Dear current freshmen,
When I was in high school, I longed for the glorious day when I would finally move into college. I longed for the freedom, late nights, never ending sleepovers with friends and excitement of the unknown. I craved that world because it offered endless fun and opportunities, but very little responsibility. What more could anyone want?
All along I've been told that "these will be the best four years" of my life, but I never grasped that thought until recently. Now that I am halfway done my college experience, it's finally hitting me that this is true, for these are the only years of my life that will give me what everyone wants: all the fun in the world with very little responsibility. It's one of those things that won't really shake you to your core until you are experiencing it. One day, while you're living your life, whether you're halfway through college or have recently graduated from college, you will look around and realize just how blessed you are.
It's not a bad thing to look forward to the future. And it's not pathetic to plan out certain aspects of your life. As long as you do not let these thoughts take away from the present moment. When you start hoping and wishing and living solely for your future self, that is when you lose the beauty of this time.
Do things for yourself. Live in the moment. After all, this is the time when it's OK to be a little selfish.
Hook up with whomever you want, whether you're a guy or girl! Enough with the slut-shaming and guilt. What matters is that you are (and feel) respected. If you don't feel respected, then it's time to close that chapter.
And just as others should respect you, you should respect yourself. This means nurturing your body with sleep, nutritious foods and exercise. No, one movie night filled with junk food will not hurt. No, one vodka soda will not make you gain five pounds. No, one all nighter will not give you the flu. But if you see a pattern with these things, they're likely to catch up to you.
While I may not be the best person to go to for relationship advice? I have noticed that long-distance works best when two people are on the same page and have an end goal in mind. Maybe you're waiting for your significant other to return from studying abroad, or maybe you're waiting for him or her to finish school so that you can move somewhere together. But if you're still with your high school sweetheart just simply because that is what's comfortable, I think that's something worth noting.
Something a lot of people don't acknowledge is that the pain of missing your best friends can be worse than any breakup you've ever gone through. But let me just say, over two years later, my high school best friends are still like my sisters. I have not replaced them. I may not have found my "group" in college, but that's not always necessary! In college, I've made lots of lifelong friends in different groups. Yes, it was hard to get used to, but it has taught me a lot. Some people find their bridesmaids in high school, while others find them in college.
There is so much more I wish I could say - but in college - a lot of things don't make sense until you're actually facing them head on.
So, the last piece of advice I'll leave you with is this: don't worry if you don't know what you're doing. Half the time, I still don't.