Today I want to share 10 things I think all students should do while they are at Wake, in no particular order.
1. Smell the magnolias when they are in full bloom. Preferably when it is just getting dark outside, when they seem to be extra lush. In a similar vein, go to the rose garden in Reynolda Gardens when they are in season.
2. Get to know at least one faculty member (or administrator) really well. Someone you can go to for academic issues, personal advice, etc. The faculty here care and they want to know you – so be sure to forge those relationships.
3. Fall in love at least once while you are here. It’s OK if it ends, is messy, or doesn’t last forever. We learn what we want and need in relationships by being in them and seeing what works for us – and what doesn’t. Our campus is a beautiful place to be in love.
4. Find a special study place just for you. That could be a hidden nook and cranny of the ZSR, or in an administrative building after hours, or under a particular tree on Davis Field that no one uses but you. It’s nice to have a place that feels like it is your spot and your spot only.
5. Marvel at the fall foliage. Fall is incredibly beautiful on campus, and with so many trees (of various types), you can see all kinds of dazzling colors. Bonus points if you walk to see all the trees in Reynolda Gardens. Double bonus points if you go up to Pilot Mountain during the fall.
6. Spend time learning about yourself. This is the first time most of our students are on their own, away from family and their high school friends. It’s time to start asking yourself questions like who am I? what was I put on earth to do? what matters to me? what do I want to do with my life? The more time you get to know yourself and what you value, the more purposeful you can be with every choice you make as you plan your future.
7. Find a place/activity you enjoy to treat yourself when you need it. That could be having a regular off-campus restaurant you go for a splurge meal, or a shop that sells something you like, or any place that makes you calm and happy.
8. Make at least one best friend. Someone you can confide in, and trust completely, and that you love like a sister/brother. You don’t need to have tons of friends – just a few you can count on no matter what. (And P’24s, remind your students that it takes time to make friends! Tell them not to panic that they don’t have a best friend by September 1st).
9. Enjoy a crisp fall night with a full moon. Pick your spot – whether that is sitting on the rocking chairs on the Mag Patio or on the steps of Wait Chapel – and watch the moon come up and light the campus.
10. Stay up late with friends talking about Life’s Big Issues. You can pick the topic – the existence of God, political systems, the ethics of X or Y, etc. But chew on those big topics. Bonus if done over pizza. Double bonus if you do this with people from different backgrounds or worldviews (you’ll learn more).
There are many more magical ways to spend your time on campus. These are just a few suggestions. Your Deacs will find their own path.
— by Betsy Chapman, Ph.D. (’92, MA ’94)
Categories: the daily deac