From Me, To Me: A Letter to my Freshman Self

Dear scared and confused Samantha,

Fresh out of high school and welcoming the big 18-year-old life, I know secretly you’re terrified and befuddled by the numerous changes barreling your way. You’re starting college now, that’s exciting because every movie made it look cool. Still, I know it’s the night before your first day and you’re alone in your room panicking. It is daunting at every age when you are put in front of new gates and nudged towards another path that will define your future. At 18, this is the biggest decision you’ve taken for yourself. It is an overwhelming experience, the night before your first day at any new place. Scared if you will have trouble making friends, terrified of not understanding your professors, and most of all, the thought of getting lost on the campus is always an actual fear.

I wish I could sit you down and tell you that your college life is going to be an unforgettable one, even the parts affected by Covid-19. I wish I could tell you that you will make some incredible friends, the ones you know will be your bridesmaids. Professors will make sense, well, occasionally. I wish I could tell you that getting lost around the campus is the best way to discover your new reading nook. Going from a sheltered school life to traveling alone in the metro and bus will be scary at first but you should know that your metro card is going to be your new best friend. I wish I could tell you just about how much life is going to change with this new adventure. 

Don’t get me wrong, life is not going to get easier. You will definitely get to experience everything you had been dreaming of. This includes both the good and bad parts of life. You’re going to fall in love for the first time and have your heart broken as well. Where you make friends for life, you will also lose the ones you thought would be there for a long time. Life is definitely not going to get easier (nor is studying) but all of this will help you grow out of your shell. The best part is that you won’t be alone anymore. Your friends around you are going through a similar experience, don’t forget that. 

I feel like I must emphasize how amazing your college life is going to be because of your friends. I would suggest you keep an open heart and don’t judge people by just one look. You’ll be surprised when the girl you were intimidated by on the first day will soon become your best day-drinking partner. The girl who is going to sit next to you on the first day is going to be your biggest supporter and motivator in these coming years and the pretty girl from Lucknow will be the person who is going to understand you better than you will ever understand yourself. Your college life is going to be amazing because these people are going to push you and drag you out of your comfort zone. 

Life was shaky because of the loss and pain you felt right before starting this new adventure. College is going to feel overwhelming after the big shock you have been through and trust me it will take a long time to get used to the new norm. I want you to know that you will be the happiest you have ever been in these coming few years, surrounded by the people who will love you endlessly and will be there supporting you no matter what. This college will bring you close to the amazing professors who will soon become an important part of your life and personal growth. The education you’re going to receive is going to shape your mind and help you form important opinions on life. You will make many mistakes along the way but that is the best way to learn the different lessons life has for you.

What I really want you to do when you enter this exciting phase of your life is to never say no to the spontaneous plans your friends make and never turn your head away from important discussions happening on your campus. Even though staying in bed seems like a perfect plan, do not let yourself skip too many classes, because, trust me, the memories you will make in those 4 walls are going to be precious. Open your heart more but don’t let your guard down completely and most of all (and for the love of god) listen to your friend’s advice!

Hope you feel excited for the journey ahead because college is going to change your life and just your luck, this change is a good one.

Warm regards and happy thoughts from a little less scared and confused Samantha.