Goodbye to Freshman Me

Exactly a year ago I had just chosen Cal Lutheran as my college. My high school friends and I would spend nearly every day chatting and imagining all the adventures we were soon going to be on, whilst taking in the last few moments of high school. Who would our roommates be? Would the classes be very different from high school classes? What would college life be like? As excited as I was to start a new chapter in my life and no longer be under the watchful eye of teachers, the thought of having my routine change, my friends move across America, and living away from home for the first time was nerve-wracking and daunting.

I never fail to be surprised at how fast a year can go by and how much can change in one year. One year later, the girl I was then, in the beginning of summer 2017 is not the girl I am now going into summer 2018. So much has changed around me, as well as changed within myself. If you are reading this about to become a college freshman, just know that you don’t need to be so nervous about starting college. Everything works itself out and you adapt easier than you might think. Undoubtedly, you will change to your new environment and the new challenges you will face, but this builds strength in character and naturally will happen over a period of time. What's more, if you're experience is anything like mine, by joining a couple of clubs in different areas on campus, you will have so many fun times and make great friends. 

To me, one of the most powerful outcomes of this year is I have learnt that I like being alone with myself and I’ve learned to like myself more. Over the years, our relationships with ourselves change-- sometimes we like the person we are, sometimes we struggle with self-acceptance.  We have moments when we look at ourselves and what we are doing in our lives, and we like that person or we don’t. The quiet times I have had by myself have allowed me to realize that I like who I am growing to be and I am comfortable in my own company.

College has taught me to see myself in another way than high school ever did. I felt in high school that I was competing for grades in class and chasing after that A. What’s more, with SATs and ACTs I felt like my ability was being compared with others. I had the opportunity to join clubs and explore who I was, but I always felt restricted and analyzed for everything I did. What’s more, every college freshman can agree that going through the college application process in senior year enhances the competition among your peers, which is something you can get so caught up in, temporarily forgetting who you are. Choice is great, but it can also be confusing and overwhelming.

When I came to college I was scared I would have to face everything by myself. I didn’t know what classes to pick, where buildings were, or understand how to get the most out of my meal swipes. But there is more guidance than you may think. Not once have I felt alone and unable to reach out to someone for help. Whether that is through my peer advisor, Her Campus, or my RA there is always someone there. 

A lot can happen in a year, as I am sure you are aware of. Whether you are in college looking forward to the next year, or about to become a freshman, know that you are capable of facing any challenges or change that college may throw at you. Everyone has it within themselves to find that strength and do whatever they put their mind to. Here's to a new year and saying goodbye to freshman me.

"Strength doesn't come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn't" - Rikki Rogers

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