Dear Incoming Freshmen Students

Dear Incoming Freshmen Students

From a soon-to-be sophomore
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Enjoy your first year. Enjoy every moment of it. It might seem like it's going to last forever, but it won't. They'll tell you this. The sophomores, juniors, and seniors will all tell you that your time at university will fly by. You won't believe them. You might be anxious. You might be scared. You'll probably think you're not good enough. The first week might seem like a lifetime, but after that it'll only feel like seconds. As a soon-to-be sophomore, I have experience with these feelings. Here are some important things to remember along the way.

1. You will be good enough.

College is all about discovering who you are. It's taking classes that interest you, and discovering what you want to do with your life along the way. There's no reason to worry about being good enough. You'll do great. College isn't as scary as it seems. The university wants you to succeed. The professors will want to help you. Most professors are extremely nice and understanding. If you need help, just ask. They'll help you. The majority of professors like when students asks questions. Remember to study though. Don't neglect your studies in an attempt to fit in.

2. Your pets will not forget you.

This was a big fear I had about college. I was worried that if I moved away, my dogs would forget who I was. It's hard to be away from your family. It's weird to imagine them living a life without you. It's also really hard to leave everything you know. It's comforting to know that your parents won't forget you. This is something I knew for certain. I didn't, however, know if my pets would remember me after months of separation. I realize now, this was a silly fear to have. Dogs are life long companions. They won't forget you. They'll miss you and they'll greet you with lots of love when you return home.

3. Savor the time you have.

It will be gone before you know it. You might not believe this right now. It probably seems like impending doom. Moving away from everything you know is terrifying. The first week will go by extremely slow. You'll question yourself. You'll question whether you can handle living away or not. You'll question whether you can handle the school load. It'll go by at a snails pace. That first week will feel horrible, but everything after that will be great. You'll make friends. You'll become comfortable with your classes. Your little dorm room will start to feel like home. Your roommate will be your closest friend, as will your hall mates. Before you know it, college will feel just as much like home as your actual home.

4. Don't hate on the freshman dorms.

They might not be luxurious. Okay, they're basically the opposite of luxurious. Freshman dorms look a little like insane asylums, but that's okay. Freshman dorms are where your closest friendships will form. If you live in an all-girls freshman dorm, you'll make friends who are like sisters. Weeks will go by studying in the lounge area together, eating popcorn, and hanging out. This time doesn't last. Before you know it, you'll all be going in different directions. Cling to the time you have. Don't forget these friendships as you move forward in life.


Cover Image Credit: http://www.freecollegenow.org/making_free_college_tuition_a_reality

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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Don't Be Afraid of Changing Your College Plan

It really isn't THAT bad...

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I can't claim to have any deep wisdom on life, but I at least have some good experience with a highly turbulent college career. I started as a game design major in a tech college in Rochester, NY, transferred to a college in Texas, and now I'm an English major at CofC.

My college life has been something of a roller coaster.

But I regret none of it. Maybe it would have been easier to stick to the track I was on initially, but I would never have been fully satisfied with it. Now I've finally found my place and, even though it may have taken a lot of shifting around, it was undoubtedly worthwhile.

I don't mean to say that everyone who is slightly dissatisfied with their major should transfer all over the country and change their major(I had to sacrifice the ability to get a minor because of the path I took, so I wouldn't recommend it to most people). I just believe that if you find yourself not liking the classes that are vital to your major or if you can't find a place at your current college, then changing your major or transferring isn't as horrible as you might imagine.

When I started college I was completely confident in what I wanted to do and what my future would look like. I thought it would be ridiculous for someone to stray from their initial path. That idea led to me deciding to transfer later than was smart.

I think everyone should know that having to change your plans for the future, sometimes in dramatic ways, isn't a bad thing. No matter how scary transferring and changing majors can seem, many people have done it before you and many will after, you aren't alone.

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