, and you might find out that you really are more interested in other subjects, some you would never have imagined. Stay in touch with close family. Go home at least every once in awhile to reground and travel or go home with friends to learn about different places and people. If you feel like some weird person won't leave you alone, please tell your RA or someone in a position to help you. Check out the wide variety of extra-curriculars. Practice relaxation techniques like prayer, meditation, support groups, church and nourish your spiritual side. Remember to laugh a lot with friends & don't take yourself & life too seriously too much of the time. Good luck, God bless you & keep you, and take good care of yourselves always. Be gentle with yourselves, as for many of you this will be your first experience away from home and on your own. Make your dorm room your own, beautiful sacred space. As a close LU friend says, when stressed, "breathe, breathe, breathe".” -Linda Scrimenti, 1984
“Don't be afraid to ask for help and utilize the great resources Lawrence offers (Career Center, Office of Student Success, counseling services). Try a new class, activity, sport, etc. outside of your comfort zone; don't be afraid of not being good enough or not earning straight A's. Maintaining a perfect or nearly perfect GPA doesn't guarantee life or career success after college.” -Lindsay Browne, 2014
“Take classes from great professors, even if you don't think you're interested in the subject matter. A good professor (and Lawrence has so many!) can bring to life any subject and open you up to seeing a piece of the world in a new light.
Also, study abroad!” -Liz Marshall, 2009
“Take advantage of the "extra" events offered on campus: concerts, talks by famous people, plays, movies. They are a part of your education that is just as important as your classes. My regret is that I often stayed in on Sunday nights to study instead of going to the foreign films that were then scheduled for Sunday evenings. I wish I had seen more of them. I'm not saying, you should not study but try to schedule your time well so you can get a balanced education.” -Lois Lammers McNamara, 1963
“Don't lose track of your health and well-being chasing success and acomplishment. Yes, your grades are important. Your projects and performances are also important! However, you are also a limited human being and you matter. Your health matters. Your well-being matters. Your happiness matters. Your friendships matter.
These years of your life have the potential to be some of the most amazing and formative you will ever experience, but they are a small, ephemeral moment in a long journey. Don't burn yourself out worrying about how you are going to survive day to day. Take a breath and enjoy the moment. The worst moments, the struggles, the panic, the hardships will be over before you know it. If you don't stop every now and again to take a break, the best parts will be over before you know it too.
You will never get to live these moments again, so make amazing memories. Remember to sleep. Remember to eat (somewhat) healthy meals. Remember to make the occasional ridiculous decision with your friends. Go on adventures. Go to parties. Work hard, but play hard too. Make mistakes! Now is the best time to make them and to learn from them. The older you get, the harder it is to bounce back. After this your responsibilites will grow and grow, so enjoy this first step into adulthood. Enjoy this transitional moment where you still get to be a kid too. Take care of yourself like your your own parent, and remember to love yourself and believe in yourself too!” -Luna Rudd, 2011
“Enjoy that you have the chance to get an excellent education from an institution that cares about you. Stay focused, study hard, practice hard, set goals that are so big they scare you. If you make the most out of this opportunity you will go on to do great things.” -Madeline Herdeman, 2010
“Value your relationships with others. Ask for help if you are having a tough time academically or otherwise. Keep an open mind and be a good listenener. Explore different areas of study and learn to understand the connections between all areas of study. Begin to identify what you do with your free time and follow your passions. Begin to align these passions at Lawrence with classes, internships,extra curricular activities and later with an advanced degree and/or career path. Begin to identify your values and beliefs and stand up what you believe in. Lastly remember that mistakes are part of the learning process and be kind to yourself and others.” -Mark, 1987
“Treat every experience as a learning opportunity. Thinking back, I wouldn't change a thing about my experience because every aspect of it shaped the person I am today. Let your experiences shape you and be open to learning about YOURSELF through all the ups and downs and in-betweens. Maybe especially the in-betweens.” -Martha Growdon, 2003
“Make friends early and well. They will see you through a lot. And if the friendships don't work out, at least you were not alone in the beginning of your great adventure.” -Mary-Claire Vander Wal Barton, 1965
