What I Know Now: Lessons To My Freshman Year Self

As a Freshman entering college, I had no idea what the next four years would have in store for me. After three full years of the most hectic, busy, and rewarding experiences of my life, I can look back with clarity on what I wish I had known. Simply put, college is crazy. New friends, classes, subjects, boys, jobs, clubs, commitments, and experiences. While at times college can be extremely overwhelming, the challenges and triumphs we face make the experience truly unforgettable.

Here are eight lessons I would tell my freshman-year self:

1. Your First Year Grades Matter

While you may think of your first year GEs as being "easy," it doesn't mean you should slack off. If you do poorly your first year, you will be working extra hard in the future to bring your GPA up.

2. Your Friends Will Change. This is Okay.

People change in college. Relationships can be transient. Stay true to yourself and you will make the right friends.

3. Apply, Apply, Apply For Internships.

While class is valuable, internships are invaluable. The first hand experience you will gain from working in the "real world" can be the strongest selling point on your resume. If you don't get your dream internship, don't be discouraged! Keep on applying until you land one you are passionate about.

4. Get to Know Your Teachers.

Not only can your teachers share lessons learned and give great career advice, they also will write strong recommendations if you know them well. This is crucial when applying for your dream internship!

5. Find a Club You Are Passionate About.

There are so, so many opportunities to get involved with on-campus organizations. Find one you are care about and give it your all. This is a great legacy to leave behind.

6. Practice Being Kind Instead of Being Right.

An even better legacy to leave behind is that of kindness. While working on the dreaded group project may leave you frustrated, always be kind to your group members. Things run much more efficiently if there is no hostility involved.

7. Boy Problems Will Come and Go. A Friend That Stays by Your Side Through it All is One to Keep.

Relationships happen. Break-ups happen. A friend that brings you Ben and Jerry's and stays with you while you cry is one to be thankful for. In time, the problems will pass but a true friend will remain.

8. Have Fun AND Take Things Seriously.

There is a Tom Petty quote about enjoying the good times, staying out late the night before you have a paper due. While it is important to have fun, you are only given four years to make both incredible memories and academic accomplishments. 

So stay up late with your best friends. Go out on Tuesdays. Re-watch Netflix series until 3 am. But always, always remember the amazing opportunity you have been gifted: to learn. Make yourself proud, and the rest will fall into place.