A note from the Editor…

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The fall semester began as usual, by parading incoming freshman across the quad and eating a barbecue under the tent. As I look at all of those smiling new faces on campus, I wonder how the semester will begin for them. Will they be stressed beyond compare? Will they enter JSC with ease? Will they succeed here and graduate with a four-year degree?

I ask these things, because I am entering my final semester at Johnson State, and my final semester as editor on the Basement Medicine staff. I am looking back at everything I have accomplished and regretting the things I didn’t, but most of all hoping that these students entering JSC for the first time find the supports that I have had here.

Trio, a program for first-generation and low-income college students, has been my rock through my college career, with the Academic Support Office acting as my second home. I spent every free moment between classes, when I wasn’t in the Basement Medicine office, sitting at the ASO table doing homework, visiting with friends, and getting advice from Cindy Kullman and Carolyn D’Luz, who always leave their doors open to students.

Any time I was stressed out from working full-time with a full-time class load, they were there to chat and help me manage my time better if I needed it. Then, when I was considering traveling to Tibet, but didn’t know if I wanted to spend the money, Karen Madden convinced me that it would be a great opportunity that I would never have again. That was some of the best advice I received this past semester, because it turned out to be the best trip of my college career, after also traveling to Cuba and Costa Rica.

 As a first-generation college student who entered college with little confidence in my ability to manage the workload, through the help of Trio, I have managed to travel internationally three times, work 40 to 50 hours a week while taking five classes (which I don’t recommend), and develop the skills to manage money better and rent my first apartment. Now, I am graduating a semester early with a full-time job in my major, reporting for News & Citizen in Morrisville.  For those who insist that it is almost impossible to graduate from Johnson State in 4 years, I say it’s actually possible to finish in 3.5 years if you have the right mindset, and the right people to support you.

So, my advice to the incoming class is to ease into the semester. Don’t take on so much that you are stressed to the max by week three, because I know that I am, and it sucks.

Find a club that you are interested in, meet new friends, find a support system that works for you, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. I may be graduating this December, but I am still struggling, and believe me, it is much more rewarding knowing that you busted your ass to get where you are, than it is to skate by and not learn anything. So, take the challenging classes, pay attention, and choose a major not because it will be the most profitable, but because you know you will be happy the rest of your life working in that career.

Lastly, don’t forget to take time for yourself once in a while. That has been the easiest for me to forget over the last 3.5 years, and my family has definitely fallen to the wayside because of it, as time with them was far less than what I wanted it to be between work and school.
For you incoming freshmen, I hope these tips will be helpful. They definitely helped during my time here.

Kayla Friedrich, Editor-in-Chief

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