Letter to the Editor: Alumna Gives Advice

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Having not yet distinguished myself in a field, being opposed to sharing Grinnellianecdotes you’re not ready to hear at your age and still gauging the impact Grinnell has had/is having on my life, I’ve elected to give advice to my college self. I’m fairly opposed to futile exercises, however, which means this isn’t so much advice for Past Erin, but also (unsolicited) advice for [you]. Here goes.
1) Make better self-care choices. Applies to all facets of life. Everyone should see a therapist at least once in his/her/their life. Really. Especially the ones who think they don’t need it. Also important: sleep at night instead of taking three-hour naps and falling asleep in class—eat breakfast, take walks, call home, dance more.
2) Waste less time. Deactivate Facebook before and during midsems and finals. You can still watch videos of cute baby animals as study breaks. Let go of Netflix/Hulu/whatever TV you watch for a whole semester. I dare you. Note: spending time with your friends isn’t wasting time, it’s healthy. It is possible to go out, have a good time and still be functional, productive even, the entire next day. Prioritize finding that balance early in your four years.
3) Take more classes with Monessa Cummins / Chris French / Laura Sinnett / Steve Andrews / any other professor who is really tough and knows his/her/their shit. There are few academic things as satisfying as having earned the grade you got in a tough class.
4) Go to Hundred Days. Unless you get mono, you won’t regret it. And even then you probably won’t regret it. You’ll be amazed at how much closer you’ll feel with your class year afterward.
5) Iowa summer. Do it.
6) Take advantage of resources and opportunities on campus. Reading, writing and math labs, mentor sessions, office hours, language assistants, SAC, CLS, CRSSJ, SGA funding, speakers, bands, dance performances, orchestras, exhibits, movies, student groups, everything in the Bear Athletic Center … the list of things available to you right now is immense, and it’s all free. YO, OPPORTUNITIES LIKE THAT DO NOT EXIST IN LIFE AFTER GRINNELL. Unless you stick around and work here. Self-high five.
Questions? Comments? Send me an email or swing by my office in the Bear. I’m wishing you the best of luck in all that you do.
— Erin Lasaban ’11