Sun. May 26th, 2024

All my life, I lived with the boiling anticipation of growing up. I wanted to be an adult so bad, I even started to believe that it would probably never happen as life was moving so slow. Slow, when you’re young, life is so slow. I counted the seconds till recess, I counted the months till my 16th birthday and I counted the days till graduation. And now, here I am, ironically begging time to slow down. To let me indulge in my last few semesters till graduation. To let me enjoy being an adult without the actual responsibilities of adulthood.

Because waiting on the other side of the bridge once college is over, is the 9-5 routine and stacks of bills with my name on them. “Living for the weekends” won’t even be enough. Oftentimes, I look back at childhood photos, wanting to go back and revisit that version of me. Back then, the sun seemed so much brighter, the air was crisp and the ice cream tasted much sweeter. I can barely remember the high school drama that seemed to take over my lifebecause problems that I thought were bigger than the whole sky are so minuscule now. The same goes for college. As the clock begins to count down, I find myself drinking in the moments to savor as memories for later.

I asked a variety of students to answer this question, anonymously, “What’s something you wish you could tell your younger/freshmen self?” And my hope is that our learned experiences inspire a first-year who stands where we once were. From trying to discover yourself to discovering your friend group, and even what major works for you, we’ve all been there. Through heartbreak, confusion and growth, I learned a lot freshman year, forging resilience and wisdom amidst the challenges.

Relationships:

– “As you outgrow the different versions of yourself, you may also outgrow some friends, and some friends may outgrow you. That’s not beef, it’s just growth.”

– “If I could meet my younger self, I would tell her that it all gets harder, but better. The pressure that she put on herself to be number one isn’t necessary because her worth is not determined by her grades. I would also tell her not to try so hard to please other people in order to make friends because she will make friends who genuinely like her for who she is and not what she can do for them. Lastly, I would tell her to keep trusting God even when it gets tough, and it will, because he is yet to fail her.”

– “I would tell my younger/freshman self that it’s okay, that not everyone has to be a close friend and to just remain yourself and let your positive energy attract the right people.”

– “Don’t force yourself into friend groups; your people will gravitate to you.”

Adulthood:

– “Don’t make yourself an adult before you become one, enjoy being young and enjoying what a child should enjoy, safely.”

– “Appreciate the little things.”

– “Appreciate the freedom you have while being young.”

– “I would tell my younger self to stop thinking about the future so much and stop relying on others to have fun.”

– “That’s it’s okay to not know everything, and enjoy being a kid!”

– “In his own way, God makes things work out for our good. Regardless of the journey we take to get there, enjoy every moment and every stop.”

– “Don’t stress about the future. Life will always align with where you want it to go.”

– “Remember to take things one step at a time. Don’t spend every day worrying about the future, what is meant for me will be.”

Self Growth:

– “I would tell my younger self that ‘You are doing good … everything will work out.’

– “You are exactly where you’re meant to be.”

– “One thing I’d tell my younger self is to stop being afraid of silent moments. Either with company or by yourself, sitting in silence is so much more comforting than you think.”

-“I’ll tell my younger self that the only person you’re in competition with is yourself, not other people.”

-“There’s a lot I would tell my younger self, but I think one of the best things I could tell myself would be, “You are and will always be enough.”

– “Do it, stop second guessing yourself and just do it and see what comes out of it.”

– “I would tell her, ‘Don’t worry so much about what others think. Do what you want and what makes you happy.”

– “You still have time to figure it out, enjoy ur time and don’t be pressured into anything.”

– “Don’t worry so much about the things you cannot control! things will happen as they’re intended to.”

– “I would advise myself to get ahead of things while you can. Like, if you feel like you’re struggling with something or should seek professional help/advice on an issue, do it early. Don’t doubt or gaslight yourself and put it off. Better to know and get ahead of things (whether the results are what you’re expecting or not) than to think you’re doing too much or don’t need assistance when it would’ve benefited you. Your gut is usually right.”

– “Make decisions for yourself and don’t lean too much on the advice/opinions of others; get out and discover on your own. I feel like while I’m def pursuing the career and lifestyle I wanna do, there were certain things or paths I took which I either shouldn’t have or should have and did not. It set me further back on certain aspects than I’d wanted and may have made some of my goals take longer to achieve which is unfortunate.

– “Seeking advice from people who’ve experienced what you’re doing or have some type of wisdom on the issue is great, of course, but also people come from different backgrounds and personalities, and that leads to different experiences. Moving with wisdom and God in college/the beginning of adulthood is key, because a lot of people limit themselves or can’t accomplish the things you could and (consciously or subconsciously) subsequently place those same limitations on others.”

– “Being true to yourself and the value you bring is your biggest superpower.”

But one thing I will stress that most of the responses had mentioned, is that the four years go by fast. Slow down, and spend it doing what you love with who you love. Embrace this transformation and use it to shape your future. Explore new interests, challenge yourself and cherish the memories you create along the way. You’ll spend these four years reinventing yourself. Who you come as freshman year is not the same person you’ll graduate as. I hope you’ll love the person you’ll leave here as.

 


Perpetual Kahindo is a third-year Political Science major. PK973548@wcupa.edu

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