EDITOR’S NOTE: Marie Reimers is the president of the Student Government Association.
I would like to give a big welcome to those who are returning to Central Michigan University, and to those who are here for the first time.
Whether you’ve been here one year, four, or none at all, fall is a special time at CMU. Homecoming, welcome week and the start of classes provide students with a great feeling that can be felt all over campus.
I would like to speak to the incoming freshman class directly, as this is no doubt one of the scariest and most exciting times in your life. You’ll be getting heaps of advice (wanted and unwanted). It might seem overwhelming at first, but you’ll learn rather quickly how to sort out the good from the bad.
Yes, you should get involved. No, not everyone in college drinks.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to the services CMU provides.
College is hard, living on your own is hard, and no one expects you to make a totally seamless transition. Counseling, academic advising, your resident and multicultural advisers, the Math and Writing Center and the Student Government Association all exist for a reason. At CMU, we want you to succeed, but we don’t expect you to do it all by yourself. Take advantage of the services CMU provides you to take care of yourself.
I might be student body president now, but I did not plan on ending up in this position. During my freshman year, I ran for Senate in the Student Government Association twice. And I lost twice. It was painful. I cried. I swore to never ever involve myself with SGA again.
A semester passed, and things were different. A student organization I was in needed an SGA representative, and I was asked to fill the position. I took it, and the rest is history.
I don’t think my story is a commentary on “never giving up” or “following your dreams.”
Rather, I think it’s an example of taking advantage of opportunities as they are offered to you. You are lucky to go to a university that offers you boundless opportunities. Take advantage of them. Reach out. You never know where something will take you.
Don’t trust first impressions. I had a rough transition from high school to college, and if I let that experience define CMU for me, I wouldn’t be here today.
If I had really given up on SGA after losing those elections, I wouldn’t be student body president. Sometimes, it takes a while before you feel like you belong. That’s normal. No one makes friends overnight. Things take time, so don’t be afraid to wait.
I hope you find your time at CMU incredibly fun and extremely successful. Deciding to go to school at CMU was one of the best decisions of my life.
I hope you find it’s one of yours, too.