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A Letter to My Freshman Self

Dear Freshman self,

Hi it’s me (you?) from the year 2015.

Yes, while writing this, I am currently riding a hover-board wearing a holographic hat and power-laced Nikes. Side note, remember when we were eleven and watched Back to the Future every Friday night, alone, on a portable DVD player? That was kind of weird but the charisma of a young Michael J. Fox is still undeniable. Anyway, since I am a super senior 5th year graduating in December, I feel I can impart some knowledge you might find helpful.

1. You’ll get bad grades, but this does not mean you are bad person.

College is hard, stressful, and most of time you’ll hate it. Your transcript will be littered with some Cs, some Ds, and even one F (thanks Calculus I) and I know you’ll pay more attention to those not so great grades than the As and Bs you’ll also receive. Please remember your GPA does not equate your intelligence.  

2. Invest in a better laundry bag.

You will use the yellow nylon bag given out during WOW week for your first six months of college. Until, that is one day you will be lugging your heavy bag, packed with a month’s worth of clothes, down the hill of Cerro Vista and a young gentleman in a car will roll down his window. He will, then, shout “are those yours?” while pointing to the trail of dirty underwear along the sidewalk. Basically, just buy a bag that won’t rip in the bottom.  

3. Do laundry more than once a month.

You will smell less.

4. Pack your own food.

Not surprisingly, the food on campus never improves. Cal Poly will get a “build your own salad” place but you’ll have to spend like $10 for a meal. FYI that’s more than you make an hour, so it’s probably not the best idea to eat there. Also, for a period of time (the entirety of your junior year) you mostly just consume breakfast sandwiches from Starbucks which is a really sad way to live.

5. End your high school relationship.

It’s not worth it. Trying to stay together with this person is draining and unhealthy. You’ll move on, be single for a few years, go on some awkward dates, and eventually manage to find someone really great.  

6. Go to class.

I know you’re sad and want to stay curled up in your dirty comforter (see advice #3) all day but participation counts up to 15% in some of your classes. Get up, take a shower, and go to your lectures.

7. Get help!

The fact you have a difficult time getting out a bed indicates something is wrong. There are resources provided at the consoling center. Don’t let yourself suffer.

8. Maybe re-think the pixie cut.

Don’t get me wrong it looks adorable now but growing it out is a nightmare. For three months, you will have a slicked-back mullet. On a similar note, maybe stop exclusively wearing ugly Grandpa sweaters you find at the Goodwill.

9. It will get better.

Throughout your time at Cal Poly you will make mistakes, be heartbroken, be homesick, and struggle with coursework. More importantly, you will make wonderful friends, take classes you’ll love, and join organizations that make you feel both empowered and inspired.

I wish you the best of luck.






I am a 3rd year English here at Cal Poly. I have a passions for all things pop culture, dogs and feminism.
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