Editor gives advice for college survival, success for first-year students

Nate Billings - Executive Editor

Nate Billings – Executive Editor

Some time ago in a place not so far away, Dark Helmet bottled up his anger and frustration until it exploded in an all-out fight to the finish with Lonestar. The finale could have been avoided if Helmet had taken a few precautions in his personal matters.

What does this scenario mean to an editorial column?

Well, this year, Missouri Southern welcomes more new faces than before. And, this gives me a chance to provide the incoming freshmen a little bit of advice for their coming years. (Remember, I’m not really authorized to give any substantial advice, but I can talk from experience.) It also gives me a gamble at an idea floating around my head for some time now.

First, the next few years will provide many opportunities to learn and grow with this institution. Freshmen should take the time to pick which classes need to be taken and which classes are simply there for their pleasure. Picking up an extra class here and there in some other field can be a thrilling and interesting experience.

Second, there is more to do on Spring Break than to give into the temptation of beer and beaches. Friends and cheap fun can be found just around the corner here in town. This lends to a unique and safer experience than the more obvious MTV version.

Now, don’t get me wrong, Joplin is small, but I’m sure the readers aren’t small enough to get bored without someone else entertaining them.

Third, get a hobby. Freshmen should not scoff at this. Hobbies will keep them from going insane during times of high stress and low activity. Now, the hobby can sometimes get in the way, but if one tries, then the hobby can be a safe sublimation during the school year.

Now, for the dirty work. Reading shouldn’t be left to the classroom organism. Whether one likes to admit it or not, reading will help stimulate the senses with new material and whole other world. Read an extra book outside of class. Even a bad book can, if anything, increase one’s intellect about what he or she doesn’t like.

Ah, I almost forgot the worst thought of all.

Freshmen should not be afraid of making friends with an instructor. Instructors are human (or at least they should admit that one fact) and know what students will go through during their educational career. That forty-some-year-old man with the outdated tie was too a young adolescent with a fascination of the music of the day. He will open up to a student if the student opens up to him. Hey, weirder things have happened.

Now, that’s it for the freshmen advice. Take it with a grain of salt and vinegar, but don’t gargle. (That makes indigestion worse.)

I’d also like to give the readers of The Chart a challenge as well.

The audience is welcome to send ideas and criticisms into the paper.

We, just like every other student on campus, are getting an education through experience unique to his or her profession.

The stories of late nights and heavy deadlines don’t come lightly. We can only report what we know and we can only give back what we think the community wants. Without any feedback, we won’t learn.

Lastly, I’d like to say thanks for reading this spiel. I’m looking forward to this year and I hope I made the coming year a bit better for the newbies at Southern.