What I know Now: Advice for Incoming Freshman

What I Know Now: Advice for Incoming Freshman

by Haley Ramirez




Hannah Zimmerman is a student at Stephen F. Austin State University. She is closing in on her freshman year and has some tips and advice for incoming freshman.

Study, Study, Study

Studying is so important to do. Most students recall not having to study much in high school and passing with flying colors. College is a different story. You will find yourself pulling an all-nighter for a yoga class. I’m not laughing. This is a great tip because incoming freshman won’t realize this right away until the aftermath of not studying for a test. Sometime’s you have to learn for yourself but if you are an incoming freshman reading this, you should consider Zimmerman’s advice and study, study, study. Zimmerman also points out that professors can tell if you studied for their class and that can indefinitely affect your grades.


Photo of Hannah Zimmerman captured by Haley Ramirez

Get Involved

Zimmerman’s second piece of advice was to not waste time waiting on getting involved. She pointed out that since college is a whole new experience many students think to wait a semester or so to first get adjusted. This can be a good idea but at the same time you will only have one college experience and making it the most is just as important. Getting involved by joining campus organizations or groups can be a good way to meet new people. Most incoming freshman don’t know many people or anyone at that. Getting involved, especially the first semester or year, is an opportunity to easily meet new people and friends. And it’s fun! Your education of course is the main purpose for attending SFA; however, it is important to have fun and enjoy your time there , it will go by before you know it. It can also be something you do and participate in that you can do your entire time in college and become something you are proud to have been a part of.


Handling New-found Freedom

The transition from high school to college is a huge adjustment for anyone. Living at home with your parents and going to school where you are told what to do all day long, all of the sudden is no more. Overnight you become soley responsible for yourself and your actions. This sounds appealing and it is, but with this new-found freedom do not forget your responsibilities and why you are at school in the first place. The sudden freedom can cause some students to get distracted from the purpose. Zimmerman’s final advice stems from this same tip, to be aware that the freshman fifteen is real. It’s a “myth” among all colleges and universities; however, it is reality. It may not affect all, but it can happen to anyone. Freshman fifteen targets those who get too excited with their new freedom. “Like if you wanted to eat pizza for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you could,” Hannah exclaimed. She also recommends to utilize campus resources such as the gym.

Hannah Zimmerman is an SFA student who is finishing her freshman year. She shared some tips and advice to the next group of incoming freshman, on some things she has learned her first year. These are things she knows now and wishes she had known then. She hopes any incoming freshman reading this, take in to consideration all of her shared advice.


Click here if you are interested in applying as a student for SFA

Click here for information for incoming freshman

Click here is you are interested in learning more about life at SFA

Contact Me: https://www.facebook.com/haley.ramirez.3388

Gender Neutral Bathrooms on campus

SFA Pride Nac

SFA Pride Nac


So far 17 states and many more communities across the United States include transgender people among protected classes for public accommodations. According to Dictionary.com, transgender is defined as “noting or relating to a person whose gender identity does not correspond to that person’s biological sex assigned at birth.” There are approximately 1.4 million transgender people around the world. That is 0.6% of the world’s population. (ThinkProgress) Pride Nac at Stephen F. Austin State University has started a petition to implement gender neutral bathrooms. These bathrooms will allow transgender students, faculty and staff to use the bathroom in the privacy of a secure location.

Benefits of Gender Neutral Bathrooms

Transgender students, faculty and staff would see the greatest benefits from these bathrooms the most however, these bathrooms can also be used for parents whose child is a different gender than them and care givers or personal attendants for the elderly who may be of a different gender than the person they are caring for.

Campaigns to make gender-neutral bathrooms available been appearing across the country over the last few years. Gender neutral bathrooms allow for transgender people to comfortably and safely use the restroom however they choose to identify. Transgender people tend to get bullied in the public restrooms because they do not use the facilities as their genitalia should. They feel as though they are always being watched and it causes them to be very uncomfortable. As humanitarians, people are supposed to want their peers to be as comfortable as possible at all times.

Gender neutral bathrooms have other benefits other than safety. These bathrooms would allow for two people of the same gender to be able to use the restroom without waiting in a line.  Traditionally, women use the restroom more often then men and tend to stay longer. Gender neutral bathrooms would allow for more women to use the restroom, and cuts down on the wait time while causing minimal inconvenience to men.

