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?
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. :)