Hi, me, Rebekah Lackey, again!
In this post, I am going to talk about a not so fun topic: stress. I would really like to tell you that college isn’t stressful, but I can’t do that. College is a fairly large life change, and while this change is very good, it can result in feelings of being utterly overwhelmed. The good news, however, is that I am going to give you some ideas on how to relieve this feeling!
Take Care of YOU
My first tip would be to take care of your body physically. This means exercising in some fashion. It doesn’t have to be anything strenuous. Take a walk, go swimming, do some yoga, something of that nature. You cannot forget to eat well throughout the day (do NOT skip meals like I tend to do). Also, please, please be getting enough sleep. I promise you that while pulling an all-nighter trying to cram for an exam might seem like a good idea, it will not be beneficial to you.
Lay Out the Game Plan
Next, make a plan and write it down. Between assignments, papers, exams, student organizations, and having a social life, your days can get busy! Get a planner (you’ll get one from the Terry Foundation) and actually use it! At the beginning of each semester, I look at each syllabus and write every assignment and test date that’s available. I like to color code each of my things to keep it more organized.
Before each week, I try to come up with a game plan on what I need to work on each day, and divide the workload out throughout the week so I’m not so stressed at the end. I don’t always get this weekly plan written, but I can guarantee that the weeks I do have one, I’m not as overwhelmed.
Make time for yourself, and do things you enjoy. For me, it was painting (and taking lots of trips to Sonic with my roommates). Maybe for you it would be working out, or hanging out with your friends, or reading a book, or even just taking a nap. Remember that it is okay to take a break from your school work, and life in general, to decompress. It’s not a bad thing to focus on yourself for a little bit.
Talk it Out
One of the most important things in my opinion is to take care of yourself emotionally and mentally. Stress can take a big toll on you, and please just know that you are not alone. Do not be hesitant to reach out to your family, your friends, and your fellow Terry’s. These are people who genuinely care about you and your well-being, so talk to these people if you’re struggling! You will be living in a hallway full of Terry’s that are probably struggling just as much, so help each other! Venting can do a whole lot of good. In turn, if you see another Terry (or anyone for that matter) struggling, do not be afraid to check on them and make sure they’re okay.
People come to college to get a quality education to later on become successful in a career. But, college isn’t just all about that part. College is a new and challenging experience. You learn things about life and about yourself. It’s fun and exciting, and it really will be some of the best times you’ve had.
Stress makes it hard to learn and experience and enjoy those things though.
So, having said that, my final words of advice are this:
Remember that your grades don’t define you as a person;
Remember to never be afraid to say “help;”
Remember to take good, loving care of yourself because you are worth it.
You’re about to attack an army of savage barbarians.
They stand 7 feet tall, are bloodthirsty and carry weapons far superior to yours. Oh yeah, and you’re outnumbered 3 to 1. But you’ve got to do it. If you don’t, they’re going to invade your village soon and destroy everything you love, including your family.
Standing on the shores of their land, you look back at your men who are all shaking in their boots. Each one of them being careful not stray too far from the boats as they await your command.
You’re grateful for those boats. They’re your safe haven. You can still turn back you know. You could also start the fight and run back to the boats if everything goes awry.
Suddenly you realize that you’re doomed to die unless you take decisive action as a leader. You walk over to the boats and burn them. Some of your men faint in a total panic; others begin splashing water on the boats to try and put the fire out.
But it’s no use. You’re stuck here.
Now what? You’re men look at you with an eye of desperation and sheer dependence. The only thing to do now is march forward and find a way to make it work.
That's why we burn the boats when we land on the beach.
Because the only way out is through
You want to win at "doing" college. I want you do do well too. That’s why I’m here with you. But you’ll never win if you’re taking a half-baked approach.
If you’re going to build a legacy, set the standard, leave your mark - you need to burn the boats. .
It's pretty easy to bail out of a course (especially an "easy A" online course that no one even knows you signed up for). Easy to quit your job, not follow through with your commitments, or give up on a relationship.
In the moment, walking out is precisely the best short-term strategy. Sometimes this place is too hard, too unpleasant, too much...
The thing is, though, that the long-term strategy might be the opposite. The best long-term approach might be to learn something, to tough it out, to engage with the challenge. Because once you get through this, you'll be different. Better.
