Dear Incoming Fairfield Freshmen…

Dear incoming Fairfield freshmen,

 

You are about to begin a journey on the craziest and most indescribable four years of your life. There will be highs and there will be lows. The first thing you need to understand is that these will be the fastest years of your life. Heading into college, everyone told me this, but I didn’t believe it until I reached senior year. From the first minute you step on campus, treasure every second.

Looking back, there are a few things I wish I knew beginning college. For starters, not everyone is going to be your best friend. Transitioning from high school to college is hard. You are taken away from everything you know, and put in this new place where everything feels foreign. For some, the transition is easier than it is for others. However, for everyone, you have to make a home out of a school you spent minimal time at before. The easiest way to do so is to be around the people who you will soon call family. Don’t stress. You may meet your best friends by living on the same floor, in the dining hall, or in class. The point is to get to know everyone because who never know who will end up being important in your life.        

Call your parents. Transitioning is hard for freshmen, but it’s also hard for your parents. Call them on your walk home from class. Keep them in the loop and use them to help you. You’ll realize how much you need them after you are separated. With that being said, don’t get too wrapped up in your home life. It’s important to keep in contact with your friends and family, but it’s equally important to meet new people and focus on making your new home.

Get involved. So many of the friends I made came through being involved on campus. Freshmen tend to shy away from getting committed to a lot of things, but the truth is that having a busy schedule keeps you on track. It’s important to partake in activities besides your class work, where you can socialize and do something you’re passionate about. Try something that takes you out of your comfort zone. College is the time to explore because you may be surprised what you find out about yourself.

Don’t get too fixated on your GPA. Work hard and your grades will come. It’s important to focus on school, but also leave time to have fun. Work/life balance is essential in college. Don’t ruin your GPA first semester or you’ll regret it later on. College is about getting an education, but it is also about learning and growing as an individual.

Enjoy the space around you. