Cherish your years as a Lion

Megan Ferrando's Headshot

I’ve heard it said that college are some of the best years of your life. While I don’t know if this is true, and hope it is not, I will argue that college are some of the best years of your life. During your college years, you learn about yourself, meet many new people, experience exciting and scary things, and come out at the end a little wiser, a little stronger and a lot more experienced. 

When I started at Southeastern in fall of 2012, I was a shy uncertain freshman. Throughout the past four years, I’ve learned so much about myself and the world I am a part of.  If I could tell my freshman self a few things, I would give the advice to always say hi, take advantage of opportunities on campus and in Hammond, never let fear stop you, get out of your comfort zone, and pull out the wine and tub of ice cream when you need it. 

Out of all the things I’ve done while on campus, I am most grateful for joining The Lion’s Roar staff. It is while being on staff that I’ve made some of my best friends, attended events I wouldn’t have gone to otherwise and met many people across campus and in the community. 

While working on the newspaper staff, I’ve had to approach strangers many times. While it seems obvious, I’ve learned that people are just people. I entered college scared to talk to those I don’t know, but am leaving with the knowledge that no one is as scary as they may seem and each person I come into contact with is one more opportunity to get to know another of God’s great creations. 

It’s so important to take advantage of each opportunity we have to meet someone new. For me, that often came through my job, but for others it may come while having a meal in the cafeteria or sitting at a football game. Embrace the opportunity to meet new people, because there are few better times than while in college. 

Also, for those who commute or live in town, embrace Hammond, La. Those who say there is nothing to do in Hammond have clearly not looked. Hammond is a perfect little town overflowing with adventures. Downtown is a great area with live music, art, delicious coffee and more. Throughout my years, I’ve had picnics in the park, study dates at PJ’s, wine nights at The Red White and Brew, gone to concerts at The Columbia Theatre and more. 

On campus, there is nearly always something going on. Attend sporting events and embrace the culture of Lion pride, join a club and find a group to make your own. Nearly all events are always free for students so take advantage of that. You may just surprise yourself and discover new things you love. 

Aside from experiencing things when you have the opportunity, it is truly important to cast aside fears and step out of your comfort zone. There is absolutely no better way to grow and learn about yourself. 

Do not ever tell yourself you can’t do something because it is scary and uncomfortable. Instead, ask yourself how can you do this? Who do you need to ask for help? 

One of the most challenging things I’ve ever done during my years of college was living abroad in the Philippines for a summer teaching English. I went alone and was without all the comforts of America. While it was a challenge, I also grew so much while there and realized there is no limit to what I can do if I have passion for it. 

During school, take advantage of the chance to get to know your professors and ask them for assistance. That is why they are there and you will be thankful you established a relationship with some when it comes time to graduate and you need recommendation letters.

Finally, my last piece of advice is this. When school is overwhelming and the stress of life seems unbearable, pause, hug a friend, cry a little, drink a glass of wine (if you are of age) and enjoy the sugar filled and unhealthy treat that is ice cream. 

I will always cherish my time in Hammond as a Lion. While I have one more semester before graduation, I will be stepping down as editor in chief this summer. It has been an unforgettable journey.