An Open Letter To Incoming College Freshmen

An Open Letter To Incoming College Freshmen

We are now starting another chapter of our lives.
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My fears about college are few, but they seem so big to me. I think that I can sum my fear up in about one word: unknown. I, like anyone else, feel more comfortable when I don't know what I am getting myself into. Unfortunately, no matter how much people tell me about what college is going be like, I won't really understand how college will be until I experience it for myself. I find myself thinking of things that in the scheme of things, are so small. "What will my room look like?" "Will my roommate and I get along?" "How much free time am I gonna have?" "How often will I be home?" I question myself constantly in my head about college. I'm also afraid of living away from my friends and family because they are all I have ever known. "What if I don't make any friends?" But then I remind myself, "Okay slow down, you're being ridiculous." I know that everyone has these conversations and fears in their heads. So, it is so comforting to know that none of us are alone. Yet, all of us can feel so alone and scared.

I think that the only way to go about this change is to close your eyes and jump. Take a leap of faith. We can all acknowledge our fears about going away to college, but the important thing is to not let it cripple us. Maybe even talking with people that are experiencing the same thing will help. We all must take this change head on with confidence that we are well prepared and that there is a reason that we are going wherever it is we may be going. Sure, we won't be around all of our family and friends, but home is just a drive/flight away. Will we lose some friends? Yes, but I believe that is how we know who our real friends are. Although growing up can be so bittersweet, I am choosing to focus on the positives.

We are now starting another chapter of our lives. We get to chose what we will be. If we are willing to work hard and focus, we can accomplish our dreams and we will be able to make the family and friends that we miss so much, proud.


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20 Signs You Are "SO Done" With This Semester

*Eye rolls self into different dimension.
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The last month of the semester is the hardest month of all. Summer is almost here, and motivation is hard to come by. For most of us, it is pretty clear when we have reached this point; the daydreaming increases and the study groups decrease.

Have Your Voice Heard: Become an Odyssey Creator

Here are 20 signs that you are SO DONE with this semester.

1. Your bank account looks similar to your GPA.

2. Naps are a hobby.

3. You've stopped reading the required material.

4. You begin calculating your grades to see what you need to pass.

5. Netflix has become your #1 priority.

6. You're counting down the days to summer break.

7. Dry shampoo is your go-to.

8. Your room is a mess.

9. School work feels impossible to complete.

10. Your fridge consists of mainly condiments.

11. Your "to do" list hasn't been touched in weeks.

12. Your motivation is nonexistent.

13. Everyone and everything is starting to get on your nerves.

14. Going to class is the ultimate struggle.

15. Wearing "real clothes" isn't a thing.

16. Waking up on time takes you 10x times more effort.

17. Exhaustion has become part of your personality.

18. You think about dropping out...all the time.

19. You indulge in extra fun.

20. You questioning your sanity on a regular basis.



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Patience Is More Important Than A 4-Year Degree

One means nothing without the other.

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Senior year makes you reflect on what you've accomplished in your college career. The classes, professors, peers, clubs and organizations, great choices, terrible choices, and everything in between all accumulates into one unique experience for each individual. If there's one thing that I've learned while putting my life into perspective this year, it's that college is mostly bullshit.

Yes, classes can be cool and informative. Yes, you can learn a lot from your professors. But how much of what you learn in the classroom directly relates to what you'll be doing for a living? Unless you're going to med school, probably not much. Do any internship, talk to any person in a company that you want to work for, and they'll all tell you the same thing – what you went through to earn your 4-year certificate to work is only 5% of what you need to do the job.

You need hard skills, which are things that directly translate into your performance as a worker. You need people skills, aka "well yes this person is certainly qualified to do the job, but am I going to enjoy being in an office with them for 40 hours per week or more?" Most importantly, however, I think you need patience.

College students are under so much pressure in the 18-25 age range to have our lives completely figured out. If we don't, then the older generation and even our peers like to frame us as failures. In reality, less than one percent of us know what we want to do for the rest of our lives and we try painting a picture on social media and construct great narratives in person to make it seem as if we know what we're doing. Why can't we emphasize patience as it is a powerful virtue?

We get so caught up in other's expectations of us that we forget that we are only in the first quarter of our lives, and we have the entire ball game to go (thanks @garyvee for that line). Why do people get so bent out of shape when we're not even at halftime? Patience is incredibly important to learn, both for your mental health and ability to perform. Most of what you learn to do your job will be learned while on the job, so stressing out about grades shouldn't be your top priority. Yes, making good grades is optimal, but employers will be more impressed with what you've managed to do aside from earning your grades in school.

Most of us at this age are going to be able to work until we are in our 70s easily (thanks to healthcare and technology). This means we have 40-50 really good years of production in us. It took the best basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan, seven years to win his first title. If Jordan was patient enough to go seven years being the greatest player, then you can stay patient for a few years to figure out what you love to do and become great at it. Four years in college is nothing in relation to your entire career, especially when the value of those four years doesn't come from your classes, but instead your connections.

Our greatest weakness in this generation is our lack of patience and perspective. It becomes a dangerous thing when we have a loaded resume, have ample skills, a great personality, awesome work ethic, but still think we are failures because we don't have a job or aren't entirely sure of where we're going with our lives. If you're that college student (and trust me, I was for a long time), finding your patient side and gaining that perspective on life will help you go a lot further than sweating the small stuff.

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