Disadvantages of Gender Neutral Bathrooms

Where there are benefits there are also disadvantages to implementing these new facilities. One might say that there is just as much of a risk in divided bathrooms as there are in gender-neutral bathrooms however, this is due to the fact that most pedophiles are heterosexual therefore there is only a slight chance that a pedophile will make a move in a gender divided restroom. Yet, in a gender-neutral restroom this possible chance of sexual assault turns into a 10 out of 10 chance due to the fact that every gender will be in one bathroom.

Not only is sexual assault a concern of most people but funding and space for these bathrooms is an issue. The space and money it would take to build these new restrooms would take away valuable classroom/meeting room space and take away funds from the universities or businesses trying to implement these new facilities that could be better used in other things. At SFA, students feel as though the money that would be going to these restrooms could go to improve the elevators in the Science building or go to pay for more parking lots.

Implementation at SFA

These bathrooms would be located in the Student Center and the Steen Library. Some construction would have to happen in these facilities to allow for more plumbing and the bathrooms themselves. Cameron Glenn, a Pride Nac member, said they (Pride Nac) knows that SFA tries to be an inclusive university however, the efforts SFA has tried thus far have not made any progress. Glenn said, “I hope that if SFA decides to implement these bathrooms that it will show that the administration is recognizing these students and trying to make SFA more inclusive.” For more information or if you have any questions, comments or concerns you can contact Pride Nac through their Facebook page.

2017 Spring Teacher Fair is Coming Up

By Jordan Chaffer




In just a couple of days, May 5th 2017, Stephen F. Austin State University will be holding a Spring Teacher Fair. This job fair is designed to get students who are interested in educating students to connected with different schools and districts. This will be happening from 9:30a.m.-Noon. It will be held in the H.P.E complex gym.

What do Students think of the fair?

SFA students Joshua Warner and Jessica Smith were asked to comment on the job fair, and how they felt about going to the event. Jessica is a Education major, while Josh is a Kinesiology major, who is exploring his options of becoming a teacher. Both of them are excited to attend Friday’s event.

“I think it’s going to be a really good thing to get my foot in the door” said Smith. She has recently changed her major, and believes the job fair is an excellent place to start.

“I am looking for a job in my field obviously, but the teacher fair is a really good way to network…and get to know different people.” Said Warner.

What should you bring to the fair?

men suits


Professional Attire is required for the event. Have to dress to impress potential future employers! The Center for Career and Professional Development has a free  career closet for those who do not own any professional attire.  Student ID’s and resume copies are also good to have.


The Spring Teacher Fair of 2017 will be held at the Norton H.P.E complex gym. Remember, this is a free event. That is why it is important for SFA students to take advantage of this deal, especially those who are education majors.

Lauren Smith explains she thinks “It’s a good idea for students to come to the job fair if they are even weary of their current major.”

The job fair is not only an opportunity for education majors to get jobs, but as Lauren says, anyone can check it out to see if that is the path they want to take in career advancement.


The following are links that can help you gather more information on the job fair:

The flyer

Website to look at other Career related events

Images are not mine, they came from this website/blog.

Jordan Chaffer can be contacted by the following emails:

[email protected]

[email protected]



Stay Classy Event

Stay Classy Event

Jameca McDonald

April 28, 2017

[email protected]

 About the event

On Saturday, April 22, 2017, WOV leader, Latrice Alexander hosted the “Stay Classy “event in the Tiered room, on the second floor of the Baker Patillo student center. The program was for both men and women and was held from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The admission was $ 3 a ticket. Alexander opened the program with a self- introduction and explained why she created the event. She spoke about her past, her attendance as a SFA student, and her future.

During the program different segments were produced throughout the night that represented motivation; such as listing five points to project about life and four words to live by. The four words of the night were educate , motivate, elevate, and empower. The entertainment of the evening had two singers sing about motivation. Star Jackson sang “weary”; this song relates to the constant divide of the world. John Singleton sang “why I love you” to tie in how important self -love is. Two items were passed out during the event to the audience. These two items symbolized different representations of life. The items were A wooden stake and a rough round piece of wood. On both items , Alexander asked the audience to write down their fears on the rough wood, and on their stake write down something inspirational. She chose these two items because the rough piece of wood represented the rough part of life that stops individuals from conquering adversity. The smooth stake represents that life can be at “stake” if you don’t try. At the end of the night; Alexander presented her crew and specific audience members with honorary awards.



