A Letter To My Former Soon-To-Be-Freshman Self

A Letter To My Former Soon-To-Be-Freshman Self

I know people normally write to their future selves and not their past selves, but what's life without deviation from the status quo?

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Dear 18-year-old me, as you're about to begin college,

As I prepare to begin my second year of college, I want to go back and reflect on things I wish I had known back when I was just starting out. I remember the weeks before freshman year move-in day were filled with worry and anxiety. Will I like it there? Will I make friends okay?

Will my classes be too hard? What if I hate it? Going away to college in a different state where I didn't know a single person and leaving the long-established life I had at home had me in panic mode. I remember desperately wishing I could fast forward a year, just to ask future me if everything would work out. Now, looking back, I wish I could ease my anxious little freshman mind and just say that in a year, things will be better than ever.


For starters, stop freaking out! Everything is going to work out for the best. Being nervous is normal, but definitely not worth the stress at all! Being a little fish in a big pond is undoubtedly intimidating at first, but little do you know, it's an environment you're going to thrive in.

There's no doubt that it will be hard and frustrating at first. You'll think about coming home, tears will be shed, and frantic phone calls to mom will be made, and that is okay. In fact, I would consider it to be normal. Just know that the first few weeks might be tough, but after that, you're going to have the time of your life.

And, whether you believe me or not, everyone else is the same way. You're going to look around and think "everyone seems to have themselves together, to not be nervous... Am I the only one secretly freaking out?" The answer is NO! No matter how collected everyone seems, they're not. I promise. Everyone is low key freaking out inside, just like you.


Secondly, the very last thing you should worry about is making friends, because you're definitely going to make friends. I promise you, it will happen. There are so many people at college, and all of the people in your class are in the same boat as you! Almost everyone else showed up to college without any pre-made friends and are also looking to make some new pals, so just go around and mingle, and you'll meet some of the greatest people.

Don't be shy. Open your dorm room door, approach girls who seem nice, compliment someone's shirt. You'll find your besties in no time! You're going to make lifelong friends in college, without a doubt.


Finally, one last thing that you need to realize, which was personally very hard for me to grasp, is that you are going to struggle in some classes, and that is completely normal and okay. Does that mean these classes are impossible? No. Are you going to hate school because of it?

No.

You're just going to have to put the work in. Don't look at the difficult classes as a burden, but instead, look at them as an exciting challenge, and as an opportunity to grow and learn. Do not ever think "this class is so hard, I'm going to get a bad grade in the end!" because no matter how hard a class is, as long as you try your absolute hardest and put in the work required, you WILL get a good grade, I promise.

But, I must say, mistakes happen, and bad grades do happen.... do not freak out! You're going to fail a few tests, no matter how hard you study for them, and in college that is okay. Occasional bad grades are inevitable in college and are totally normal and are NOT the end of the world. I'm going to let you in on a secret: you can fail tests and still get a fantastic grade in the class if you play your cards right and work hard.

Don't stress too much over grades. It's better to get a B+ and be happy and mentally healthy than get an A but be overwhelmed with stress, sleep deprived, and unhealthy. Taking care of yourself mentally is far more important than any grade.


Prepare for the best year of your life! I promise you, everything is going to be fine. :)


Xoxo,

Soon-to-be-Sophomore Nori

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College As Told By Junie B. Jones

A tribute to the beloved author Barbara Parks.
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The Junie B. Jones series was a big part of my childhood. They were the first chapter books I ever read. On car trips, my mother would entertain my sister and me by purchasing a new Junie B. Jones book and reading it to us. My favorite part about the books then, and still, are how funny they are. Junie B. takes things very literally, and her (mis)adventures are hilarious. A lot of children's authors tend to write for children and parents in their books to keep the attention of both parties. Barbara Park, the author of the Junie B. Jones series, did just that. This is why many things Junie B. said in Kindergarten could be applied to her experiences in college, as shown here.

