The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU students gather around a bucket of markers to write an encouraging note to put in “Welcome to the Shelter” kits at event in mid-April on SMU’s campus.
Dallas homeless recovery center, The Bridge, is a home
Morgan Shiver, Contributor • June 20, 2024
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Why did I go out last night?

How many times have you heard someone say, “Why did I go out last night?” Have you ever regretted going out? To preface my article, I am not bashing parties or the vibrant social scene that SMU and Dallas offer. But did you ever regret going out and making some poor choices? One of the hardest things I faced in college was finding a balance in my life through the choices I made.

If you can remember back to pre-college years, life was scripted. You went to school, attended athletic or arts practices, ate dinner, procrastinated on homework, watched reality TV, went to bed and then did it all over again.

As a college student, you have almost complete control of your life. Your freedom to make decisions will affect you both now and later. Some of these choices are critical – choosing the right classes ensures graduation and a diploma. However, a lot of these critical choices are also left up to the individual. Now when you wake up, no one tells you what you have to do each day. Many of us had rigid routines and study habits, but somehow other things in college life become more important.

I can still remember the rush of emotions from the first few weeks of school. I was so excited to meet the people on my floor and in my hall. I went to every possible event at SMU and signed up for dozens of organizations’ mailing lists. For some reason, in those first few weeks, the routine I had followed for the better part of my life was no longer important. I still went to class, but meeting new people took priority over reading fifty pages of Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Discussing politics and religion at 3 a.m. in the morning was more important than sleep. Reading this article in The Daily Campus is a choice too. Be conscious that you are in college; you do have to take responsibility for your decisions.

Learning to take responsibility for your decisions is critical for success because the real world is not as forgiving. Your values govern your decisions – if you value academic excellence, you will do well in school. If you value friendship, by all means, you will find that here. You are going to be faced with many critical decisions – what to be involved in, how much time to invest in a dating relationship, if a fraternity or sorority is best for you, etc. Handling minor choices well is great practice for how you will handle the more critical ones.

If you can agree with this perspective, then the real question is, “What experiences are truly in line with my values and my goals in life?” If going out during the week negatively affects your performance in class, what does that say about you as a person? How does a professor feel about students who stumble into class and fall asleep with black X’s on their hands (and their faces)? That one choice could not only affect your academics, but also your sleep and health. If you are not sleeping enough, how can you perform well in anything that you do?

I’m going to be real and honest about my personal life. Two big decisions I made in college were deciding what my top priorities are and choosing to join Sigma Phi Epsilon.

In a lot of ways, the two decisions are linked very closely. I joined SigEp because it upholds similar values. The fraternity believes in the idea of the balanced man, the pursuit of a sound mind and a sound body. To me, this means more than just making good grades and working out. It is about becoming a healthy, cultured leader in my community. By associating myself with an organization with similar values, I am constantly challenged to become a better person. For example, I used to struggle a lot with stress and time management. My involvement in extracurricular activities was unhealthy and I was not sleeping or eating right. My fraternity challenged me to re-evaluate what it means to have a sound body. I learned how to say no to some commitments and began to make a more concerted effort to eat healthy and exercise daily. I’ve never felt better in my life. By living a healthier life, I am able to be a better friend, son, brother and student.

Wake up, SMU. You have many choices ahead of you. I recommend you come out to More Fit, More Fun boot camp at 6 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays by Sorority/Burleson Park.

I recommend you not eat left-over pizza, but please do eat. Go to the Tate Lecture Series on tonight or Dean Bowen’s JAMPACT concert on Wednesday evening. Don’t miss out on the Brown Bag Dance Series! Go to the A-LEC before the week of your test.

Think about your values as you make decisions. Check out the fraternity parties, but don’t stop there – go hang out in your hall lounge, go to church, go to the library, go to class, go work out or just go do something that is meaningful to you. If you diversify the experiences you have here, you will discover a higher return on your invested time at SMU. College life is too brief to fill with regrets and missed opportunities – enjoy it!

Daniel Liu is an engineering management graduate student. He can be reached for comment at dliu@smu..

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