A Letter to Myself

Dear Freshman Me,

If I could go back in time, this is what I would say.

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To High School Freshman Misha:

Freshman year. It doesn't pan out to be the best year of high school for you. And to be honest, you were totally right: high school sucks. Between the stupid cliques, the overwhelming pressure to get good grades, the competition between your peers to be the best at something, anything, it truly sucks the soul out of you. Truth be told, by the time you go to college, it does suck the life out of you (but more on that later). But, there were two major lessons we learned along the way which I will share to you now, you know, to get a head start.

Be a little bit more open-minded.

You're literally the most stubborn person I know. When you have an anxiety attack and mom tells you to maybe go hit the gym, she isn't telling you you're fat. She's telling you to go release some cute endorphins. When you talk to a Republican, it's okay to actually sit down and listen to them, instead of judging them right away for being a Republican. Before you judge someone for going vegan, actually do your research and realize that that's the only real way to be 100% food sustainable. Stop thinking that depression is all-consuming. It sucks and we struggle with it, but there are ways to get a grip on it. You just haven't found them yet. It isn't your end all, be all. And lastly, stop fighting therapy. It's actually really good for you and you're being a dumb*ss for being stubborn about it.

Failures happen.

Listen, the truth is is that you don't get everything you want. You don't make the top choir team, you don't get into the club volleyball team that you wanted, hell you don't even get into the college you've been dreaming about for forever. But that's okay. Every failure brings you to something else. That boy you can't get off your mind? There turns out to be multiple in high school. Regardless of which one, he sucks and isn't really worth your time but it's okay because you learned something from it and it led you to create the groundwork of a very healthy happy relationship in college. Not going to New York for college wasn't the end of the world either, you end up getting into Fordham University in Manhattan and you literally choose to stay in California. Which led you to go to San Diego State University.

Speaking of, I know you can't stop dreaming about how much better college will be, but college sucks too. I know you thought cliques and social events were terrible in high school, they have become even more intolerable in college (but, I'm 99% sure we're the only people in the universe that think that). I know you were under the impression that people would grow up and mature but I'm starting to think that that never actually happens, even in the "real world". Appreciate your high school car more. Eventually, Ashton, your 2008 Camry from high school has a brake problem that is too expensive to fix, mom and dad will trade it in. and knowing you, you probably will see that as a failure. And you will be sad. But, they will eventually replace Ashton with a different car. Hint: her name is Nova and she's lovely.

Knowing these things, maybe you would've made your life in high school a little bit easier. Maybe you wouldn't have been so hard on yourself and maybe you actually had fun in high school. Maybe you would have found more friends. But, that being said, if you're now freaking out about all of these things (as I know you probably are), don't worry. If nothing changes, at least we still have time. College has been and will continue to be different. I hope.

Sincerely,

College Freshman Misha

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10 Ways College Is 100% NOTHING Like High School

Once-a-day showers go to dry shampoo for four days straight.

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As a college freshman well into their second semester, it has officially occurred to me just how different, and often times better, college is compared to its predecessor, high school.

Here are just 10 ways the two could not be MORE different:

1. How you sleep

You'll go from waking up three hours before school to three minutes before class

2. How you hygiene

Once-a-day showers develop into dry shampoo for four days straight.

3. How you eat

Pizza goes from a once-in-a-while treat to an everyday food group.

4. How you socialize

You'll go from being nice to everyone to disliking people for no reason.

5. How much effort you put into your appearance

High school contour was on fleek and now there's somehow mascara on your forehead.

6. How you nap

Naps go from two hours to 10 minutes.

7. How you operate heavy machinery

Driving goes from 10 and 2 with perfectly lined up mirrors to driving with your knees and eating a taco.

8. Your classmates

High school classes are with all of your friends and college classes have strangers in them almost every day.

9. The people teaching you things

High school teachers are scary and mean, while college professors become your friends.

10. Textbooks

High school textbooks are provided where college textbooks need to be bought with another student loan.

Cover Image Credit: Instargram//Madsbythesea

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To The Freshman Embarking On Their Journey From Out Of State, You WILL Be OK

Every day felt just a little bit closer to a new reality that I would have never expected.

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Three years ago I was shaking in Bed Bath and Beyond with my mom trying to figure out which mirror I wanted for my vanity. I was startled with even the thought of leaving Florida and packing up to head off to The University of Arizona. Everything seemed so far during my senior year until the late months of June and July hit. Every day felt just a little bit closer to a new reality that I would have never expected. It was scary, yet so exciting to think about this new place that I would be spending the next four years of my life at. Speaking to people online and having endless GroupMe's of incoming students, lessened the anxiety of not knowing anyone. I was the only person from my high school going to Arizona, and everyone thought I was absolutely crazy for going so far.

The day came that I had to say bye to everything I knew for the past 18 years and look at the newest part of my life which would be college. Luckily I came during Panhellenic recruitment, so I was kept busy and barely had time to think about even being upset about saying goodbye to my family. I'm not going to lie, goodbye's suck but it makes the next hello's even better and more exciting. Everything seemed to be moving faster than I could have ever imagined, and my college life was flashing before my eyes. Next thing I knew, I would be wrapping up my first semester and figuring out the next steps in my major while adding a minor.

There would be days that I would miss my family and think about what it would be like to go to school locally. Yet, then I would think about how much I've grown over the few months that I have been away, and there would be nothing but a smile that would cross my face. Some days you'll just want to run home to your parents and tell them everything that's wrong without thinking about what's right, but at the end of the day, you're in the right place for the right reasons. The decisions that you've made up to here have been correct and only to further your future and steer you in the right direction. You know yourself the best, and this was the right move for YOU.

You're going to have people in your ear sometimes, telling you what's wrong or what's right. Remember to stay true to yourself and always remember how you grew up and the person that you were before you came to college. You'll always have a piece of that person you were within you, but you'll constantly be growing which is ok. We can never predict the changes that we want in our lives, we can hope for what we want to see in the future yet nothing is completely determined. College is a strange reality that only exists in the bounds of your cross-streets and lecture halls. It's the best experience of your life and the strangest one as well which makes it your own.

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