“Get involved in campus life! Whether it's a club, a sports team, or volunteering, getting involved will help you make new friends and have a more enriching experience. Take advantage of your professors' office hours. Every professor makes him/herself available outside of class time, so take advantage of that opportunity to get extra help or perhaps seek out advice on your next step after college. Go to the career center! They have wonderful classes and can help with getting your resume and cover letters in shape. And finally, stop and smell the roses once in while. I know college is challenging and stressful, but once you've graduated you'll realize what a wonderful place it was, too. You will probably never have an experience again where you'll get to know so many wonderfully diverse and intellectually stimulating peers, or have such incredible teachers and mentors. Going to Lawrence was one of the best decisions of my life, and I will always treasure my LU experience.” -Megan Hartmann, 2002
“Don't skip out on a convocation because you are worried you have too much school work to do. I remember how sad I was when I skipping a convocation to study then heard students talking about how amazing it was. I don't remember what I studied that day.” -Megan Walsh, 2000
“1) Prioritize being healthy. Eat well, get plenty of regular sleep, manage your stress, and exercise. You can't do your best academically if you don't feel well.
2) If you can, take one class each term that is different than the others. For instance, if you are a science major, take two science classes and an Art History class. This will help keep you on track to fulfilling your graduation requirements and help prevent burnout by forcing you to think about something different (and hopefully fun) on a regular basis.
3) Hang a dry erase board on the outside of your room door. At the start of each week write out your list of assignments to help keep you on track. As you do them, cross them off instead of erasing them. This way, you are shown your accomplishments and can see your progress through the week. Seeing the words "research paper" with a line through them has a much bigger impact on your self-esteem than simply erasing it and replacing it with a new assignment.
4) Attend all of your classes. This one sounds obvious, doesn't it? But for some reason people don't always do this. There is no substitute for being there in person, asking your own questions, and taking your own notes.” -Paul Sise, 1993
“Depending upon your life experiences up to the point you entered the Lawrence environment, the advice I offer you may not be relevant. But if you, as I, felt that your life was somewhat constricted, socially limited and/or culturally narrow up to the time you walked into the Lawrence milieu, then perhaps the perspective I can offer will be relevant to you.
One of the first things I would suggest is that you accept all bits of advice - including the one you're now reading - cautiously. I say that because I can't pretend to know the forces acting upon you, and that while well-intentioned, this is being written by someone who is likely out-of-touch with your generation's language, technology, values and perspective on the world. Hence, my ideas may not relate well to your place in time and "space." That being said, here are my thoughts:
-Use time wisely. Adhere to some schedule that gives you, in order of importance, sufficient: 1) sleep, 2) (prioritized) daily study time, 3) exercise, and 4) "free" time. Needless (?) to say, don't cut classes.
-Value new relationships and seek them out. Learning who you are - and who you will become - is aided immensely by seeing and hearing the behavior and ideas of others. Don't suffer fools, but not all who appear foolish at first glance are without merit. Listen more and talk less in conversations.
-You have and need time to make decisions, so don't be in a rush to identify a lifelong career, or even "the" major. Careers (including my own) often (have) take(n) turns and multiple "sidelines," and thus, can't be carefully planned out - especially within the four years of college. The rapid pace of change in technology is having massive effects on occupational roles, so it is vital that people demonstrate a flexibility to their career options.
-Have fun!” -Peter Burzynski, 1970
“Chase your dreams and your vocation with a long term outlook. It may not come immediately and you may go through some trials and tribulations, but always stay focused on it and your dreams will happen!” -Phil Young, 1981
“In a tight and very competitive job market, try to combine your skills and interests into a major field of study which offers good career opportunities. I probably would have majored in philosophy and had a minor in economics if I had wanted to be an attorney, for example. Take advantage of Lawrence's extracurricular activities--attend choral concerts and symphony performances, plays, sports, etc. Don't consume too many legal or illegal intoxicants and try to get along with your roommate(s). I hated my freshman roommate, and after Christmas break, our relationship improved considerably.” -Richard Herndon, 1979
“Don't let fear of failure keep you from thinking and acting in new ways.
