Main Content

Upperclassmen, recent grads give advice to new students

Stepping onto a college campus for the first time can be intimidating, exciting and terrifying all at once. We asked a few ACU senior and recent graduates to share words of wisdom, reflecting on their time at ACU. We hope their answers will bless our new students as they take that first step into the unknown.
Kendall Castillo
Kendall Castillo, 2019 graduate, degree in marketing, from Plano, Texas
What do you wish someone had told you coming into college?
I wish someone had told me that it’s OK to not know what you’re doing right off the bat. I had no idea how to study, what to get involved with, etc. My first semester was a lot of learning, and that’s OK!
What was the most rewarding aspect of your college experience?
I got involved as a leader for Young Life. Young Life became my safe place, my community and my family in college. I got to spread the gospel to high school girls and make lifelong friendships! I wouldn’t trade those four years as a leader for the world. Now, I work full time for Young Life here in Abilene. It is all about finding what you’re truly passionate about.
Nikole TaylorNikole Taylor, senior, liberal studies interdisciplinary major, from Las Vegas, Nevada
What do you wish someone had told you coming into college?
To be honest, to be more open minded and break out of my shell, to be involved and meet new people. My freshman year I was really homesick since I am an out-of-state student. I was afraid to meet new people in my residence hall. I wanted to transfer after my first semester, but I am blessed that my mom forced me to stick it out and knew that I needed to step out of my comfort zone and start my own identity here at ACU. Now that I am a senior, I really appreciate where I am now as an individual and what I have accomplished here at ACU.
What was the most memorable thing about your college experience?
This is a hard question, but it is between pledging to the best and oldest club on campus (Ko Jo Kai) and as a Wildcat Week Student Director. I have grown to love and appreciate ACU for what it has to offer and the community you begin to establish. This is my second year as Wildcat Week Student Director, and I just love giving back to the new students by recognizing they have chosen the best place to spend the next four years.

Claire Halpin, 2019 graduate, degree in advertising and public relations, from Coppell, Texas
What do you wish someone had told you coming into college? 
I wish someone had told me that freshman year isn’t all about grades. My junior year of college, my mom told me that if I don’t leave college knowing lawyers, doctors, psychologists, speech paths, business majors, etc., then I did college wrong. What’s important is to make friends in all different areas across campus, and in different majors than your own. Not only will it help you have connections in the future, but it will help open your mindset to different walks of life.
What was the most surprising thing about your experience at ACU? 
How many friends I made. I never expected to be able to walk around campus and see at least 10-plus people that I know walking to class. You really can never be in a bad mood if you are greeted by people multiple times a day.
Shea SouthersShea Southers, senior finance major, from Bedford, Texas
What has your time at ACU and the college experience taught you?
The college experience has taught me to branch out, get a little out of your comfort zone and get involved. Coming into college, I never would’ve thought I would be as involved as I am. I didn’t do Freshman Follies, was hesitant on Sing Song and wasn’t going to pledge. Sure enough, I ended up doing Sing Song, pledging and getting involved in so much more like tour guiding, Wildcat Week, Student Government Association and a lot more. From those experiences, you enjoy so much and create memories that will last a lifetime. You create bonds with people that lead to close friendships. The reason I have my friends is because I went out of my comfort zone and tried to get involved and meet people. I am an extrovert and so I like to get involved in as much as I can, but I understand that’s not for everyone. I would say at least try and get involved in one thing or find something you’re passionate about.
Sloan PolvadoSloan Polvado, senior marketing major, from Sugar Land, Texas
What have you found to be the most helpful study habit?
I always try to plan ahead each week the time and place I am going to study. Maslows Coffee and Beltway Coffee are always my go-to spots. I have also found that making flashcards and studying in groups can be helpful. The professors at ACU are very good at trying to meet with you during office hours if you ever need extra help. 
What has your time at ACU and the college experience taught you?
My time at ACU has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me throughout my life. My professors have been nothing but encouraging and have pushed me to chase my goals. I have learned how to incorporate my faith into every aspect of my life and to always have Christ be the center of whatever I am doing. The friends that I have made at ACU are people that will be in my life forever, and I’m so grateful for all of the wonderful opportunities I have had over the past three years.
Jarrett FullerJarrett Fuller, senior secondary mathematics education major, from Bedford, Texas
What do you wish someone had told you coming into college?
I wish someone would have told me to do everything I could in my four years in college. It goes by really fast, so take advantage of everything you can when you can. 
What was the most memorable thing about your experience at ACU?
I have really enjoyed being able to play intramural sports. It has been a good way for my friends and me to bond while being able to compete against other people in a lot of different sports.
Sarah BrooksSarah Brooks, 2019 graduate, degree in kinesiology, from Lubbock, Texas
What do you wish someone had told you coming into college?
Be patient. It’s OK to not have everything figured out. Own the amazing and unique journey you are on and don’t compare it to anyone else’s.
What was the most memorable thing about your college experience?
The most memorable thing about ACU for me was the community. No matter what class I was in, organization I joined or campus event I attended, I formed relationships with people from all walks of life that inspired me to be all that God has called me to be.

Britta SandineBritta Sandine, senior communication major, from San Leandro, California
What was the most memorable thing about your college experience at ACU?
One thing I wish someone had told me to do when I got to college was to quickly find a church that I liked and to become a member. It is my senior year, and I have yet to really settle into a church, which I regret greatly. Building a community of believers and friends is so important to your spiritual, emotional and mental health. Luckily, I was blessed with being apart of Lynay, which is a scholarship program that focuses on building community, and it has become one of the closest things to having a church family. This leads into my most memorable college experience. I cannot explain how much happiness, support and love that Lynay has given to me over the past four years. Spending time with a great group of Christians every single week and sharing our lives, feelings and prayers with one another has been both a bonding experience and also a truly healing experience. So, thank you, Dr. McCaleb, Lea Watkins, and Brad Benham for making Lynay possible and touching every heart of those who are blessed to meet you.

SHARE: [Sassy_Social_Share type="standard"]