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UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Welcome back to school; your journey begins now

Banner+welcoming+UMass+Boston+students+for+the+new+semester
Banner welcoming UMass Boston students for the new semester

“Being successful in college is not determined by ability, but by willingness,” answered J. Keith Motley, chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Boston. I had asked him, “Can anyone be a successful college student?”

This was two years ago at a Success Boston Symposium, when I was an incoming freshman. But I can still remember the seriousness of his facial expressions and the genuine tone of his voice. The power of his words continues to inspire me in my college journey.

Listening to Motley’s inspirational speech before school kicked off was an important moment, at least to me. As each word escaped his mouth, I grew an inch more tense. Like a soldier who was ready to attack his enemies, I was ready to jump into all my classes. “If you want to be successful academically, this is the time to focus. Right now. On day one,” he said.

The freshman year of college is as fragile as an egg. You need to take it seriously. It is a crucial year that will most likely determine whether you will have a successful experience in a university or struggle your way through.

It is the time to build a strong GPA because as you get further down the road, classes start getting tougher and more challenging. Also, it is time to start getting involved on campus. “Students who are involved on campus tend to be socially happier and more successful,” explained Motley.

You also can’t forget the social aspect of the college experience, as it is as vital as the academic. Networking and mingling with college classmates who share similar passions and dreams with you, exploring the opportunity to travel and study abroad.  

If you’re a freshman, this will most likely be the first time you’ll experience the pleasure of being able to pick your schedule for school — a schedule that suits your own needs.

Balance is as important as breathing to a successful college experience.  There must be a time for fun and a time to study — and the latter should always be the priority. This is applied not only to incoming freshmen but to everyone.

No matter who you are: sophomore, junior, senior, and beyond (as long as you are still at school), your journey just began. It’s going to be full of ups and downs, sleepless nights fueled by coffee, and countless essays you’ll wish you never had to write.
You’ll love it.