Entering my freshman year brought on two emotions: excitement and anxiety. A week before my first year of college I thought about who my friends would be. What would my classes be like? Who will I be? To be approaching my senior year of college is a bit the same, yet I am different. I feel the same feelings of excitement and anxiety. I feel thrilled for what is to come. However, I am leaving with friends that will last a lifetime and an admiration of the campus I walk through every single day. I entered my freshman year as someone who let others take the lead, and now I feel as though I am someone who is strong enough to walk alone when necessary. To those of you entering your freshman year, to say that time flies would be an understatement. It moves at the speed of light and before you know it you will be wrapping up this part of your life and moving on to new places, people, and experiences. You may enter unsure of who you are and what you want, but you will leave and be sure of one of those things, I can guarantee that. Entering my freshman year of college was bittersweet. Preparing for my final lap is, well, bittersweet.
Coming into a college university can be overwhelming. Everything around you is different and regardless of what kind of fish you want to be in your new pond, it can be frightening. My advice? Take the bull by the horns. Be involved. Branch out, and do not let others make decisions that only you can. You will gain different perspectives than you wouldn’t have known before and you will meet so many people that will touch your life without you even realizing it. You will most likely realize it when you’re in my position…approaching your senior year of college. I can’t even believe I’m saying that.
My next piece of advice for those of you who are entering a new stage in life is not to let others use you. As sad as this is to say, people will. Your friends will not take advantage of you. The boy who might be “the one” will not use you. Those who are worth having in your life won’t give you numerous reasons as to why they shouldn’t be in it. Be aware of this. I am entering my final year of college with a smaller circle than before, and those people bring positivity, encouragement, and plenty of laughs when my days have been filled with doubt. Find that circle of people and appreciate them. They will feel like family.
My final and most important piece of advice is to remember who you are. I know that is cliché and vague. However, it is so easy to lose yourself in a world that encourages you to be everything other than you. Hold on to what you believe in. Remember that kindness never goes out of style. Above all, remember that you influence so many others than you think. Be an example that others can take pride in. Not for what you have or what you’re involved in or who you’re dating, yet only for your character. Your character will last far beyond social status and physical appearance. Remember that it is okay not to be okay sometimes, but only entertain that mindset temporarily. You are okay. You are more than okay. You are more than your GPA, your social circle, and your resume.