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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Bowling Green chapter.

Imagine being able to go back in time and tell yourself all sorts of tips and advice about being in college for the first time ever. Sounds cool, right? While I unfortunately can’t redo my first experiences, I can surely help others to have some of the best times of their lives. This is my official letter to incoming freshmen and a bit of reflection from the past 4 years at BGSU!

Freshman year of college comes around faster than anyone can anticipate. It seems daunting and borderline impossible for some people to pick what they want to do for the rest of their lives. I promise it isn’t as stressful as it sounds.

To be quite honest with the freshmen coming in, the first year was awful for me. Not the entire year, but a good chunk of it. I entered my freshman year of college during the pandemic. The rules in the dorms were strict just as they were everywhere. I felt like I was in prison to some extent (although I’ve never been to prison). I distinctly remember calling my mom almost every day and complaining to her about how I hated college and I wanted to come home. Her response was “If you have nothing positive to say to me, don’t call me.” It might sound harsh, but it is honestly what I needed to hear. I felt alone without my main friend group from home. With the world at my fingertips and every choice under the sun of what I wanted the rest of my life to look like, I would say stressed was an understatement.

One of the hardest things about going to college for me was being away from my family. My family is one of my biggest inspirations and my biggest support systems, if not the biggest. I was fortunate enough to be able to commute home for the weekends during a big chunk of my college years. I made it home for almost all of the important events and even random weekends when I didn’t have a Monday class to get back to. This made the distance all worth it in the end; I gained a newfound sense of appreciation for my brothers, my mom, everyone. Not being physically close to them made me miss the stupid arguments about who gets shotgun or other trivial things.

It wasn’t always bad though.

In my case, I moved 3 hours away from my hometown for college. I knew I had wanted to get out of my hometown and explore what life had to offer, especially other cities and towns. Moving away for school was one of the best things that I did. I was able to find myself a bit more, see other perspectives rather than the same old stuff, and branch out. I got comfortable with doing some things by myself and I got better at working with other people. College helped me to develop my “people” skills and get more comfortable talking to other people.

Sophomore year I began to get a grasp of what college was all about. Taking more interesting classes and figuring out what I actually wanted to do made all of the puzzle pieces fit together. I began to branch out and make friends and keep myself occupied. I found friends who were so much fun to be around and one in particular who kept me sane throughout my first two years. We hit it off from a Facebook page designed to help incoming freshman find roommates and make connections before we arrived. This really ended up helping me a lot in the years to come.

Junior year was one of the most formative years I had while in college. I came out of my shell the most during my junior year. Made some new friends and lost some. Went out to the bars – A LOT. Got my first apartment. Brought my dog to live with me. Had a lot of crazy ass nights with my friends. Honestly, the entirety of junior year was the most fun I had in college.

Senior year is the year for congrats and opportunities. It should be a happy time for almost everyone. For me, it’s a pretty even split. College graduation is such a huge milestone that your family should be present for. As I sit here and think about my upcoming graduation and how exciting it will be, there is one thing at the back of my mind. It will be a great day, but not everyone will be there to support me. My father passed away when I was 13 years old. It hurts to know that he won’t be here for all of the memories and highlights of my life. Knowing he won’t be there to hug me after I walk across the stage and get my diploma or see the milestones I have yet to come puts a bittersweet spin on things. All things considered, I know he would be insanely proud of me, which puts me a little more at ease. So, Dad, I know you’re watching, and I know you’re rooting for me. Thank you for being my motivation these past 4 years, I love you endlessly.

The prospect of getting a big flashy job in Nashville definitely crossed my mind a time or two. While I am currently on the hunt for a post-grad job, I have come to appreciate my friends and family who are at home, and I have since been looking for jobs not as far as I would normally be looking. Job searching is quite literally a full-time job itself, but it’s honestly fun to see what you can get yourself into. The possibilities are endless, and I cannot wait to see what doors I can open for myself.

Now cue the thank you’s. Thank you to all of the friends I have made while being here, I will miss you all and feel free to keep in touch. Thank you to my family for helping me with everything from last-minute assignments to moving into my dorms/apartments. Thank you to my teachers and mentors who helped me become more well-rounded. And finally, thank you Bowling Green, for an amazing 4 years, I wish it didn’t go by so fast. Let’s go pop some champagne (in April) and let the good times roll!

Dear Freshmen,

Everything will be okay in the end. The small stuff you freaked out over won’t matter in a month, much less a week. Don’t be embarrassed to wear your humongous winter coat to class because you think it looks ridiculous (Trust me you are going to need it in BG). Don’t be afraid to make waves and don’t be afraid to branch out and talk to people. Make connections early on. Get involved on campus, I promise it isn’t as cheesy as it sounds. Go do the fun stuff you’ve always wanted to do. Have a wild night with your friends. Take the “weird” classes (ceramics was honestly so fun I promise). Don’t take going to class for granted because it’s a hell of a lot better than some 9-5.

            Most importantly: DON’T walk left of the seal ;)

Savannah Sheely

Bowling Green '24

Hi! My name is Savannah, I am a senior Communication major at BGSU! I love to create content and use my creativity to help drive engagement to a cause. I am looking to work in the marketing or PR fields after graduation in April of 2024.