If you are a first-year student and you have found your way here, then first things first: well done—this is a sign that you are thinking seriously about your life, your aspirations, your future. Second, you, more than anyone, have a tremendous opportunity in front of you. With vision, planning, hard work, and mentorship, there is really no limit on what you might achieve: the Rhodes Scholarship, a breakthrough research discovery, the graduate program of your dreams, a life of meaning and purpose and commitment to things that matter.
Especially at this phase, we want to emphasize above all that aspiring toward major fellowships and awards should not just be about the external affirmations that the awards might provide—extravagant and life-changing though those might be. No, the pursuit, for you, should be to maximize your undergraduate education, to wring from these Baylor years every ounce of what we can offer you. We know this to be true because we’ve seen it: from Baylor, you can go anywhere.
Of course, it's one thing to say that—even to really want that—and quite another to know how to get from here to where you want to go. As you look ahead over these four years, our encouragement to you is that it can't just be about the resume or the LinkedIn profile you're building. It must be about who you are becoming. And who you are becoming, often, is an immediate byproduct of factors such as:
- what you are learning,
- what you are doing,
- by whom you are surrounded, and>
- your depth of commitment to excellence.
So over and above all else, consider these bullet points. Think about them prospectively and retrospectively—forward and backward. And talk with us if you want help thinking deeply about how to order your time and priorities toward becoming the person you want to be. We, and many of our Baylor colleagues, are deeply invested in helping you consider these things.
Beyond that, we have additional advice for what you should be considering and doing at this stage. Follow these links to help guide your planning, starting with the first.