You have college at your fingertips. You can major and do anything. Never take 18 hours, ever; take a class just for fun; cherish the time with your friends; make older friends. Never let your age stop you from getting involved. Don’t take yourself too seriously, but find that balance of caring for you. Be confident. Learn how to pull an all-nighter, but never do them often. Take personal time and take naps. Have a sleep schedule; don’t eat out every day. Learn to cook; learn to clean. Recognize you are about to experience one of the best times in your and sometimes the worst. Get ready; embrace these years. It will go faster than you can imagine.
Some days, you’re going to hate this place. You’re going to wonder if it was all worth it, or feel like you’re standing still, frozen, in the wrong place as the world crashes around you. Some days, you’re going to be so happy you can hardly contain it. You’ll sit in the Quad and close your eyes against the sun and feel like you could live there, right there, in your perfect spot. All of this is normal. Most of it is powered by coffee or black tea. Please, understand that all of this matters and at the same time, matters not at all. Find your balance; find your happiness. No one else’s. Throughout college, I’ve been a leader in two organizations, landed three internships and maintained my 4.0 GPA, and I couldn’t have done it without feeling those ways and every other way in between.
If there’s one guarantee at this institution, it’s that you won’t leave here as the same person that entered. The key thing to remaining successful and happy here is to get involved on campus. That was the mistake I made in my first year. Find an organization that interests you, and you won’t regret it. You’ll end up with new friends, interesting experiences and a better idea of what you will do with your future. Most importantly though, be the kind of person that makes people say, “There’s a frood who knows where his towel is.”
Assistant news editor
College is where you make life-long friends, take amazing courses, meet some of the most influential teachers and mentors of your life and simply have fun. At the same time, everything you believe will be questioned, lines will be blurred, and you will have to decide who you are. But don’t be afraid to confront these issues and discover yourself. You will be amazed by what you uncover and what is waiting for you at the end. Good luck on your journey.
Assistant News Editor
In my years at MTSU, I learned that in order to truly live, I must do what makes me most afraid. We often spend our lives afraid to take chances, but my time here has showed me that you can’t get anywhere without facing your fears, and ignoring the people who think you aren’t good enough. Be bold.
The two best decisions I’ve made throughout college is taking a position as features editor for Sidelines and traveling abroad. I’m a senior, and a year ago I couldn’t say I had done either of those things. If I could reverse time, I would have started writing for the paper a lot sooner than I did, and I would have left the country for school credit at least twice. There are a lot of opportunities for college students, and the closer I get to graduating, the more I wish I had taken larger risks from day one. Either way, college experience outside the classroom has been the most memorable for me.
Assistant A&E Editor & Assistant Features Editor
I leave MTSU with knowledge, friendships and life lessons that will affect and stay with me for a lifetime. These years of my life saw many changes and growth, and while a part of me is sad to go, I know that the best is only yet to come. My college experience here has been invaluable and has served as the perfect platform to enter “the real world” and build a life that I’m proud of. I’ll never forget these times, but I can’t wait to move forward and show the world what I can do.
What I’ve learned in college:
1. Get Netflix
2. Learn to love coffee
3. Skipping an assignment to do something fun is okay sometimes
4. Nacho’s has the best $3 margaritas in town
5. Most place give student discounts
6. Spend less time on social media
7. Don’t let stress get you down
8. Subscribe to a magazine, stay smart
9. Buy things on sale so you can eat
10. Go to local shows often
John Connor Coulston
Assistant A&E Editor
After my first year here, I have to say, I’m glad I chose to attend MTSU. All the opportunities presented to me helped me find my passion, my career aspirations and great friends along the way. My advice to any incoming freshman is to not be afraid to jump right in and get involved on campus. It’s college; enjoy yourself while you can.
If my time at MTSU taught me anything, it’s to do your own thing. Don’t let anyone make your decisions for you. Pursue what makes you happy, and above all else, always believe in yourself and your abilities. If all else fails, fake it till you make it and have fun while you’re at it. #yolo
Assistant Sports Editor
MTSU has so much to offer you as an incoming freshman, and it is vitally important to get involved early. Middle Tennessee taught me how to become an active student and to not be the individual who waits for things to be handed to them. For every incoming freshman, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Be an active, engaging student on campus and strive to meet your dreams and goals, but enjoy the college experience at the same time.
If I wrote this like most advice, you’d read it, smile, fill with glittery thoughts and then forget it forever. Instead, I wanted to be real with you, so here it goes. In college, people are going to say, “Find your passion,” and “Do what you love,” and you’ll feel lost because, in reality, that’s a bunch of B.S. Don’t wait for that mythical day where you find your ever-elusive passions. Go out and take action. Your past doesn’t matter anymore; your future is all that does. Realize that you’re in complete control. Life is yours for the taking. Go get it. Seriously, stop reading this. Go do what you’ve been putting off.
Study abroad. Study Abroad. Study Abroad. Cross-cultural exchanges cause you to grow and learn. They are challenging and enlightening and worth it. I spent a month in volunteering in Haiti and a week mapping ethnic neighborhoods in Toronto, and every minute of it taught me. Become a part of something beautiful. Junior year, I volunteered with Nashville International Center for Empowerment for a photography project. NICE resettles refugees, so I had the high honor and privilege of shooting first arrivals, ESL classes and a graduation. I have learned to chase stories and dreams here; to live, learn and grow here. Now it’s your turn
College is probably less fun and more work than you thought it would be, so make time for you. Protect your mental health at all costs. Sleep like someone’s paying you to do it. Learn how to be alone with yourself. Stock your Netflix queue. Do not be afraid to end toxic relationships. Learn the value of reliable WiFi and allowing people to see you in sweatpants. Listen to Nicki Minaj. Survive.
Of all the things I learned at MTSU, one of the most important is that you have to make time to do something other than work. Even though I have dedicated the majority of a year to Sidelines, everyone on staff has become like family. To those who are graduating, I’ve loved working with you, and good luck in wherever you go next. To those who are staying, here’s to making next year one of the best.