By Leah Russo, Former Editor-in-Chief of the Battler Columns
Welcome to Alderson Broaddus University (AB), home of the wild and wonderful Battlers. It is here in small-town Philippi, West Virginia where you will spend the greatest years of your life. As with all aspects of life, everything eventually comes to an end. As I finish my fourth and final year, it is my turn to pass on the knowledge I have acquired from those who came before me.
Graduating high school and beginning college can be a difficult, often scary transition. Many of the AB students are from across the country, some from across the world, and leaving home for the first time is difficult. It is normal to be nervous before starting a new chapter in life, but my best advice is to embrace it.
There are few times in life that people get the chance to start over, and freshman year of college is one of them. You have the chance to be whomever you want, whether that means staying the same or changing yourself entirely. The opportunities that come with freshman year are endless.
Many of the students at AB are also athletes, and playing a sport is one of the easiest ways to make friends. I was fortunate enough to make many close friends through my teammates, but do not let your sport confine you. I highly recommend branching out and making friends outside of your sport because it is important to get to know all different types of people.
For those who are not involved in sports, AB offers a multitude of clubs and Greek Life organizations. Joining a club, sorority or fraternity is a great way to branch out and meet people. Come mid-semester, you will be happy to have something to distract you from school and stress.
Speaking of stress, you will get overwhelmed at certain times. Do not freak out, do not pass go, do not collect $200. Procrastinating on assignments will only increase that feeling, so try to get into a habit of doing work in a timely manner. Easier said than done, I know, but time management is an essential life skill. Don’t worry if you don’t get the hang of things right away; it took me four years and I still have more to learn.
Just as anywhere else, AB is what you make it. If you come in believing you are going to have the best time of your life, then you will. Cherish your time here, because before you know it, it will be your turn to put on your cap and gown.
To the friends who have made me who I am, teammates who helped me grow, and professors who guided me through life, thank you for the memories and wisdom you all shared with me. The time has come for me to move on and transition into the real world, and though I’m sad to leave this place behind, I will always consider AB my home.