We always have a choice, but often, it's a good idea to act as if we don't.
The only thing to do now is march forward and find a way to make it work.
by Megan Foltz Crawford
So, you’re going to college. Are you nervous? You should be. College is a huge opportunity! But, it gets better! You are a Terry Scholar! Howard Terry was blessed with a football scholarship to the University of Texas and then wanted to pass his blessing on to all of us! The only thing you must do is give back. Simple enough. You’ve obviously have had experience giving back, since that was one of the requirements to being a candidate for a Terry Scholarship. (Know what the requirements are because you will be asked at orientation.) But, wait have you thought about yourself? There is a Terry type, one who cares about others and only wishes to make the world a better place.
Rule One: Be yourself. Always.
“The greatest risk any of us will take, is to be as we are.” -Cinderella
I came to college with the idea I had it together, and my entire small town also thought I had it together. That wasn’t the case. I was an emotional mess and held everything in. I mean everything. I only told people what they needed to know and I did not need help from anyone. I was wrong. I didn’t even know myself, because I had never shared my true self at the risk of others judging me. Once I meet my Terry family (Shout out to y’all!) I was finally able to open up and be the person God wanted me to be.
Rule Two: Take care of yourself
1. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Everyone has opportunities, you have to swallow your pride and admit there is an issue.
2. Utilize your professors office hours. I know its heard all the time, but your professor can clarify things in a one on one setting better than maybe as a class. Plus it gives the professor the opportunity to get to know you.
3. Use your planner, and stick to it. Your Terry planner or any planner for that matter, is your biggest ally. You can plan your semester, and ensure you don't miss any due dates.
4. Network with others in your major. The Terry organization is filled with some of the brightest minds the university has to offer traditional and transfers alike. The individuals in your major can help you with everything from creating study groups to choosing the best professors.
5. Don't spend so much time studying that you forget to rest. This was a huge lesson I learned during my 1st semester. If your are not getting enough rest, it won't matter how much your cram for an exam, you will be too tired to remember any of it.
6. Join student organizations. There are student organization for everyone at Tech not matter who you are. I learned first hand how beneficial some of these can be, especially events that are designed for first generation students.
7. Do any and all extra credit that is given. Some professors don't really care to give extra credit, but when they do its wise to take advantage of it. Trust me you will not regret it. Some professor even use the extra credit as an add on to your final average. This can me the difference in a one letter grade.
8. Go to Class. You will hear this often, but really attend class unless there is a necessary reason for you to be absent. Professors may not take roll as they do in community college, but they know who shows up for class, and who doesn't.
9. Visit with Heather often. She loves visitors Especially Terry visitors, plus she can give you some great advice when things get tough. Picture her as your Texas Tech mom.
10. Set free time aside to catch a game at tech, watch a movie, or just read a book. You will truly go insane by studying too much.
For some of you, moving in at the end of the month will only be a short drive from home, from family, from friends, from familiarity. For others, Murray Hall might be five, six, even eight or more hours from home. But for all of you, stepping foot into your new residence will be a step into a great unknown, and although you will each be presented with the same challenge to face, you will each surmount that challenge in twenty-eight beautiful, messy, gloriously unique ways.
Although you are constantly directed by family, mentors, and professors to seek advice from older students, and you should, there are some lessons you can only learn from experience-- an idea which is both formidable and appealing. Whether it be learning how to do your own laundry, schedule a doctor's appointment, manage your time, or make thirty dollars last you thirty days (let's hope it doesn't come down to that), these lessons will be exhausting, hard to swallow, and sometimes seemingly impossible-- but they will help you grow as both a student and an individual. When these lessons present themselves as mountainous obstacles, take them in stride knowing that you are not the first to do so, nor will you be the last.
You must also know that the high expectations of family, former teachers, and your community that rest on your shoulders are the product of your many successes and as such should be regarded with pride. However, when these successes become your whole world, they become a very load to bear. Remember that despite carrying the whole world, even Atlas had to stand somewhere, and he had to have a horizon to look towards. Do not let your former failures or glories become the heaviness of self-doubt or contentment. You have a whole new world before you. Your challenges and obstacles may seem to tower before you, but they should not be allowed to block your from looking towards your goals. Rather, they should be a vantage point, a checkpoint; you must only dedicate yourself to conquering them.
