A letter to my second-semester self,
OK, you can try to do the whole “new year, new me” thing, but let’s be for real. You’re probably not going to lose weight or join a gym, but there is a way to make the most out of the new year—or new semester.
A lot can change about a person in fourth months—especially if they’re your first fourth months of college. You have an entirely new group of friends, a strange living environment, and probably a different outlook on your future. You may have established your major and possible career paths. You may have found exactly what you don’t want to do. You may have reinvented yourself. You may continue to learn new things about yourself every day.
As the beginning of the second semester approaches, it could seem overwhelming at first. You just got over the traumatizing experience of first semester finals, and right when the feeling of relief settles in, you are going to be hit with a whole new load of papers, tests, and quizzes. At the same time, even if the past four months didn’t work out for you, second semester can be seen as a new beginning. You’re finally done with that GenEd that’s been a burden on your schedule. You finally don’t have to deal with the annoying TA who took forever to answer your emails. A new semester yields new classes, new schedules, and new people.
However, there are some things about next semester that you should prepare yourself for. For starters, it’s going to be freezing—like you could let that escape your mind. There’s probably no way you’re getting out of bed to go to that 8 a.m. or even that 9:30 class (but honestly, you’re to blame for signing up for that class to begin with). Nevertheless, remind yourself that for every morning you are too scared to bare the cold, or every night you stay in because you don’t want to freeze or pay for an uber, the months slowly start getting warmer. Keep in mind that the expectations are twice as high. Since you are one step closer to fulfilling your career, classes are going to get more difficult. You may find yourself closing out the library instead of closing out the bar. So, enjoy the holiday break while you can, but be ready to grind twice as hard.
Finally, if you couldn’t tell from last semester, college goes by fast. Take the time to make memories. Go out for those chicken nuggets at midnight with your best friends. Spend the extra money on concert tickets if it’s a night you’ll never forget. Explore the amazing campus that is only temporarily your home. Leave behind the worries that first semester left on you. If you want to change, then by all means. You don’t need to join a gym to have a fresh start. College only happens once. Don't get caught up in the past. Live it up.