A Word From the Wise: Seniors’ Advice to Freshmen

27 March 2018 Comments Off on A Word From the Wise: Seniors’ Advice to Freshmen


For most of us, a new role in life presents a variety of challenges and some surprises, too. Advice from someone who’s already been there can help get us through the rough spots. In the case of university students, who better than seniors to offer the benefit of their experience?

This week, Myeong Joo Enoch Kim (MJ), a fourth-year International Relations student, gives advice as to how this year’s freshmen can make their university lives a bit easier and less complicated.

Two things: discipline and inspection. I guess it’s a cliché to talk about the importance of self-discipline. Moreover, it’s quite an oxymoron for me to talk about discipline when I’m still struggling to discipline myself! I mean, honestly, who likes to discipline oneself by limiting one’s freedom and imposing certain codes of conduct on oneself? Why do I have to study when I can watch Netflix? Why do I have to go to class at 8:40 a.m. when I can sleep more? There are different reasons for everyone. When we try, however, to discipline ourselves according to the restrictions of time and the society surrounding us, we easily get demotivated because we’re enclosing ourselves in the labyrinth, where we’re chased by the standards and pressures of the Minotaur of time and society.

Time and society are not subjective, dependent values that adjust themselves according to our plans; time is full of mysteries and ambiguities. At this point, we need inspection – looking carefully at why we discipline ourselves. I’m not asking you to delve into philosophy or other complex arts; I’m advising you to think about the purpose instead of being enslaved by external forces. Use Bilkent to enhance your pursuit of the purpose. As an end note, I would like to challenge and encourage you with a quote by Horace Mann: “Lost, yesterday, somewhere between sunrise and sunset, two golden hours, each set with sixty diamond minutes. No reward is offered, for they are gone forever.”