Dear Freshman Year, Thank You For Everything

Dear Freshman Year, Thank You For Everything

From the people that you have changed forever.

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Well. That's it.

Freshman year of college. Gone.

Isn't it crazy how it feels like we moved into our dorms yesterday? We nervously sat in our seats at our first 300-person lecture. We wandered around the dining halls, not knowing where anything was.

Now, our rooms are cluttered with memories, we are best friends with the people from that 300-person lecture, and we sit in class thinking about what we're going to eat at our favorite dining hall after we're dismissed.

Freshman year, you have given me so much. You gave me some of the greatest people I've ever met, you challenged me, you taught me to take chances, and you showed me how strong I really am.

But it's not just me.

You helped a lot of people. From a lot of different schools. From a lot of different interests.

You impact people without even realizing it. You teach them lessons they didn't know they needed.

"One thing that I learned is that it's OK to be alone sometimes and sometimes it's a good thing to be alone. I was always someone who had to do things with people, but college has given me a lot of free time for studying and just being with myself and learning a lot about myself." — Hannah Lesniak, Nursing Major, James Madison University
"There is an opportunity everywhere you go. You just have to find it." — Griffin Devine, Psychology and Economics Double Major with a Classics Minor, Loyola Marymount University
"There are people you haven't met yet that are going to love and cherish you." — Sydney McNeil, Theatre Major, James Madison University
"I did not expect my college professors to be as open-minded as they are. They seem to still have an appetite for learning which is really refreshing to see. They are constantly wishing to be aware of what is going on at the forefront of our culture and are willing to learn from students and having such open-mindedness has really allowed me to enjoy going to my classes." — Josh Mathew, Music Production Major with a Music Business Minor, Berklee College of Music
"It's OK to not be OK." — Amy Musselman, Anthropology Major with a Theatre Minor, James Madison University
"It's OK to step outside your comfort zone even with something that you may not be good at. I completely stepped outside my comfort zone with some things and then wished I did more of that." — Helena Digney, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Double Major, Connecticut College

Freshman year, I'm sad to see you go — we all are. You saw us at our worst, at our best, and at our normal, and you supported us through all of it. There were times when some of us wanted to give up on you — like, really give up — but you always provided little glimmers of hope when things got rough. You taught us lessons that we'll carry with us forever.

Seriously. Thank you for everything.

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The Truth About Young Marriage

Different doesn't mean wrong.
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When I was a kid, I had an exact picture in my mind of what my life was going to look like. I was definitely not the kind of girl who would get married young, before the age of 25, at least.

And let me tell you, I was just as judgmental as that sentence sounds.

I could not wrap my head around people making life-long commitments before they even had an established life. It’s not my fault that I thought this way, because the majority opinion about young marriage in today’s society is not a supportive one. Over the years, it has become the norm to put off marriage until you have an education and an established career. Basically, this means you put off marriage until you learn how to be an adult, instead of using marriage as a foundation to launch into adulthood.

When young couples get married, people will assume that you are having a baby, and they will say that you’re throwing your life away — it’s inevitable.

It’s safe to say that my perspective changed once I signed my marriage certificate at the age of 18. Although marriage is not always easy and getting married at such a young age definitely sets you up for some extra challenges, there is something to be said about entering into marriage and adulthood at the same time.

SEE ALSO: Finding A Husband In College

Getting married young does not mean giving up your dreams. It means having someone dream your dreams with you. When you get lost along the way, and your dreams and goals seem out of reach, it’s having someone there to point you in the right direction and show you the way back. Despite what people are going to tell you, it definitely doesn’t mean that you are going to miss out on all the experiences life has to offer. It simply means that you get to share all of these great adventures with the person you love most in the world.

And trust me, there is nothing better than that. It doesn’t mean that you are already grown up, it means that you have someone to grow with.

You have someone to stick with you through anything from college classes and changing bodies to negative bank account balances.

You have someone to sit on your used furniture with and talk about what you want to do and who you want to be someday.

Then, when someday comes, you get to look back on all of that and realize what a blessing it is to watch someone grow. Even after just one year of marriage, I look back and I am incredibly proud of my husband. I’m proud of the person he has become, and I’m proud of what we have accomplished together. I can’t wait to see what the rest of our lives have in store for us.

“You can drive at 16, go to war at 18, drink at 21, and retire at 65. So who can say what age you have to be to find your one true love?" — One Tree Hill
Cover Image Credit: Sara Donnelli Photography

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Now That Freshman Year Is Over, I Can See That Life DOES Go On And Get Better

It's a roller coaster, but it's worth it.

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To all the graduating seniors that are graduating high school, you will soon become a freshman. As a current freshman, I understand the joy and excitement of starting college. Who wouldn't? It is a fun, new adventure. However, once I got to college, my dream was ruined (yet improved) at the same time. To start, my original roommates hated me, so I moved out and dealt with that drama while adjusting to some hard classes (Chemistry, I am pointing right at you).

The worst week of college was when my roommates and I would fight while stressing over the mountain of homework I had to do. It worked out because I live with a better roommate and I am somehow managing the workload the best I can. But let's face it, everyone is struggling in college. Luckily, I have an amazing support system. In my Chem class, I ran into people I knew from other clubs, and though we started off as strangers, we became best friends. I mean, who else can I rant about my horrible Chem professor to? In fact, in most of my classes, I've been lucky to have or make friends because you can relate to each other in so many ways.

It is so hard to strike that work/life balance since my pre-nursing track requires a lot of courses. Some courses cause you to stress and second guess your life choices. But guess what? Life goes on and life gets better. Not all of my professors have been bad. It has been the opposite as most of them have been really good and fair. I know how hard it is to dwell on the bad grade or bad class but you can't. College makes it easy to go insane, especially when some classes are meant for weeding students out. No matter how hard a class is don't give up on your dream career but it is okay to consider if this is what you truly want to do. One bad day of studying won't define you, you will think you did worse than you probably did.

Do me a favor, believe in yourself and don't let the anxiety get to you. Try to have a solid work/life balance and enjoy yourself because before you know it freshman year will be over.

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