In doing so you may stumble, you may have to pause for breath, you might even hit the ground. But never let yourself fall backwards, and never, ever give up.
There will be helping hands along the way (your fellow Terrys among them) to steady you when you falter in your journey, but the journey is yours alone. No matter how heavy your burden, how slow your pace, do not look away from your destination. With time, effort, and dedication, you will reach your end goal-- and have the memories of every laugh, tear, smile, defeat, and victory to look back on.
by Tyler Seale
How is it difference than what you expected?
Life at Texas Tech is much different than community college. I can recall being able to put off an assignment to the last minute, and still being able to get it completed on time without issues. That is not the case at Tech. Procrastination is one of your biggest enemies, and will ultimately make the college horrific.
What do you wish someone would have told you?
I wish someone had told me about specific classes to take for my major. I found myself in a science class that I did not need, and I really struggled with that course. Also knowing which professors to take would have been beneficial.
Where/How do you study? How is it different than high school/college?
I prefer to study at the library. I found out that if I'm at home studying its much easier for me to get in bed an fall asleep. I also try to stay clear of music if I'm having to do any reading as it takes away from my concentration. Everyone is different so find a spot that you like. Also keep in mind that the Library at Tech, is so much different than what you would expect from your library at high school or community college. (ITS NOT QUIET).
What do love most about college/Texas Tech?
Football season is crazy fun. This will be some of the best memories you will have at Tech. I like to think we have the prettiest campus around, and you will quickly feel at home here. Your fellow Terry's will be some of the best friends you will meet in college.
What are you looking forward to during college/after graduation?
I look forward to getting a big boy job after graduation. It will make the 4 years of all nighters, exams, homework worth it.
The first of which is that I made one of the best mistakes ever by not going straight into college from High School. For me, and probably many others out there, I wanted to both experience the world and go to college. Not that it is impossible to do both simultaneously but I think I would have fallen in love with the idea of traveling if I did it during college and dropped out. Instead, I joined the military and gained countless experiences that helped shaped me into the person I am today.
Another nugget of wisdom I wish I knew before coming back to college is what exactly the “Terry Family” really is. I have a family of my own, and as a non-traditional student I immediately said to myself “Self,” (cause that’s how we all do it, right?) “you don’t have time or a need for the Terry Family, I mean I’m sure they are great and all but…” BIG MISTAKE! The Terry Family is more than just a bunch of people getting together for some meetings and saying the superficial “Hello” or “How are you?” It is a group of people who genuinely care for each other and are ALWAYS happy to help you with anything. Coming from the military I have a relatively jaded view of the people/world we live in, and of course any group with have those people but the Terry’s are exceptionally awesome! I have only been in school for a semester now and I can tell you already that I will keep in touch with more Terry’s than I will any other group.
To sum it up into a few words I’ll close with this; When you hear “get involved” don’t look for a reason to not dive in headfirst with the Terry Family. That is a mistake, especially for my fellow transfers. Despite having experienced a little bit more of life outside the comfort of home, the one thing you should have learned by now is that the people in your dugout is what makes the difference between a losing team and a championship team.
As a community of Terry Scholars, we have it good too. We work together and we support each other. One of our community needs some support. Mike Ruiz, a 2014 Transfer Scholar, is a member of the LPD. This morning Officer Ruiz said it was an emotional day for the department as they mourn, reassess, and plan. As the day went on, people from the community came to the station to drop off items showing their support. The briefing room tables were quickly covered with cookies, doughnuts, flowers – outward symbols of community support.
During a press conference this morning after sniper attack, Dallas Police Chief said, “'We don't feel much support most days. Let's not make today most days.”
Today doesn’t need to be most days for our Terry Family.
Michael Ruiz, we thank you for your leadership and your service.
- Orientation and Choosing Classes
- Sign up for the first orientation
ii.Orientation crew will still be excited about new students, and excited to be part of the crew.
- Consider coming to orientation without your parents.
ii.Don’t let your parents pick your classes.
iii.Everyone is different, if you think you can’t do it without your parents don’t hesitate to bring them along.
- Consider what buildings your classes will be in and where on campus they are.
- Consider having breaks in between classes.
ii.This is also a great time to finish up homework for the afternoon class that you were too tired to finish the night before. (I have never finished an assignment ten minutes before class started, wink, wink.)
iii.Perfect time for that mid day nap if you live in the dorms.
