Freshman year of college is a difficult transition. For most students, it’s their first time living without their parents; it’s a shock to suddenly be responsible for every facet of their life. You suffer all the consequences of your actions.
Some universities exacerbate this problem through freshman hazing or a lack of resources offered to help freshmen transition. BYU, on the other hand, does a great job of providing freshmen with the resources to succeed.
But no matter how many resources BYU provides, the transition to college is stressful. There is stress to be successful in classes, about money, relationships (or lack thereof), from difficult roommates and ever-present lack of sleep.
On top of all of this, students are repeatedly told to “get involved.” Every devotional, freshman orientation speakers and posters on campus urge students to take advantage of the many clubs, seminars, events and service opportunities BYU offers, and warns them that if they don’t, they will regret it.
Getting involved is absolutely important, but it should not be a stressor. Pleas for students to “get involved” should always be accompanied by the caveat that this doesn’t mean “be involved in so many things you barely have time to breathe” or “if you don’t get involved right away your college experience will be miserable.”
It’s OK to not do everything, and schoolwork should be a higher priority than extracurriculars. If new student orientation and devotional speakers would include this message with their advice to “get involved,” the first few weeks of freshman year could be considerably less stressful.