Olivia Freeman, an International Business and Ministry major, is coming to a whirlwind end of her freshmen year. She remembers clearly what it was like stepping on ORU’s campus for the first time. That familiar feeling of uncertainty, not knowing where to go or whom to talk to. More often than not, the feeling is more relatable than people believe.
“I was overwhelmed. I was nervous, but every student who was helping me move in calmed me down, welcomed me and made me feel at home,” said Freeman.
“I remember driving up and almost hitting one of the SA workers while turning, I was already overwhelmed but it was funny.”
Freeman wanted to emphasize that freshmen are not alone in this situation.
“I wish I would have known everyone around me was as scared and confused as I was. I thought everybody else knew what they were doing; already had their friend groups.”
After building friendships, Freeman realized everyone was in the exact same spot as she was, everyone was scared, everyone was nervous, and everyone was looking for their place on campus. No matter how alone you may feel, realize that every single person that seems like they “have it together” has felt the same way at some point.
Freeman learned the hard way that freshmen should not overwork themselves.
“Hard work is important, but I also learned grace for yourself is necessary to make it through school,” explained Freeman. “When I realized I needed to have grace for myself, I was able to really enjoy myself.”
The biggest piece of advice Freeman has for incoming freshmen is to “be all in.” Freeman had a long-distance relationship her first semester and realized she went home a lot that semester. During that time, she was not fully present at ORU. Finishing her first semester halfway in and halfway out, constantly questioned if she actually wanted to be at ORU. A quote she lives by is a famous quote by Jim Elliot, “Wherever you are, be all there.”
“Come in ready to give your heart to ORU, cause if you do, you will not disappointed, but if you’re halfway in and halfway out, you’ll always feel disconnected from everything and everybody around you,” said Freeman.
“You are doing better than you think you are, if you really stop to talk to other people, you’ll realize that you’re not alone; you’re all in this together,” Freeman added as a final note to freshmen.