To the class of 2021

(Inspired by the many, many lectures from my Dad, Fred J. Manigat.)

College is undeniably one of the most drastic culture and overall lifestyle changes a young person will have to endure. As a senior in high school with college only a few months away, you’re so excited to finally be free and independent and move on to the next chapter in your life. But at the same time, you’re a little bit scared. Even I remember the infinite amount of questions I had before starting Colby. Honestly, there are some questions I am still trying to get answered. So, unfortunately, there will never be enough advice in the world I could give you to make you 100 percent prepared for this new journey you’re about to take on. There are, however, a few tips that I swear by and you could benefit from too.

The first thing you should be aware of is the important fact that being at college is an extraordinary privilege that not everyone is fortunate enough to experience. Therefore, it is crucial that you make it your business to make the most out of the education that you are offered and to take your school work as seriously as possible. I know that at first four years and eight semesters sounds like more than enough time to do well and catch up, but as cliché as this sounds, time really does fly. You will only do well if you have a motivated and determined mindset from the start. Thus, always make sure to put your future first and prioritize. Moreover, you will soon realize how little free time you have as your first semester progresses. The exact moment you realize this should be the moment you begin to practice managing your time wisely. Getting things done ahead of time and planning out your days accordingly will only help you in the long run, and you’ll love yourself for it in the end.

While time management and academic diligence is all well and good, it’s also vital to preserve your sanity. You can’t possibly be successful in your academics if you’ve barely slept, eaten, or smiled in weeks. It is just as important to balance school work with fun by maintaining a healthy social life. Yes, college is hard work, but it is also supposed to be four of the most fun years you’ve ever had in your life. So, do right by yourself and make sure you save time for fun. Get involved in clubs, sports or anything Colby offers that you’re passionate about. Being involved in extracurriculars not only forces you to manage your time better, but it also forces you to meet new people and give yourself something to do that isn’t spending all night on the third floor of Miller. We are Colby College students, not robots! We all need a break; so it’s important you remember to give yourself one.

In sum, college is one big crazy, fun, chaotic, stressful, confusing experience. But in the end, it will always be worth it. That being said, it is up to you to make the most out of your four years spent here on campus. The way you perform academically and socially is actually all relative. Notice how you can only have a social life if you religiously practice time management and vice versa? The two are directly linked, and the sooner you are aware of that, the better your time here will be. Take advantage of all the amazing opportunities Colby has to offer, including its exceptional educational programs. You’re finally free and independent, but that also means your college experience is in your hands. Try to make sure you give yourself the best one possible.