An Open Letter To Myself As I Begin College

An Open Letter To Myself As I Begin College

Study hard, don’t party too much, and make sure to have a fun and fufilling freshman experience.
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After 18 years, you’ve made it. Hundreds of essays, thousands of looseleaf paper, hours upon hours staying up to do homework, and almost two decades of listening to people tell you what you have to do, you’ve made it to the realm of adulthood and college. Ironically enough, people will still be telling you what to do and you’re probably going to have double the amount of work to complete, but there’s something freeing about heading off to college and being considered a legal adult for the first time.

It’s been a pretty wild ride so far, and it’s only been the first week of school. Do you remember when you first drove up to campus on that early Tuesday morning, car filled to the brim with suitcases, cardboard boxes, and packages? You were so focused on getting dorm supplies and clothes to make your room look nice that you forgot school supplies were actually a thing too, and you were actually going to school to learn. The entire summer involved working for some last-minute cash, spending time with your closest friends before you moved hundreds of miles away from them, and preparing for life at college. You didn’t really know necessarily what to feel. Free, because you could finally have fun without your parents wondering about your every move. Excited, because you could make so many different and new friends. Nostalgic, because you were leaving behind a life at home filled with your oldest friends and family. And nervous, because you were starting an entirely new chapter of your life that essentially defined the rest of your future.

But for some reason, all of the qualms and fears you had regarding college seem to dissipate as you reached campus and saw your new home for the next four years. Screaming upperclassmen were holding up signs with “Remember to wear your retainer (or not)” and “Give us your kids” and the most realistic, “Welcome to college.” Even with cheesy and uncomfortable icebreakers, awkward handshakes with strangers you never saw again, and the minutes you spent trying to find people you knew in a sea of hundred of people, you felt great. The people were welcoming, the atmosphere was comforting, and you knew that even though you may be homesick for a while, life at college was going to be okay.

But don’t forget why you came here: to get an education that millions of kids your age today (and even younger) don’t have the access to. To prepare yourself for the impending future that is adulthood, so when you leave home, you’ll be ready for a life of taxes and mortgage rates and a job that you’ll (hopefully) love. To make friends of a lifetime. To create relationships and bonds that matter to you. To have an experience filled with memories unlike any other. And one of the most important ones: to make your parents proud.

College has been pretty awesome so far, but there probably will be bumps along the way that will bring you back to this letter wondering how things have changed. Study hard, don’t party too much, and make sure to have a fun and fufilling freshman experience. You may be nervous about the next four years, but who isn’t? Just try to be the happiest person you can be, and hopefully, I won't see you again for another four years.

With love,

Yourself

Cover Image Credit: College Culture

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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4 Things I Wish High School Me Knew

Every day has a purpose.

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People don't give high school enough credit for having the ability to shape your life. It can build you or it can break you and often times there is no in between. As I enter into my senior year of college I have reflected a lot on my college career and how it really has been the best years of my life up to this point, but I know that without a doubt my life would have been so different in I would have known these things as a high schooler.

1. Your life is valuable

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. - Ephesians 2:4-7

2. You aren't defined by your singleness. 

Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires. - Song of Solomon 2:7

4. You aren't going to fit in

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. - Romans 12:2

4. Your clothes aren't going to fit forever, don't spend all of your money on them 

Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions." - Luke 12:15

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