An Open Letter To Incoming College Freshmen

An Open Letter To Incoming College Freshmen

You're in for the best few months ever.

Dear incoming college freshman,

I know how you're feeling right now. A mix of all things: excited for this new journey, sad to leave your friends or family at home and above all, nervous for the uncertainty that college promises to bring. As summer draws closer and closer to its end, the blurry goal that was once college is now directly in sight. You've started to buy bedspreads, towels and shower caddies. You're finding out your housing assignments, picking classes and contacting roommates about who will bring what. Right now, it all seems overwhelming. It will only become more and more overwhelming as you get closer to move-in. I've been there, only a year ago, and I can tell you that in just a few weeks, you'll be embarking on the most life-changing journey you can imagine.

Picture this: A month has passed, and move-in day is here. You stand in an empty dorm room, wondering, "What are my friends from home doing right now?" or maybe, "how am I going to do this?" You unload box after box of bedding, decorations and food, and before you know it, your family is kissing you goodbye and you are alone. The room you sit in is your new home, and the people down the hall are your new family. Get used to it quickly. Now for the best (and worst) part of those first few days: introductions. You'll meet so many new people and forget most of their names within the hour. You'll learn where everyone is from and ask about their majors – something you'll never remember unless you actually become friends. Best of all, you'll find that there are some people who remind you of your friends at home, or you'll meet other students you just click with. It may be your roommate, that girl across the hall or someone in your new favorite club. Soon enough, you'll be ordering pizza at 2 a.m. or studying for finals all night together. Until then, you'll still feel a little lonely, and you'll still text and call your best friend from home almost every day. You'll FaceTime your parents often, and you'll miss high school sports practices or your local pizza shop. But soon, all of that vanishes because this place has become your home. The new friends you've made will spend every day with you. You'll be swamped with schoolwork, you'll find clubs that you absolutely love and you'll find that college makes home seem mediocre.

As college looms on the horizon, I leave you with some advice I wish I'd been given. Spend as much time doing things with your friends and family as you can. Cherish those family vacations, eat your favorite meal as much as you can and lay on your best friend's bed just talking for hours. Before you know it, these will become high school memories, and you may just grow apart from those people who you once spent every day with. Soak in life before you face responsibility, endless studying and homework and that feeling of being utterly, comically broke. So many fun things lie ahead of you, but there are so many wonderful things at home you take for granted. Before you start this new chapter in your life, spend a few weeks highlighting and rereading your favorite parts of the last few. You'll be so glad you did.

Now buckle up, and get ready for a crazy ride. I'm sure all college upperclassmen can agree that they'd do anything to relive those first perfect months of freshmen year. Get excited, and don't be afraid to be nervous when you actually get there. Believe me, every other freshman will be, too. You're in good company.


A college student

Cover Image Credit: Sarah Fling

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6 Things I Didn't Really Need in My Freshman Dorm, And 6 Things I Wish I Brought Instead

I promise you, being Pinterest-worthy just doesn't make sense in a dorm.

As I packed up my dorm room and unpacked it all once I got home, I kinda felt stupid. I moved in with 2 cars full of stuff (yes, I know how extra that sounds and yes, it was indeed that extra) and I didn't end up needing half of it. Now, I'm swimming in stuff I need to get rid of while holding on to the stuff I didn't realize I would need and ended up buying mid-year. No matter how much you think you know everything, first-time dorm residents, please listen.

6 things I DIDN'T need but swore I did

1. All my personal books

I mean, I'm an English major and I love to read, but no one, and I mean no one, A) has free time and B) uses that free time to read in college.

2. Keurig

There's a coffee shop I can use my cafe credits at on my way to class. I never woke up early enough to brew my own coffee, and I never craved it bad enough in the afternoon to feel like I needed to make my own immediately. It was nice to make tea with though.

3. Dishes and Silverware/Excessive Mugs

All you need is 1 mug and a couple of water bottles. I promise you paper plates and plastic silverware are all you need.