- Don’t listen to everything your advisor tells you.
ii.My best advising has come from older students with the same major, and they will tell you exactly what professors to take by there experience, most advisors will tell you all the professors are great (News Flash: They aren’t).
- Don’t take all your hard classes all in one semester.
ii.Write out you plan to graduate and try to sprinkle blow out classes throughout your hard semester so you don’t go crazy.
iii.No sleep, enough said.
- Don’t take all your easy classes in one semester.
- Consider taking online classes not relevant to your major.
ii.I am taking Political Science online currently and I have worked a total of approximately 1 hour on it and I’m done with about 3 lessons.
- Consider testing out of classes not relevant to your major.
- Buy the books you know you will need before class starts.
ii.I have never ordered a book online, I would probably have a mental breakdown, but I have seen others who have and nothing is worse than not being able to your homework because your book hasn’t come in yet. Moral of the story: order online with caution.
- Getting Involved
- Make as many commitments as you can handle as long as you are enjoying them.
ii.If you can manage your time and are enjoying yourself, go for it!
- Don’t continue with an organization if it makes you miserable, no matter how good it looks on you resume.
ii.Your time is too precious to spend on something that’s not enjoyable.
iii.There are too many organizations on campus to spend with one that is not making you happy.
- Get involved with organizations relevant to your major.
ii.You should enjoy these since it is relevant to your chosen field.
- Get involved with organizations not relevant to your major.
ii.Take something that you love from high school or an outside passion and join a related group, and just have fun.
- Relationships with Professors
- GO TO OFFICE HOURS, especially if you are having trouble in class.
ii.You will see yourself improve in class.
iii.This will put a name to a face if you are in a large class.
iv.Don’t show up before the day of a test or a week before the end of the semester.
- Don’t be afraid to email your professor.
- Learn how to write a professional email.
ii.Don’t email the day before a test asking for help or copies of notes. It won’t go over well.
iii.Be Professional, you are emailing a professor, not your buddy from summer camp.
- Ask professors who know you personally for a recommendation letter.
ii.Don’t ask a professor for a recommendation letter if you made a poor grade in the class.
- They are here to help you learn, but they won’t do the work for you.
ii.Professors are not teachers; they are they to give you the information, it is your job to learn the material.
- Don’t go asking for help a week before finals.
- Study Abroad
- It’s never too early to start thinking about study abroad.
ii.The earlier you start is the easier it will be to get all the paperwork together and plan your graduation with study abroad included.
- Get a passport.
- Don’t wait too long to decide to study abroad.
- Don’t be afraid to explore a new place on your own.
ii.The world isn’t safe. Be cautious at all times.
iii.Your parents will worry about you whether you are 15 miles away or 5,000 miles away.
- Other little bits of advice
- Don’t be afraid to change your mind.
- Make a professional college resume.
ii.Should only be one page, and only one.
- No one in college cares if you won jv district tennis freshman year of high school.
iv.Make a basic resume that you can change if to fit an array of positions you may apply for.
- Find a older student with your major to mentor you.
ii.Having a mentor gives you someone to ask questions, and give encouragement when you don’t know what you are doing with your life.
ii.Keep track of all volunteering, shadowing, and internships you do.
- You think you will remember all of the times and dates you volunteer, trust me you won’t. I tried.
- Apply, Apply, Apply.
ii.Apply for positions as soon as possible so you don’t have to rush. I have extensive experience with application deadlines, and it is not an enjoyable experience.
iii.Use old essays if possible, will make writing 10 application essays a lot easier.
- Don’t send the same essay to the same organization twice.
- Give honest answers on applications and in interviews.
ii.The more honest and personable you are the more likely you are to get the position.
iii.Interviewers want a hard worker that can be an asset to the organization, not a robot that can recite an answer word for word.
- Have a go to professional business outfit, and a business casual outfit.
- Consider how casual or professional the event/interview will be, and when in doubt always go nicer.
- As Oscar Wilde said, “ You can never be overdressed or over educated,” but it is somewhat embarrassing to show up to a casual interview for a summer camp in a suit and tie.
- Save everything.
ii.Save every essay you write, because prompts repeat, and you will often be able to piece together a completely new essay from all the things you have already written, and save a lot of brainpower.
