Hey freshmen, it’s only going to get harder from here. Yeah, you’re right, you don’t know anybody on campus. It’s true, that class is going to be harder than anything you’ve ever tried learning before and your professor is going to show you no mercy. You absolutely will realize that living in a shoe box isn’t as exciting as you thought it would be. But you will survive, and yes, this is going to be the year that may possibly change your life (which is something to be very excited about).
Being a freshman was something that gave me a plethora of emotions. New friends, expanded curricular, beautiful campus, a new beginning. It sounded like a breath of fresh air, something I definitely needed ‑ coming from a small town where air was limited and shared with people you’d preferably not share it with.
Luckily I was handed that, all of it, which in most cases would be a reward, considering that that’s exactly what I was looking for. Except for the fact that exactly one week into my freshman year, I hopped right onto the struggle bus, and got off at just about every stop on the way. The biggest reality check I’ve ever had, and man, was it hard.
I was challenged in ways I didn't know how to handle, I questioned my knowledge and confidence, I realized that my social butterfly skills did not carry with me from high school, and it became hard to fathom the fact that my best friends and family weren't down the street from me anymore.
Minus all the negativity and road bumps, I also realized that I was becoming someone that needed these challenges and changes.
Now, I'm definitely not an expert by any means, but I took a few things away from my freshman year that I think deserved to be rehearsed.
Take it all in. Every second, every tear, every smile from a stranger, every piece of advice from a professor, every failure and every accomplishment. Be happy about it all because there’s nothing worse than looking back on the first year of the best four years of your life and remembering that you hated every moment of it.
Make friendships that you were “too cool” to make in highschool, because trust me, you’re definitely not as cool as you think you are. Spark up a conversation with the kid that sits next to you in class and looks like he needs a sip of your double shot of espresso coffee, because I promise you, he absolutely does. Venture out into the city that surrounds you and get out of your dorm. Let your story be told through your talents and live a little bit more than you planned when you woke up. Oh, and get your butt to the gym.
Along with all of this “living” and taking in all of the different aspects that college has to offer, do not forget about your school work. I repeat. Get good grades. It’ll make you feel like a super human that can conquer the world within the perimeters of a classroom and a gradebook.
Don’t be afraid to admit that you’re not having the college experience that you bargained for. I promise you, 99.9999% of freshman are struggling just as much as you are. It’s not something to be ashamed of, it means you’re doing it right.
You finally have freedom. Use it wisely and take advantage of the fact that you officially have the power over every decision and action you make. At the same time, when you make the wrong choice, don’t be scared to call your mom and get some whole-hearted advice, it’ll be the perfect pick me up when you feel like you got this whole “adult thing” wrong.
Lastly, trust your gut. Be true to who you are and don’t force yourself to do or believe things that don’t make sense to you, because it is so easy to let yourself go and not realize the power that a whole year in a new environment has on your life. It’s a beautiful time to be alive, and an even better time to be a college freshman. Now get out there, kids.