Hey everyone! I hope everyone is getting really excited for the new semester. The picture above was during the fall of my freshman year. I move into my apartment on Sunday, and I can't wait for my sophomore year to start! I am looking forward to enjoying welcome week and all the festivities. Freshman year went wonderfully for me, and I can't wait to see what this year will bring. With that said, I have been reflecting on all that happened last year that made it so great. One of the best memories was attending the Freshman Induction Ceremony.
If there is one thing I can tell all you new freshman to go to, it is this ceremony. I know it seems like there are more exciting things you could be doing, and you don't want to spend one more second with your family when you could be enjoying your new freedom. But, GO. It is so worth it and it is a memory you will keep forever. I still have the pin they gave us! One of the most important parts of the ceremony is when the Indiana Promise is read and recited by all the new students. It goes a little something like this:
The Indiana Promise
I promise that:
I will be ethical in my academic work.
I will take personal responsibility for what I say and what I do.
I will respect the dignity of others, treating them with civility and understanding.
Now let me break this down a little bit and explain what it means to ME. This is a huge promise you are taking on by being a new student at IU. And here is what you are commiting to.
When you become a student here, you are earning a degree all on your own. "I will be ethical in my academic work" means your work and your ideas. You need to earn that degree yourself. What is the point of spending the money on a good education when it was really earned by someone else? Be honest in your work and in what you do. Plagiarizing is a word you will be told not to do a ton once you are here. And don't! There is no reason why you can't accomplish everything with the smart brain you have. It's what got you through high school and into an amazing univeristy like this one! Graduate from here knowing your hard work earned you that degree. You want it to hang in that swanky new office someday knowing that all your hard work got it there.
Responsibility will be one of the biggest lessons we learn while we are in college here. Every thing you do and say is reflective of this university now! Make every word that you say an encouraging one. Do things that will only further your life and your education, and that of those around you. And when you mess up, own up to it! Everyone does! That is what "I will take personal responsibility for what I say and what I do" means. You're only human and it's bound to happen. And when you do, it is ok. Always. But you have to be responsible for what you did, because that's a part of growing up. This is what will make you grow and learn while you are here. You will take it upon yourself to not only take responsibility for the good things you do while you're here, but for the mistakes you might make. Think before you speak and act. If you wouldn't want your mom to know about it, you probably shouldn't say or do it! (This has always been a good rule of thumb for me in the past!)
The last part of the promise, "I will respect the dignity of others, treating them with civility and understanding," is my favorite part of the promise. You are going to meet all kinds of people here at IU. Some people who think and act like you do, and some that don't. Respecting all of your fellow students here is something that will make this university a better place. The people who are not exactly like you are the people who are going to give you a better perspective on life and the world around you. The diversity at this university is one of it's most attractive features. You don't have to agree with everything someone says or does, but you do have to be tolerant of it. If you are so inclined, ask someone about their life- their hometown, their religion, their political views, their thoughts. I promise most will be more than happy to share their ideas with you and you might be surprised at how much you learn and how far your horizons are expanded by it, but only if you can respect the differences! We are all going to IU to get a great education, and these are the other students you will be graduating with. We are all hoosiers. And that is the one thing we ALL have in common. Students and professors alike.
I hope this is a good reminder for everyone, not just the freshman, when starting your new semester! Refering back to the promise you made will ensure that you have a safe, fun and successful first semester back! See you all soon!