Why the event was created

Alexander created the “Stay Classy” to inspire individuals to invest in themselves. “The program was meant to educate, motivate, elevate and empower” she said. Alexander had five steps to life she spoke about that night. The five steps were: Guard your thoughts, surround yourself with people who motivate you, be confident in all you do, be comfortable with being uncomfortable, and be a happy giver. The first step is to guard your thoughts; “This is a very specific action to take because your mind is a powerful thing and can create great ideas” Alexander said. The second step is to surround yourself with people that motivate you. This step stood out to audience member Melissa Harriot; because she feels in life the people you surround yourself with can change your energy. Step three and four stood out to Alexander the most; these are the two things she struggled with before creating the event. Step three is be confident in all that you do. “ I literally had to reset my mind in order to follow through with this idea, and I am very happy that I did” Alexander said. The fact that Alexander took her own advice, made the audience truly grasp more to her words. Step four is be comfortable with being uncomfortable. “I chose this topic because I know in life as humans we get uncomfortable, but most of the time that comfort stops us from accomplishing our goals in life” Alexander stated. She tied it all in with the last step Being a happy giver. She believes that giving willingly will come back full circle in receiving. Alexander really wanted to empower people to think outside the box with this event. She hopes to turn this program into an annual movement at SFA and in her career.


About Latrice Alexander

Latrice Alexander is a student at SFA. She will graduate the 16th of May. She is an active member of Women of Virtue. She is a huge advocate in education. She aspires to be a motivational speaker and an event coordinator. In her spare time, she is a mobile mentor and a substitute teacher. “I try to choose everything wisely, I put a lot of thought into my passion” she stated. In her program, she mentioned she lives by the four words: educate, motivate, elevate, and empower. Alexander told her story because she loves connecting with individuals. She hopes to have multiple motivational programs in her career.  For more information about “The Stay classy” event or Latrice Alexander visit her at [email protected].


Embedded links:

[email protected]




The Big Dip

By: Hunter McConnell


Pictured: Kirsten Richardson, dipped in pride!

The Big Dip is a tradition only practiced at Stephen F. Austin State University. Big Dip stands for “dipped in pride.” Students who are eligible to participate in the Big Dip, have completed a minimum of 60 hours in the classroom and have earned the right to order an SFA ring. Students will receive an invitation to the ceremony and to order their ring. This event is held in the fall and spring semesters here, at SFA. There are two main styles of the ring to choose from, ranging in different colors and finishes. The Big Dip consist of students joining each other in a ceremony that is held in the Student Center on campus. Each student gets to go on the stage and dip their hand, formed in the axe ‘em hand sign, in a bowl of purple dye. The dye will stay on your hand for up to two days after the ceremony. It may come off sooner depending on the amount of times you wash your hands. Most students love that the dye stays on, because they are able to be noticed for getting their rings. The water for the dye is collected from the iconic surfin’ steve statue, located in the middle of campus.

“The Big Dip is such a fun experience for each student to take place in, it really makes you realize how special SFA is to you,” Kirsten Richardson, a senior at SFA.

After the students dip their hand, they get to shake the University President, Baker Patillo’s hand and pose for a picture. All of the students are asked to not open their ring box until everyone gets their rings. This is hard for the students to fight the urge to not bust the box open!

Tradition is a huge things for the students, faculty and alumni of the University. The Big Dip is a fun thing for everyone to come together and remember why they all love SFA so much.

10th Annual Dip


Pictured: SFA student dipping their hand in the dye

The whole Nacogdoches community comes together to help the students that are receiving their rings, feel supported and congratulated on their recent endeavor. By doing so, when you participate in the Big Dip you receive a card showing all of the discounts offered around town to the students that just got their ring. All you have to do is show your hand dipped in purple and showing off your new shiny gold or silver ring!

“When I got my ring I was so excited, but what made it even more exciting was that I got to go around Nacogdoches and receive congratulations from all of the members of Nacogdoches,” Richardson said.

After all of the recipients get their rings, they are asked to follow a volunteer to a location on campus to take a group photo. The photo is a great way for all of the students to pose and show their excitement after the ceremony. All of the photos from the event are posted on the SFASU Facebook page. This makes them easily accessible and lets anyone get to look at them and share with friends and family.

This semester the Big Dip will be held on May fifth. All students are encouraged to dress casually, but not encouraged to wear white. This is because the dye is dark purple and will easily stain clothes. Doors open at 11a.m. and seating for guests are limited and not guaranteed. There are two different ceremonies depending on the first letter of your last name.

For more information on the ceremony, click here 

For more information on the SFA ring, click here

For more information on SFA traditions, click here