New to SHC? How to get the most out of your Spring Hill experience! Matthew Keller ‘15

Mon, 09/23/2013 - 9:45am
Matthew Keller
  1. Explore the campus! Our campus is the third oldest Jesuit college in the nation and is full of rich history and awesome stories. Take time to learn SHC history. Make a point to roam the beautiful golf course. Go to parts of buildings that you have never been to before. Watch a sunset from the hill by New Hall. Remember, though, to still be respectful of your new home, so that many generations of students to come will be able to enjoy it as well.
  1. Go out and try new things! There are countless clubs, retreats and organizations on SHC’s campus. Attend as many events as you can. Do something, even if it is going across the hall to someone else’s room. Go to the dining hall, and nine times out of 10, you will run into someone you know or find something to do.
  1. Change up your study routine until you find what works!  Your room is not always the best place to study, and sometimes, the library isn’t either. Experiment with different places. Find an open classroom or a study room in the student center. My best advice for this? Go to your professor!  They are always willing to help and have tons of useful tips on how to succeed in their classes.
  1. Your professors are an incredible resource—use them! The close student-teacher relationships found here is one of the main reasons I came to Spring Hill.  Our professors have devoted their lives to teaching and they want to get to know you.  When they say that they want you to stop by their office or meet them for coffee, they mean it.  The professors here genuinely care and want you to succeed.
  1. Stay on the Hill as much as possible! Many of you may get a little homesick during your first semester, but I encourage you to stick it out, at least through the semester. Your first semester is so crucial because relationships develop that will most likely carry through your college career. If you are gone, then you miss out.
  1. Focus on your academics! At the end of the day, you are at college to learn and prepare yourself for a career. College classes are different from high school; they require more study time and more work in ways you never imagined. However, find a balance between your academics and social life. Don’t go out with friends every day and night, but also don’t study 24/7.  Sometimes, the reading you have due for history class can wait.  Your four years will go fast, so keep your grades, but don’t miss too many opportunities with friends.
  1. You have a voice! If you want to see something on campus changed, then do something about it!  The benefit of going to a small school is that your voice is amplified. If you feel that something at the school should be changed or you believe that there are better ways of handling issues, there are numerous avenues to make your voice heard. Take your concerns to your Student Government Association; they can help direct you to the most effective way to make a difference and better life for the Spring Hill College community.
  1. Goodwill has everything you need for themed parties at Spring Hill! You can find all the pieces needed for a complete redneck or '80s outfit, and all at a price that fits a college kid's budget. However, every Badger on the Hill knows this secret, so make sure you go early, and not the day of!  I also suggest holding on to all of your Goodwill apparel.  Sometimes the best outfits are made from random pieces of old ones.  You never know when the night may call for a Hawaiian shirt or a pair of jorts!
  1. Make friends with upperclassmen! The “class barriers” you might have experienced in high school are practically non-existent in college.  A freshman befriending a senior is totally normal—upperclassmen want to get to know new Badgers! Let them help you figure out what teachers you should take, how best to succeed in your classes, and, of course, which social events to attend!
  1. You get out what you put in!  Some students have waited their whole lives to finally be a freshman at SHC, while some people may still be having doubts about whether this is the right choice.  No matter where you are in the spectrum, you have the ability to make this the greatest experience of your life. I don’t believe any school is the magical “one,” but when you find a school that fits your needs, then make it the right choice!  Here, you are as an SHC Badger, let’s make it the right choice!

Matthew Keller ’15 is a biology/pre-med major from Brentwood, Tenn.