When Junie B. introduces herself hundreds of times during orientation week:

“My name is Junie B. Jones. The B stands for Beatrice. Except I don't like Beatrice. I just like B and that's all." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 1)

When she goes to her first college career fair:

"Yeah, only guess what? I never even heard of that dumb word careers before. And so I won't know what the heck we're talking about." (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 2)

When she thinks people in class are gossiping about her:

“They whispered to each other for a real long time. Also, they kept looking at me. And they wouldn't even stop." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When someone asks her about the library:

“It's where the books are. And guess what? Books are my very favorite things in the whole world!" (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 27)

When she doesn't know what she's eating at the caf:

“I peeked inside the bread. I stared and stared for a real long time. 'Cause I didn't actually recognize the meat, that's why. Finally, I ate it anyway. It was tasty...whatever it was." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When she gets bored during class:

“I drew a sausage patty on my arm. Only that wasn't even an assignment." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 18)

When she considers dropping out:

“Maybe someday I will just be the Boss of Cookies instead!" (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 76)

When her friends invite her to the lake for Labor Day:

“GOOD NEWS! I CAN COME TO THE LAKE WITH YOU, I BELIEVE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 17)

When her professor never enters grades on time:

“I rolled my eyes way up to the sky." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 38)

When her friends won't stop poking her on Facebook:


“Do not poke me one more time, and I mean it." (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 7)

When she finds out she got a bad test grade:

“Then my eyes got a little bit wet. I wasn't crying, though." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 17)

When she isn't allowed to have a pet on campus but really wants one:

“FISH STICK! I NAMED HIM FISH STICK BECAUSE HE'S A FISH STICK, OF COURSE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 59)

When she has to walk across campus in the dark:

“There's no such thing as monsters. There's no such thing as monsters." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 12)

When her boyfriend breaks her heart:

“I am a bachelorette. A bachelorette is when your boyfriend named Ricardo dumps you at recess. Only I wasn't actually expecting that terrible trouble." (Junie B. Jones Is (almost) a Flower Girl, p. 1)

When she paints her first canvas:


"And painting is the funnest thing I love!" (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 61)

When her sorority takes stacked pictures:

“The biggie kids stand in the back. And the shortie kids stand in the front. I am a shortie kid. Only that is nothing to be ashamed of." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 7)

When she's had enough of the caf's food:

“Want to bake a lemon pie? A lemon pie would be fun, don't you think?" (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed p. 34)

When she forgets about an exam:

“Speechless is when your mouth can't speech." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 54)

When she finds out she has enough credits to graduate:

“A DIPLOMA! A DIPLOMA! I WILL LOVE A DIPLOMA!" (Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl p. 6)

When she gets home from college:

"IT'S ME! IT'S JUNIE B. JONES! I'M HOME FROM MY SCHOOL!" (Junie B. Jones and some Sneaky Peaky Spying p. 20)

Cover Image Credit: OrderOfBooks

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Things I Miss Now That I'm Home From College Again

There are so many reasons to be glad that the school year is over, but if you've done it right... there are a lot of reasons to miss it too.

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So, school is over now and I've come home. As expected I was so relieved at first. No more showering with flip-flops, no more listening to screaming girls running up and down the hall, and a space that is mine and mine alone. But after a week or so of being back, there are a few things I've already started to miss.

I know that not every single person has the ideal roommate but I got really lucky with mine. Coming home I was excited to have my own space, but now when I'm doing my midnight scrolling, I'm realizing that I miss being able to talk to her about the funny things I see in that very moment. Tagging, DMing, and texting her doesn't feel the same as a long night of giggles spent together.

Also, while seeing old friends when you get home is amazing, and there is always a lot to catch up on, you do start to miss your other friends too. Being in college means that your friends are going through similar things as you are all the time. You have tests together, clubs together, and sometimes you spend way too much time procrastinating together. The bond you begin to form is one you definitely begin to miss - especially when you guys don't live close off of campus.

Coming home also means you don't have a set schedule or at least not immediately. You may come back to a previous job and that puts something on your calendar, but the free time you still have during the week can be a little too much. I know I've spent way too much time obsessing over the Tati/James drama than I ever would have at school. The routine I had at school kept me busy and entertained, and I'm honestly missing it a lot right now.

There are a lot of other things to miss too - even things you thought you wouldn't. You miss the classes, the teachers, and sometimes the food. I know I miss the environment. It isn't a perfect one, but it's full of people just trying to find their way. We are all working through the roller coaster of life and we are all stuck on one beautiful campus together while we figure it all out. I miss meeting new people at the bus stops or running into old classmates and catching up.

I guess the bonus for me is that I just finished sophomore year which means I have more time to spend at school. Come senior year, I guess I'll have to learn quickly how to deal without the things I miss - and also create a schedule so I can travel to see all of my friends, but those are all problems for future me.

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