The Things You Learned in Kindergarten

By Becca Wilson, First Year Mentor, First-Year Success Center

In times of change, it can be helpful to look back at the past for guidance. As you transition into your role as freshmen here at the University of New Haven, you should remember what you learned as you began your educational journey, all the way back in kindergarten.

 

Sharing is Caring – Whether you heard this nugget of advice during an old episode of Bear in the Big Blue House or as a sneaky classmate stole some of your fries during lunch, it still has merit today. Back in the day, you learned that it was more fun to share your bubbles and blocks, but now you’ll have to share bathrooms and bunk beds. There’s no denying that it’s difficult to squeeze into your new rooms, but it is helpful to remember that it isn’t just your space. On the upside, you also get to share things like your wardrobe, video game collection, and nail polish stash, meaning that you’ll have more options when you want to spice up your life with something new and different.

 

Make New Friends – The best advice I could give anyone for the first few weeks of college is to leave your door open. Besides the fact that it helps keep your AC-less rooms a little cooler, this simple act can bring in your new hallmates, who may soon become your new friends. Another thing to remember is that you should be yourself – you’ll make friends with people who you genuinely adore, and you won’t have to spend the next four years trying to impress everyone. I promise that everyone is just as nervous as you are, so go ahead and be the friendly kid who is known for your open door and the awesome playlists often heard from your room. While you typically aren’t as direct as when it was as easy sitting down next to someone at the snack table and asking if they wanted to be your new best friend, you’ll find that in the first few weeks, everyone is open and incredibly friendly.

 

Parents – Just like that day 13 years ago when your parents walked you down to your classroom for the first time, there may have been some tears shed as they said goodbye and walked out of your newly decorated dorm room. Unlike in kindergarten, you won’t be seeing them at the end of every day, so it is important to keep in touch. Even sending your dad a quick text on the way to class or commenting on the most recent in a string of many photos of your puppy that your mom uploaded to Facebook will brighten their day, and that makes it well worth the tiny amount of effort it takes you.

 

Study – Whether you are learning your vowel sounds or the elements of the periodic table, you’ll need to put in some serious study time. Its easy to ignore your reading assignments and spend more time on twitter than on blackboard, but trust me, come midterms, you will wish you had been keeping up all along. Be the person that everyone is jealous of at the end of the semester – when they are freaking over finals, you can manage to ace everything after some easy reviewing if you put in the time and effort ahead of time.

 

Be Safe – You probably rode the bus for the first time as you traveled to kindergarten, and mastered some other safety skills as well. The same rules apply in college – look both ways before darting out into traffic, use the buddy system when you go out, and don’t take candy from strangers – unless they happen to be running a table at a club fair, then its safe to snatch up all the freebies you can!

 

Many students here are UNH are still working on fulfilling that childhood dream of becoming a policeman or firefighter. Whether you are pursuing the same goals as your six-year-old self, or you’ve changed track from ballerina to marine biologist, keep in mind the skills you learned early on in life and you’ll do just fine here in your first year at UNH.

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  1. ALWAYS take advantage of nap time!!! still applies to today!!!