Failure, reflected upon, is the richest soil for growth and development.” -Richard Olson, 1953
“Be kind and open to everyone there. (Or at least try to; not everyone will be receptive, but everyone deserves the opportunity to be). Though I loved the Lawrence experience I had, my greatest regret about my time there is that I drew boundaries that closed myself off to too many people. The narcissism of small differences may cause you to demonize the people in that dorm or club or whatever kind of group or idea you’re defining yourself against; but when you leave Lawrence you see what a bond it is to have shared this small and excellent community with its admirable values, and what a meaningful connection that is in the larger world. Lawrence and the liberal arts are about the open mind; you’ll have a vastly better experience if you open your heart, as well.” -Rick Moser, 1983
“- Build a strong framework for good grades early in term. Go to the first five classes without fail. Try to sit in the front row and make sure you're on time, dressed in clean, not weird clothes, and aren't sleepy. Your referral from this professor matters and first impressions count. By the 5th class your prof should know who you are! Professional Relationships matter more information you learn.
- Know that Lawrence is on Trimesters (was so in 1990s: is it still?) and if you want to transfer you might get screwed by that system: If you're going to transfer to another college, the window is really after your freshman year - otherwise you're throwing away money and time. Everyone else is on semesters. learn the difference.
- If you're not already an athlete, take up a sport - at least on a recreational level. If you are - try a different one which you're not good at. Rowing is a great option.
- There are lots of beautiful people available in the fall. Take it slow, Romeo.
- Get a campus or town job quick: there are a lot of needs which you can fill this time of year. Later in the year, they're booked up. A Liberal Arts education is not going to give you a technical degree - being a good employee for a place which needs you should be a part of your liberal education even if you're not immediately in need of money. A good referral is more valuable in the long run than the money you'll make today.” -Roger Duncan, 1994
“1. Have fun.
2. Take courses that expand your interests. Don’t stick to the safe stuff.
3. Help yourself know yourself better by the time you leave.” -Roxane F McLean, 1963
“Try as many different activities and courses as you can (within reason!) - you will never have this opportunity again and you never know what you might discover about yourself in the process.” -Rustam Roy, 1993
“Schedule 'off' time. It seems counterintuitive, but you will be way more stressed and way less productive if you're thinking about work constantly. Find a block of time every week where you don't have to even think about doing anything!” -Sarah Coffman, 2016
“The friendships you invest in at LU will be life-long, so truly enjoy growing and learning with the amazing people you’ll share classes and time with during your Lawrence adventures on campus, in Door County, abroad, and anywhere else you’ll be together. After LU, your friends will be there for your bright and dark times. Your LU friendships are unlike any others that you’ll experience, so honor these as you honor the education you’ll be pursuing.” -Sarah Emanuelson Cochran, 1995
“Enjoy your time at Lawrence! It will go by far too quickly. Take time to try out different clubs and student groups. You will think you are too busy, but just do it. Travel abroad if you can. I didn't think I had the time and it's one of my only regrets about my college experience. Take naps. Eat vegetables every once in awhile. Call your mom.” -Sarah Phelps, 2007
“To take advantage of every opportunity that you are afraid or nervous to take. You never know where it will lead you and Lawrence gives you plenty of ways to grow in leadership, personal achievement and as good human beings. The opportunities you're scared take, are the ones you probably need the most. Don't fear failure!” -Shannon Murray, 2013
“Be open to friendships. I mean, don't be a pushover -- set your own boundaries -- but there are so many cool people here, more open to friendship than at any other time in your life. My college friends are still my bedrock, my chosen family, and we are all grateful we were open to our sometimes clumsy overtures of friendship. Also, never forget that you have to make money after graduation. Get internships, volunteer, and at the very least minor in something a bit more marketable (e.g., science, econ, or math) because most employers don't understand what a liberal arts background really means. Also, understand that you will inevitably serve as an ambassador for the liberal arts because, in general, most people post-LU won't totally understand the amazing experience and education you're about to have.” -Shaunna Schultz, 2007
