Dear Freshman Self,
I know you might be scared, and you are probably nervous. This is your first time away from home after all, your first time really being on your own. But I want you to know that you can do this, you’re going to get through this. I wish you would have known some of the things then that I know now, maybe you would have done some things a little differently.
Remember to be yourself, and stay true to that. I know college is about finding yourself and discovering who you really are, but once you find it, do not let it go. Do not try and change who you are just because you think you want to be someone different.
If you do not want to go out one night, then don’t. Stay in bed, study, read, call your mom, watch Netflix; do whatever you want to do and do not let anyone else influence that.
Do not be afraid to be different. College is filled with people from different areas who come from different backgrounds. No one is the same. Everyone wants to try and fit in and be the same as everyone else, but that just cannot be the case. Be different, stand out. Walk a different path than everyone else. Try something new, who knows, maybe you will like it.
Join a club and get involved. Find a club that interests you and give it a try, if it turns out that club is not for you, find another one. Find something you are passionate about and join it. Meet new people and make connections. Being in a club gives you not only friends, but a support system, a family. It introduces you to new experiences and opportunities that you would not get otherwise. Being involved with the school and the community is a great way to make friends and a great way to relieve some of the everyday stress.
Be safe and think about consequences. I know you are young and have so much life before you. College seems to offer endless possibilities. But just remember to think about possible consequences of your actions. Do not do something just because “all your friends are doing it” or because you want to “fit it” and be “cool.”If you have an unsure feeling about something, then do not do it. If your friends are truly your friends, they will not judge you for wanting to sit something out. Missing one night out will not hurt you, and could do some good. But going out and having consequences, could affect your college or even future career. Just be smart and you will be just fine!
Take your midterms and finals seriously. No one likes to sit down and study for hours, but do not take your exams lightly. Usually, they are a decent part of your final grade. Stop procrastinating and find some motivation to study and review your notes. Spend a night at the library and hit the books. After all, you don’t want to have to retake a class, do you?
It’s okay to get homesick. Some people love being away and being on their own and they will not go home once during the semester. Other people like to be home and will go home most weekends. It depends on who you are and how close you are to your family. If you miss home, then go home for a weekend. Spend some time with your friends and your family. Sometimes, everyone just needs a relaxing weekend at home to refresh them and get them ready for another few weeks away at school.
Last of all, have fun and enjoy your time as a freshman, it goes by way too quickly. The first day you move in and when your parents leave it feels like you are going to be away forever. But soon enough, fall break comes, then Thanksgiving break arrives, and before you know it you finished your last final and are headed home for winter break. Just like that your very first college semester is over.
By the end of winter break you are eager to return to campus and see all of your friends again. The second semester begins and then spring break comes up in the blink of an eye. You return from break and soon you just finished your last final.
As you move out of your dorm, it feels like you just moved everything in for the first time yesterday. Your freshman year of college ends as quickly as it begins.
Sadie Markley can be reached at SM809020@wcupa.edu.