Our family has hosted many freshmen during Taylor’s orientation weekend and the most frequently asked question is “What advice would you give a freshman?” So here is my advice:
Set up a routine that includes exercise and sleep. The 18-22 year old brain is still maturing and you need both exercise and sleep in order for your brain to function at its best. (I’d like to reference "Brain Rules" by John Medina and "The New Science of Learning" by Terry Doyle and Todd Zakrajsek)
Weigh your extracurricular options carefully. At Taylor, most of your choices about what to do will be between good options and it is easy to commit to too many things early on. Think through what is offered, and choose three (or fewer) groups/clubs that match your interests or long term goals. Then, when you are invited to join something new, you can decline easily knowing that you have already carefully thought out where you will best fit.
Get help early! If you are struggling spiritually, emotionally, or academically, seek out help sooner rather than later. In terms of academic help, the Academic Enrichment Center offers many services including free tutoring. The faculty and staff at Taylor want to help you succeed, so let us know how we can help you.
I love my job as the Coordinator of Tutoring Services. I work with colleagues who are caring and supportive, tutors who are willing to help out their fellow students, and students who are striving to become better students. I enjoy getting to know both the tutors and the students on a personal level. All of them have enriched my life in some way and some of them have even become like family.
Another reason that I have enjoyed working at Taylor is that my husband, Dr. Tom Nurkkala, and I have been able to lead January term mission trips for Computer Science and Engineering students. We have been able to introduce students to new cultures, to real life programming experiences, and to missionaries in the field. Tom and I also had the opportunity to make a presentation about these trips at the Association of Christians in the Mathematical Sciences.
I try to keep a book with me at all times, because I love to read. A good book and a comfortable chair make for a great break from the routine of the day. I read more fiction than nonfiction, and George MacDonald is one of my favorite authors. I also enjoy cooking. I have to maintain a gluten free diet, so embracing my own kitchen and making tasty food has become a necessity in order to stay healthy. My husband and I also enjoy traveling and cycling together. In fact, we have recently challenged ourselves to ride our bikes for 50 miles in all 50 states while in our 50’s. This will help us stay fit while doing something we enjoy.