“Think about how what you think might be wrong. Get comfortable not knowing everything. Ask more than answer. Open up your mind instead of your mouth. Think but don't over think. Be brave. Oh, and have fun.” -Spencer Neitzel, 2009
“Make the most of your advisor or advisors, and check in with them during office hours when you can, even if it's just to chat for a couple of minutes. If you are doing a dual major, try to have your advisors meet together with you at least once per year so that you can ensure that you have planned out your classes for both majors in such a way that you'll be able to explore some other classes and have a bit of fun. Also, I had a great experience by getting through the requirements for my major early on, which opened up my Junior and Senior year for other classes (like Ceramics!) that were amazing and would've otherwise been hard to fit into my schedule.” -Stephanie Martin, 2009
“To get the most from each class, always read the daily assignment before the class. Don't let a problem with one assignment interfere with doing the above for the other classes. Get help instead!” -Stephen Graham, 1969
“While at Lawrence make sure you get involved with something outside academics and your major and possibly off campus. I worked in the admissions office as a tour guide, served as a big brother to a grade school student who lived and went to school close to campus and taught Sunday School at a nearby church. You'll likely enjoy the activity a great deal and appear more well-rounded on applications you submit for jobs and/or graduate school.” -Steve Swets, 1973
“Get to know your Residence Life Advisor. Make use of the social services the University offers. Sit at a table of students you don't know and share a meal. When you have time, explore!” -Ted Katzoff, 1965
“Make friends progressively in-class.” -Teresa Hardison, 2008
“Be sure to visit the Career Services office when you first arrive at Lawrence and find a “buddy” on the team - and be a frequent visitor. They are a great resource and can help you think about how to make your four years at Lawrence even more relevant for your future and your future career. Get involved with on-campus and off-campus opportunities - for sure line up as many internship experiences as possible (either paid or in-paid) during your four years.” -Terry Franke, 1968
“I would say the most helpful thing I learned at Lawrence was to let go of the expectation that all my classes needed to be "relevant" to my major. Some of the most insightful classes I took had absolutely nothing to do with my degree. From Intro to Ethnomusicology to Physics of Music to Black, Brown, and Queer on Film, there are so many interesting and thought-provoking classes that honestly, you shouldn't just stay in your own academic lane or in the culture with which you're most familiar. Especially if you don't know what you want to major in (which hey, I definitely didn't know either for a while), this is the perfect time and place to discover passions. When else will you be able to learn about Parasitology and Balinese Gamelan all in the same term? The more you try new things, the more you'll uncover the academic route you want to go down. And even if you already know you want to be an Economics major, go out and take Dean and Leila Pertl's Deep Listening Lab – it may link back and influence how you think about the rest of your classes in ways you never would have imagined. So go scroll through that course catalog, and pick a topic you've never heard of before! You'll be happy you did.” -Torrey Smith, 2017
“Take classes outside your major and/or your comfort zone!! Doing so will enhance your intellectual development and open different horizons. It can also inform what you bring to classes within your major. You might even find a passion for something you didn't even know you were fascinated by. Also, attend lectures, plays, operas, events, convocations, anything that will expose you to new ideas or give you that chance to explore something different. And enjoy every minute of your Lawrence experience. The older you get, the more you will come to appreciate the gift of a Lawrence education! Good luck and have fun!” -Victoria Runnoe, 1983
“Make sure to care for all 3 areas of your person, the body mind and spirit. Athletes, musicians, researchers, will all find it much more difficult to concentrate on studies when they are in pain or discomfort. Take care to be healthy as possible. That all-nighter for studies or pleasure can put you a week behind, and in that 10 week trimester, that is 10 % of your effort in courses. The same for you spiritual side. Be happy with yourself, and your relationship with your God and others, and you will find it easier to collaborate, concentrate, and be content.” -Walter Deutsch, 1078