A Letter To My Freshman Self
Entertainment

A Letter To My Freshman Self

Now a college senior, I look back at my 17-year-old self and offer some advice.

36
A Letter To My Freshman Self

In about six months from now, I will be throwing my graduation cap in the air and calling myself an alumna of the University of Central Florida. Degree in hand, I will be all grown up and facing the real, adult world with very real, adult problems that my college experience may or may not have prepared me for.     

Terrifying, I know.     

With the anticipation of the future that lies ahead, and the nervousness of what’s to come, I can’t help but remember these same feelings that arose as I walked across the stage at my high school graduation. I was 17, with not an idea in the world on what I wanted or who I was. Looking back, I have no regrets at all in my college experience. But here are a few things I wish I knew when I was a college freshman.     

College education is a privilege, and you should never take it for granted.

My first few years of college, I didn’t take anything seriously. I skipped classes and procrastinated on assignments, and the more I slacked off, the more my grades slipped. My GPA still reflects those first few semesters of carelessness, and it’s nearly impossible to change that. As a fifth-year senior, I wish I’d put more thought into my future, and more energy into my education when I first started college.     

Don’t fall for every bright-eyed, handsome young man that comes along.   

Time after time in romantic relationships, I saw myself going through the same motions – giving every guy a second and third chance, making excuses for them and telling myself that compromise was a part of every relationship. It wasn’t until I finally focused on my own happiness and self-fulfillment that I realized how much I was relying on others to be happy. I wish I’d known at 17 that you can’t really love anyone else until you fully love yourself.     

Don’t buy into the pop cultural view of beauty and womanhood.   

Growing up, I was obsessed with these flawless and seemingly effortlessly beautiful women in glossy magazines. I spent a disgusting amount of money on clothes I would never wear and make-up I would never use, and racked up nothing but credit card debt to show for it. To be honest, I still struggle with my appearance on a daily basis. But now, that struggle is figuring out what suits me rather than what looks good on other girls, which is a struggle I’m much more satisfied in fighting. I’d tell my younger self not to compare my behind-the-scenes with someone else’s highlight reel.      

Always keep an open mind.   

Looking back, there are so many things that I’ve done that I said I’d never do – joining a sorority being one of them. I’ve probably missed so many opportunities and closed so many doors because of assumptions and biased conclusions. Joining a sorority has been one of the most beneficial aspects of my life, and I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat if given the chance. I’d tell my freshman self not to knock anything (within reason, of course) before trying it.    

Give yourself more credit!   

The biggest downfall I’ve had in my life is being overly analytical and hypercritical of myself. More often than not, I told myself I wasn’t smart enough, or athletic enough, or ambitious enough, or whatever, to do something I wanted to do. 


Yet in the past year, I’ve accomplished more personal goals than I ever thought possible, and I’m happier with my life than I’ve ever been. I’m beginning to believe that I have the potential to succeed at almost anything I do, if I try hard enough and put my mind to it. 

So to my 17-year-old self: whatever you do, don’t give up. You are stronger, brighter, lovelier and more powerful than you know, or may ever know. When life makes you lemons, smile and make the sweetest lemonade you’ve ever tasted – or just eat the lemons with sugar on top. Regardless, those lemons – and your life – are really what you make of them.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Swoon

119 People Reveal How The Pandemic Has Affected Their Love Lives, And Honestly... Relatable

"I haven't been able to get out of the 'talking phase' with anyone."

The reality is, there's no part of life the pandemic hasn't affected. Whether it's your work life, your home life, your social life, or your love life, coronavirus (COVID-19) is wreaking havoc on just about everything — not to mention people's health.

When it comes to romance, in particular, people are all handling things differently and there's no "right way" of making it through, regardless of your relationship status (single, taken, married, divorced, you name it). So, some of Swoon's creators sought out to hear from various individuals on how exactly their love lives have been affected since quarantine began.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

How To Binge-Watch A TV Show —And Then Write A Review About It

Writing your favorite and least favorite things about a show could not be more fun.

Photo by Mollie Sivaram on Unsplash

Looking for a new show to binge? Stop scrolling through your options and listen.

Sometimes a good show doesn't come down to the genre or the actors involved, it comes down to the fact that it is simply a GOOD show. If any of these things sound appealing to you, you should definitely watch.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

11 Reasons Why Getting A Cat Is The Best Thing You Can Do For Your Mental Health

Cats may mess up your puzzles but they'll always love you unconditionally — as long as you have some catnip, that is.

Scout Guarino

Alright, everyone, it's time to stop spreading the rumor that all cats are mean, aloof, and hate everyone. Like dogs, each cat has its own personality and tendencies. Some like a lot of attention, some like less — each person has to find the right cat for them. As for me, my cats Bienfu and Reptar have seen me at my worst, but they've also helped pull me out of it. They're a constant in my life and they give me the strength to get through the day in spite of my depression, and there's even scientific evidence to support it!

Keep Reading... Show less

I've been bleaching my hair since I was in seventh grade. Yes, you read that correctly, seventh grade. That's nearly 10 years of maintaining a very light shade of blonde that too-often brings about dryness and brittle strands.

Keep Reading... Show less

Chances are if you're here, you're probably interested in writing an open letter. Yay! We're excited to have you.

Of course, not all open letters are created equal. In fact, there's a recipe to writing one for Odyssey that'll get featured on one of our many verticals. When it comes to Swoon specifically (for those new around here, that's our dating and relationships vertical), we receive dozens of open letters each month, many of which are all very similar.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

How To Write Down The Holy Grail Recipe Everyone Begs You To Make

Because everyone has a signature cocktail, cake, or pasta they bring to every potluck.

NBC

From back when I used to bring my mom's classic white chocolate chip cookies to preschool on my birthday to now stirring up my signature tequila cocktails at every friends' barbecue, I've always had a couple of standby recipes in my culinary rotation.

Keep Reading... Show less
Adulting

Meet My Cat: Cheshire, The Stray Turned House Cat Who Lives in Michigan

I never considered myself a cat person, but Chess immediately stole my heart.

Madelyn Darbonne

In 2016, a stray cat gave birth to a litter of three grey kittens on my aunt and uncle's property. I had never considered myself to be much of a cat person, but these furballs immediately stole my heart. I got to watch them grow up until they were old enough to leave their mother's side.

Keep Reading... Show less

With a new phone comes great responsibility: Do not break it! And the best way to do that is with a case. However, picking a case can be a challenge. No need to fret, I am here to help break down some of the best cases for the new iPhone SE 2020. Honestly, I think it's going to be impossible to choose!

Keep Reading... Show less

To some who have been out of the dating world for a while, it can be hard to get back into the swing of things after being single for some time. So, I asked 26 people what they think is important to know before looking for love again, here's what they had to say.

Keep Reading... Show less

People's Enneagram types can reveal a lot about them, from their biggest motivations to their deepest fears. But how can knowing your S.O.'s Enneagram type improve your relationship?

Well, you'll know how to better communicate with your S.O. You'll have a better understanding of the things that make them happy, as well as the things that make them angry. You'll understand their passions, and you can sympathize with their fears.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments