A Thank You To Freshman Year

A Thank You To Freshman Year

"So, how was freshman year?"
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College is such a confusing, yet an excitingly poignant time to explore and realize what you want to do eventually in your life. You go in thinking to yourself, “I am literally 18 years old and being thrown into a university with thousands of strangers, how am I going to adjust to this dramatic change?” Well, for me, these were my thoughts on coming to college last fall. Now, exiting my freshman year, I’m devastated it’s all over so quickly. Freshman year taught me so many things, maybe too many things, to be exact. It brought me a family of sorority sisters, whom have become some of my best friends, a great education, a beautiful campus that has so many opportunities and most importantly, a place that I call my second home.

A year ago, I never thought I would call the great state of Alabama “home.” I think back to all the times I would look up at the cloudless, vibrant blue sky while walking through the quad, and say “how the heck is this Alabama?!” Being originally from the north, it is looked upon as pretty uncommon to go to the deep south for college, but I decided to give it chance considering I hate everything about the cold, winter, snow, and ice up in Connecticut where I spent my last 18 years.

The first week of school were a bundle of nerves and fear. I was in a new place, and like any other blind little freshman, it is an unsettling feeling walking into your first class not knowing what to expect. I remember walking into my giant 300 person lecture classes and running around the quad trying to not be late, meanwhile searching for my classes in buildings that all looked the same. Eventually, I got the hang of it down to a science in which I repeated every to every other day. People won’t tell you how hard college actually is. The biggest thing I have learned is that time management is the key to success and every single point offered in your classes matter, because it’s so easy to fail. There are so many distractions at college ranging from partying, to just being plain lazy and not wanting to get up for class because it’s up to you, and there is no one that’s going to stop from doing what you feel like doing. I have met people whose papers or assignments have been turned away and given a zero for being just five minutes overdue. Developing into someone who had absolutely no time management skills, to becoming 100 percent more conscious on getting my work done, it has definitely benefitted me in my school work this year.

I have learned most southern schools are dominated by Greek life. Joining a sorority or fraternity is a great way to get involved with people you’ll most likely be spending most of your years at college with. I am honestly so thankful for everything my sorority has given me over the past school year. Anyone could admit that it was definitely scary walking into the sorority house during the first few weeks of school, intimidated by the older girls and not really having many friends. As the year progressed, I found girls who shared similar interests as me and who are all around great people that I am proud to call my best friends and sisters. From sisterhood events, game days, to homecoming, Greek Week, and many more good times, I can’t wait to see what the fall brings us. The only disadvantage of meeting friends who live thousands of miles away from you, the separation anxiety is real. After going from spending every lunch, dinner, and hanging out every single day, it’s a hard transition not being able to see the same people you spent every day of freshman year with, and I miss you all so much this summer.

Freshman year was sure a whirlwind of meeting the best people, while facing some of the hardest classes that required a great deal of dedication. Believe me, I won’t forget the nights spent at the library chugging coffee and Redbull all night while studying for tests. Throughout the triumphs and fails, it’s only freshman year. Some will say freshman year is a time to experiment and find yourself, and I found that advice to be true. Grades do not determine who someone is. Freshman year is the perfect time to mess up and realize, the mistakes you made can be turned around in the next few years, so don’t worry. At the end of the day, I am beyond grateful to have the chance to take on the experience at The University of Alabama. I commend everything the university has given to me and has taught me thus far in order to make the next three years even better. So thanks freshman year, you'll be missed.
Cover Image Credit: businessinsider.com

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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When You Decide You Don't Love Me Anymore

I'll forgive you.

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I never thought I would write this, but I feel like I have to: there will come a day where you won't love me anymore. This won't be a sad day, but instead a day I have waited for all along. You see, they all leave and that is perfectly okay. People may not be meant to be in my life for all of it, not in any of our lives but this is normal and although initially saddening it is a part of our lives and inevitably part of our journey.

When this time comes I want you to know that we did our best, that we were in fact in love once and that we had hoped it would blossom into a lifetime commitment but it didn't and I accept that and will respect you always. I know you did not wake up one day out of the blue and stop loving me, I know this feeling grew over time in your heart and that it was not something you planned on. I respect this.

You were the only person I trusted and the one I loved the most, but nothing lasts forever and I hope you can understand there is no animosity here and certainly, no stone left unturned. We just are not those kinds of people, we would have tried everything to keep our love burning bright and tried for quite a while to understand where the cracks began so that could fix them, it just isn't that simple. Love is a long complicated process, you know that and falling in love with me couldn't have been easy, I am misunderstood and stubborn as all hell and I am FULLY aware of that but that does not mean I didn't try to ease up on you, I promise I did my best.

I have always done my best to understand you, to make you happy, to keep the flame alive, but it has been extinguished. Love does that sometimes, it is there one day burning bright and then it slowly starts to dim with every fight, every unrequited "I love you" and every day passing by in which we spoke less and less about the things that mattered and more and more about worthless things.

This is all okay, it is a season of life, a part of our lives in which we do suffer but one we must grin and bear. I want you to know that I will always love and care for you, although it is now in a much different way, now we no longer look at each other with doting eyes and open hearts but instead with the freedom to let go and move on.

It is time for us to go on with our lives and find a new adventure, one that will light our hearts on fire instead of continuing to snuff our joint flame. You will always be in my memory and a huge part of my life that I once had but I accept that it's over and that time sometimes wears on things as it has worn on us.

You are the love of my life and that is truly the reason I must forgive you.

Goodbye, my love.

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