Career Services

What I Wish I Knew Before Coming to SAU

When I came to college, I was scared, like most freshmen are. I knew so many people from my high school who were coming to SAU, but I wanted to branch out and meet new friends. I wanted to broaden my horizons and not stay in my room all the time. I wanted to get out and have fun and do my best in my studies.


One thing I wish I would’ve known before college is to not room with someone you know. I had the worst roommate my first semester of college. She graduated high school with me, and I thought we were going to be great roommates, but we were not. She stayed up super late and had the light on while I was trying to sleep. I worked early in the morning and trying to go to sleep while she was on the phone made it very hard for me to get a good night’s sleep. We were not super close in high school, and I thought it would help us get closer, but it made me not want to be around her. I drove home most days and would drive back to Magnolia for class and work.


College is where I found my best friends, but it’s also where I lost touch with a lot of friends from high school. It didn’t happen through a sorority or clubs like many others find friends. Instead, I chose to get out of my room and meet the people who lived in my residence hall. In my freshman year, I met many new people because of that and became friends with a good number of them actually. As I grew into new friendships, I lost touch with the old ones as I mentioned. Of my friends from high school, I had lost touch with more than half of them shortly into my first semester at SAU. As of today, I only talk with one person that I graduated high school with. Even though I lost a lot of friendships, and even gained new ones, the most important friend to me also came from SAU. I met my absolute best friend at orientation, even though we had a mutual friend from high school before. We were in freshman seminar class together and we just clicked instantly. In the second semester of my freshman year, we moved in together and kept living together until we both graduated. It was a friendship where we didn’t have to be together all of the time, but when we were, it was great!

Meal Plans

Another thing I wish I had known before coming to college is you don’t have to get the most expensive meal plan there is. In my first year at college, I had to have the most expensive meal plan, but after finding out that I barely went to the cafeteria, I realized I didn’t need it. I decided that I went to the restaurants more and decided on getting the meal plan with more declining balance on it. After my first year at SAU, I only went to the cafeteria like twice a week and realized that the unlimited meal plan wasn’t worth it. Before coming to college, I thought that I would go to the caf a lot more because it was free. I realized that there were more options than just the caf so I decided that it would be better to have more declining balance.

Personal Touch

Before I came to college, I thought that the professors didn’t care if we came to class or not and they were just there to give us a grade and move on. I was dead wrong. The professors want to see you succeed and go somewhere in life. They want you in class and want you to be successful in their classes. There is a class that freshmen must take that helps them get to learn the campus and the professors are there to help you out in any way possible. If you went to a high school like mine, the teachers didn’t want you to add them on Facebook or anything like that because it was their privacy. In college, it’s so different. I guess since we are adults, they want to know about us and that is the good thing about a smaller college. The professors know who you are and want to get to know their students. One of my professors turned into my best friend. It’s crazy because I never had a teacher in high school that turned into a best friend so fast. SAU is great because of its professors. They not only want to see you succeed but they also want to be there when you are having a hard time in your personal life. They care about their students and they can tell when someone is having a hard time and they want to be there for their students.

Pack Lighter

Another thing I wish I would have realized before coming to college is you don’t have to bring your whole wardrobe from home with you. There is a lot of space in the residence hall for clothes, but I had to realize that I can’t fit my whole closet into the wardrobes in the rooms. I tried my hardest to fit everything and the closet wouldn’t shut. After my first year, I went through my clothes and shoes and brought what I needed. Also, the rooms are yours to design. They make them bland so that the students can add their personality to the rooms. I love being a resident assistant and going and seeing the different touches that residents add to their rooms. Some people like more simple rooms and some like to add extra touches to their rooms. I’ve learned that the guys like to keep their rooms simple while the girls are more extra with it. I wasn’t very extra my freshman year because I didn’t know what to bring, but after that, I was able to spice my room up and make it feel like home. You have to follow rules with housing, but it’s still very easy to follow those rules and make your room how you want it.

Rachel Holt

Rachel Holt

Hey guys, my name is Rachel Holt, and I am a 1st-year graduate student here at SAU. I am from El Dorado, Arkansas and I am 22-years-old. I graduated in April of 2021 with my Bachelor of Science in Public Health and am currently working towards a Master in Public Administration. I have worked in housing for most of my time here at SAU. I started the second semester of my sophomore year as an RA in Magnolia Hall and switched over to Burns-Harsh my junior year and have been there ever since. I work as an Assistant Resident Director in Burns-Harsh Hall now, and also as an AmeriCorps VISTA in the Office of Admissions as a recruiter. I have really enjoyed my time here at SAU.

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