When new Pensacola Christian College students walk into the Academic Center for the first time for Check-In, there can be any number of emotions that follow. Excitement, nervousness, and anticipation, all mixed together and coupled with a flurry of tasks and meetings while preparing to unpack everything in the residence hall for the first time. Going to college to pursue higher education can be a little more than just a new experience.
New students have a great deal of firsts when they come to PCC, but getting some insight can help those firsts to go well. While there might not be a tutorial for college life, here’s the next best thing—PCC’s own list for how to college!
1. Bring the Essentials
Florida may be the Sunshine State, but Pensacola sees its fair share of rain and cold weather. While new students are welcome to pack their sunglasses and flip-flops, an umbrella, water-resistant shoes, and a warm coat should also be included.
2. Save Some Space
For those who plan to fly or have a long car ride with limited space ahead of them, consider getting things like trashcans, standing mirrors, and cleaning supplies after checking in to the residence hall. Coordinating with roommates can help save money and prevent a room from having three extra ironing boards as well!
3. Prepare to Sharpen Those Social Skills
Right from the start, new students will be meeting the others among PCC’s student body. From being welcomed at Check-In, to meeting roommates, and checking out Freshman Connect, new students will be able to start making friends right from the start. Don’t be too worried; upperclassmen remember what it’s like to be new on campus and try to help out when they can.
Katie Haughton (Sr., KY) gives her freshmen roommates some breathing room so they can settle in, but also reaches out to help them feel welcome. “I make sure they know that if they ever have a question, to not be bothered in asking it. That, and having random Walmart or coffee runs,” she said.
4. Don’t study hard; study smart!
College has a reputation of starting two habits—sleepless nights full of cramming and a seemingly incurable caffeine addiction. These can be avoided (or at least postponed) by developing good study habits at the beginning of the school year. Don’t wait until the first round of tests to begin studying. If you study well right from the start, you won’t have to buckle down from chapter one to try for a good grade on the midterm.
5. Know When to Relax
While classes are important, down time is good, too. Feeling stressed? Take a break! Enjoy a game of bowling with some friends at the Sports Center or grab a coffee from Common Grounds Café and read a book unrelated to classwork. Taking time to unwind can help improve overall mood, helping class grades in the long run.
6. Get Involved
College provides opportunities for a variety of experiences. At PCC, students can participate in a variety of sports with their collegian, get involved in dramas, or join a music group. Serving opportunities such as Christian Service allow students to invest in the local community by ministering to them through singing hymns and sharing the love of Christ.
7. Prepare for Spiritual Encouragement
In addition to hearing Pastor Jeff Redlin preach at Campus Church, students pause four days a week for chapel services. Chapel provides a time of spiritual rest and guidance through hearing staff, faculty, and guest speakers preach from the Bible. Upperclassmen and alumni often look back at chapel as being pivotal in their college experience. “Hearing the Word of God each day was my favorite part of chapel,” said Harrison Hillis (Pastoral Ministries ’18). “Being able to slow down each day for 40 minutes got me to think about how the Bible should be applied in my own life.”
While PCC can feel like a big place to new students, it will become familiar over time. The Commons will become a regular hangout spot, the Rebekah Horton Library—a great study space, and the Sports Center—a place to have fun with friends during the week.
We look forward to welcoming the freshman class of 2023 to campus this fall!