Dear Incoming College Freshman,
If you're anything like I was, you've googled "advice for college freshmen" and read countless articles, watched youtube videos, and texted every question you could think of to That One Friend You Have That Goes To Your School. You're planning every little detail, and you're so excited to get started.
Congrats on graduating by the way! You made it!!
Or maybe you're not like me. Maybe you're absolutely petrified and are convinced you will be miserable and fail out by your first semester. Maybe you're so tightly knit with your group of friends from high school, and you're devastated that soon all of you will be separated, spread out all over the country. Maybe you are scared separation will force you all to grow apart.
Or maybe you're somewhere in between. No matter what you feel, let me start off by saying: calm down. Don't get so into this transition that you don't do anything non-college related all summer. Don't be so afraid to lose people that you push them away.
Live it up this summer. Hang out with your friends as much as you can. Go get lunch with your parents. Take your little sibling out for ice cream. These are people that used to be constants in your life, and won't be in a little while. You're probably used to taking them for granted, and that's understandable, but you won't be seeing them every day very soon. Enjoy the time with them that you have.
That's not to say that you go to college and suddenly everyone from your life back home disappears, and you never see them again. I call my mom every day when I'm at school. She's very in the loop about what's going on in my life. She's probably reading this article right now. (Hi, Coll!)
This is Coll. She's the best. Bask in her glory.
I also text friends from home regularly. Rest assured your relationships don't get weaker with the core people. They just change a little bit. Hanging out becomes more special, even if you're just walking around in a target because you live Scranton, PA and we don't have much to do. Phone calls where you catch up become the most fascinating part of your week. With the right people, this will just make you closer.
This is my best friend Caitlin. We went from being 20 minutes away from each other to 4 hours away from each other. I love her just as much now as I did in high school, if not more.
That's not to say it won't lead to a separation from some people. That's ok. Sometimes people are meant to be in your life for a while and then you both need to move on separately. The people meant to be around will be around. Trust yourself and your people.
As for college itself, let me be honest with you, it won't be incredible at first. You probably won't know many people besides your roommate. Don't expect to walk in and suddenly have a huge group of friends. Meeting your people will take time, and there will be a period of time before you've met them that might kinda suck.
Leave your room. Talk to people. They're lonely too. I made the mistake of keeping to myself for a while and the result was a very dramatic phone call with my mother wherein I told her I wanted to transfer schools and she told me I was an idiot. I was, in fact, an idiot.
The second I met my people, you couldn't get me to leave if you paid me. Well, ok, maybe if you paid me like a billion dollars, but I'd still talk to my friends from school all the time. You will reach this point with your people too, but you have to put yourself out there and give yourself the time to meet them.
I cannot express to you how excited I am for the next time I get to take up an obnoxiously large table at Chili's with these hooligans.
In terms of classes, your high school teachers who told you "college is so hard!! You have to apply yourself constantly and you'll still probably fail classes!!!!!" were kind of right, but mostly not. Here's the truth. If you were a good student who tried in high school, you'll probably do well in college. If you weren't, you probably won't unless you really buckle down and make yourself try.
You might have a class you love and don't have to work at all in, and another one you hate and try super hard in. You might have professors you would fight a bear for (I'd definitely clock a bear for most of my English professors) and another you'd throw in front of the bear.
Point being, you're going to be fine. You'll have some obstacles, sure. Nothing is perfect, but you'll be ok. I left college with some amazing experiences, people I talk to literally every single day and love endlessly, and excitement for the experience to continue.
In one year, I finished a musical while concussed, regularly utilized the phrase "let's pop some bagels!" blasted the iCarly theme song while driving down many a busy street, serenaded strangers with "Dancing Queen," and cultivated friendships with people I'll admire for the rest of my life. You will too. Get excited. You're ready.
All my love,
The Incoming College Sophomore Who Really Isn't Qualified to Act Like An Expert On This