4. An overabundance of office supplies

I didn't use all those fancy office supplies in high school, so as much as I love them, I have yet to reach for them in college.

5. T.V.

The T.V. I had was only slightly bigger than my laptop screen and the wifi at my dorm wasn't good enough for streaming. I hardly used it, but I know others used theirs a lot. Just a personal preference!

6. Tons of wall art

I totally believe wall art has the power to make a dorm room feel less institutional, but I wish I had brought more pictures from home to make my room personal. Pinterest dorm rooms just aren't real, and they aren't what you want when you're homesick.

6 things I wish I had bought before school started

1. ID Lanyard

I personally love these ones from Vera Bradley , but honestly, any way you can carry your ID, money, and keys all in one is a life changer.

2. Earplugs/Eye Mask

Dorms are loud even during quiet hours and sometimes your roommate stays up later or gets up earlier than you do. Amazon couldn't ship these to me fast enough.

3. Wireless Headphones/Earbuds

Personally, I'm an earbuds girl, but either one does the trick. It's nice to not have to deal with cords and to be able to connect to any of your devices without an adapter.

4. Laptop Shell/Stickers

Almost everyone ends up ordering stickers to put on their laptop to express themselves to those around them. On a practical level though, you're probably going to have the same laptop as 5+ other students in your lecture and you will probably throw your laptop in a bag and run at some point. A shell and some stickers will provide more protection than you realize. Check out for some great options.

5. Small vacuum

This is especially important if you get a rug. Sweeping is not pleasant, and the vacuums at your dorm are probably older than you are.

6. Pictures from home

Like I said before, wall art isn't going to comfort you when you want to go home. A picture of your dog or best friend sure will though.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Gherna

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I'm Not The Person I Was In High School And I'm Not Sorry I Changed

I'm sorry, the old me can't come to the phone right now.


If those who knew me in high school hung out with me now, they probably wouldn't recognize me. If my friends from college hung out with me around two years ago, they probably wouldn't recognize me. It's safe to say I've changed... a lot. I definitely find the change to be for the better and I couldn't be happier with the person I've become

In high school, I would sit at home every night anxiously waiting to leave and go out. Now, honestly, going out is the last thing I want to do any night of the week. While everyone in college is at a fraternity party or at the bars, I prefer to sit at home on the couch, watching Netflix with my boyfriend. That's an ideal night for me and it is exactly the opposite of what I wanted to do a couple of years ago. There's nothing wrong with going out and partying, it's just not what I want to do anymore.

I craved attention in high school. I went to the parties and outings so I could be in Snapchats and photos, just so people would know I was there. I hung out with certain groups of people just so I could say I was "friends" with so-and-so who was so very popular. I wanted to be known and I wanted to be cool.

Now, I couldn't care less. I go to the bars or the parties if I really feel like it or if my friends make me feel bad enough for never going anywhere that I finally decide to show up. It's just not my scene anymore and I no longer worry about missing out.

If you could look back at me during my junior year of high school, you probably would've found me searching for the best-ranked party schools and colleges with the best nearby clubs or bars. Now, you can find me eating snacks on the couch on a Friday night watching the parties through other peoples' Snapchats.

Some may say that I'm boring now, and while I agree that my life is a little less adventurous now than it was in high school, I don't regret the lifestyle changes I've made. I feel happier, I feel like a better person, I feel much more complete. I'm not sorry that I've changed since high school and I'm not sorry that I'm not living the typical "college lifestyle." I don't see anything wrong with that life, it's just not what makes me happy and it's not what I want to do anymore.

I've become a different person since high school and I couldn't be happier about it. I have a lot that's contributed to the change, but my boyfriend definitely was the main factor as he showed me that staying in can be a million times better than a night out. My interests and my social cravings have completely transitioned into that of an 80-year-old grandma, but I don't regret it.

Change doesn't have to be a bad thing. In fact, it can bring a lot more happiness and comfort. The transition from high school to college is drastic, but you can also use it as an opportunity to transition from one lifestyle to another. I don't regret the lifestyle flip I made and I couldn't be less apologetic about it.

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