- Live in the dorms if at all possible.
ii.Dorms are a great transition from living with your parents, to living by yourself with roommates in an apartment.
- Don’t be afraid to go to the rec.
ii.Yes, you won’t be the most fit person there, but most people are just like you with the goal of just getting more in shape.
iii.Avoid the freshman 15. Enough said.
- Read your Tech Announce.
ii.Most of the time it is useless (like how to purchase Sesame Street Live tickets (Has actually been on the Tech Announce)), but sometimes you find a really awesome event or opportunity that you would not have known about otherwise.
- Use a planner.
ii.I love to color code my planner depending on the event/due date and it really helps me get a overall picture of what I have on my plate that week.
ii.Find people and resources the will help you on your journey to success.
- Find a place on campus you love to study at.
ii.It can be in your dorm room, the library, the SUB, or the math building. The list goes on and on. Just pick an environment that gets those creative juices flowing.
iii.When you get to this place, you know it is an environment where you can get things done.
iv.Consider Internet connection when finding your go to study area.
- Get enough sleep.
ii.How can you ace that math test tomorrow if you have stayed up until 3 am every day for the last week.
- Don’t forget to have time for yourself.
ii.This can include anything from dinner with friends, going to the rec, video games, reading, Netflix, or whatever else you do for relaxation.
- Go to sporting events.
ii.Football games are awesome no matter who you are.
- Throw tortillas (I have not, but I really want to, they are one of my favorite parts of football games).
- A lot of people dress up for football games, but games are just as fun in shorts and a t-shirt, and more confortable.
- If you want to dress up, do it. I commend you.
- Make time for a social life.
ii.Of course you can keep up with high school friends, but there are over 30,000 people on campus, so go make a new friend.
- Be yourself.
ii.Go be who you want to be.
- If that means reinventing yourself, do it. If it means being a better version of your high school self, do it. No one is telling you who to be and how to live, so do and be what you want.
Well-being is often thought of as only pertaining to physical health. But it isn’t just physical; it’s also mental and emotional. College is rough, hectic and incredibly stressful. It’s important to take time out for yourself. All of this, and then some, is something that I wish I could have implemented in the beginning of my college life.
Make yourself a routine and give yourself 3 days out of the week that you will for sure exercise. Exercise has been shown to have some pretty important benefits to a person, all of which are vital for any college kid.
I’m not going to preach it like I’m yo’ momma, but, eating well is truly important. Sure, you might not gain the Freshmen 15 since Tech is so ridiculously huge and you could walk off anything terrible you ate a lunch, but, remember: what you put in is what you get out. If you find yourself in a stressful situation and then you have a cookie in your hand, switch that out for some strawberries or a banana. It is best to eat fruits instead of processed sweets. I switched to drinking a fruit protein shake when I had a craving while doing schoolwork.
Filling my body with crap left me tired and feeling gross. The better you eat, the better you will feel. It takes a few weeks, but you will overall feel much better.
Some ways you can eat well in college is to invest in a crock-pot and scour Pinterest for recipes. Pinterest is an amazing resource for a lot of clean, healthy crockpot recipes that are ridiculously easy to make. So easy a caveman could do it!
Invest in a multivitamin and a probiotic. Obviously, I’m not a doctor…nor am I even pre-med. I’m purely going off what my mom has told me to do since basically infancy. Multivitamins will help make up anything you might be lacking in your diet, and probiotics will build up the good bacteria in your body so you won’t get all the cyclical sickness that seem to plague Lubbock around test time. Every year, it’s been the same stuff because we tend to sleep less and not eat a balanced diet. When you sleep, your body has time to repair itself, which is essential to healing. Best way to deal with it is to prevent it!
Make sure you sleep!
Mental and Emotional Health
Just because you’re in college doesn’t mean you can’t have time for fun. It is important that you do so! Make sure you go out, paint the town red (within reason, of course) and bask in those moments when school isn’t the only thing on your mind. The trick here is balance; don’t let your academics suffer.
Emotional health ties in with your mental health (duh). If you find yourself buckling down under the stress, take a time out in a way that best suits you. Some suggestions are going to the gym, immersing yourself in a favorite hobby or embrace the latest craze and grab a coloring book and color away. If you feel yourself slipping, know that your Terry Family is ALWAYS there to help you in any way that we can.