Congratulations on your acceptance to Southern Methodist University. We are excited to have you join us, and we give you these pages to help you understand what we are about.
In a word, we are about you.
We are, though, about you in a very distinct sense. We are about giving you the opportunities that will help you to invent yourself … first as a successful college student, then as one who builds from that success to become the you who will face the world. Moreover, we are about educating you, and this means something very specific. It means that we have a responsibility to help you transform yourself.
First, we will help you take the academic skills and habits you bring here and reinvent yourself as a college student. You will move from mastering information presented in classes to becoming part of the dialogues that animate academic disciplines. You will move from being a simple consumer of knowledge to one who participates in the debate over what we know and why we think we know it.
Second, we will school you in achieving success. Preparing for a well-lived life means preparing to travel intelligently along the various avenues of life. Our focus on these pages is the academic, with the overarching goal of letting you know what you need to do to promote your academic success. Although it seems like a long time away, in four or five years you will be preparing to leave SMU for the “world out there,” and you want to start your academic career off on its very best foot. As Dorothy was no longer in Kansas after the twister, you are no longer in high school. It is time to start inventing yourself as a college student. To do so, you need to know what your faculty will expect of you.
We know that you are not “lost” as you come to us, but we want you to truly find yourself here. This is a journey we will take together and, if done well, we will both draw enormous success from it; you and we will become us. Welcome to our community of scholars and scholarship.