Dear Freshman Natalie,
It's me, Senior Natalie, bawling as I type this. I just have a few things to say to you.
You made it! You graduated high school and you're finally moving on up to the big leagues ... COLLEGE. Proud of you, gurl. Don't look back now. You've absolutely made the right decision. Don't waste a second thinking that the California school (no offense, California) was for you. University of Dayton is where your heart belongs. Here you will grow, learn, meet your soul mates (I'm talking about your best girl friends, boys always come second), make mistakes, fall, get right back up and become stronger because of each experience. It's your Goldilocks school, promise.
Props to you on your first major decision: picking a random roommate, kind of. You made the mature choice not to live with your best friend and instead find a kind soul on Facebook in the same situation. You branched out and stepped out of your comfort zone, exactly what you are supposed to do.
As a result of this one decision, many equal and opposite reactions occur. (You'll learn about this, the whole Newton's law thing, in a barely tolerable Physics class down the line.) You meet goofy boys that live downstairs, your soon-to-be sorority sister down the hall, your future roommates for the remaining four years, and characters that are only there for the first of your four acts here, but nonetheless are simply wonderful.
Freshman year will bring along with it some of your funniest times at UD. It's amazing all the dumb things you will do because you can get away with it only in those first few months, when no one knows everyone yet. Take more pictures, mental ones too. You’ll soon miss these times jam-packed with Goldfish-filled purses, having Flanny’s to yourselves (before it was cool), “cold” days and mock funerals. Yes, you read that correctly.
Make sure not to get too distracted that you completely forget about school. Turns out classes are pretty important. Be nice to your fellow peers. You’ll quickly learn that the PR kids are a tight knit squad that has every class together. So slap on a smile no matter how much you hate the class. Don’t worry too much, though. School is important, but so is your sanity. High school has prepared you enough. Don’t freak out. You got this.
Always say yes to going out. This seems contradictory to the school advice, but it’s important that you take every opportunity you have to be a freshman. The older you get, the more responsibilities you will acquire, and being able to say yes to every single night of teenage debauchery soon won’t be an option. Take advantage of every second. Flirt with the random Bargo’s bartender, he sneaks you beers all the time. Kiss as many frogs as you please. Go to the Rec more. Always take an extra second and chat with the checkout lady at The Empo. Hate your call center job less, you'll meet some of the best people there. Hang out with your senior brother more. He’s pretty cool, as are his friends. You’ll forever be his little sister in the eyes of the Pikes, but it’s not a bad thing.
Not everything is perfect, but it’s as damn close as you can get. Your friends will always harp on you, get used to it. Being an “oldies” fan, repeating yourself too much and being as goofy as you are is exactly why they are friends with you and why they love you. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
You just do you, girl. The four years fly by a hell of a lot faster than you want. Before you know it, you’ll be a washed up almost-senior spending her summer wishing she could start her journey all over again.
JK – It’s Senior Natalie. But don’t regret for a second watching the entirety of “Gossip Girl” again right before finals first semester. It’s so damn good.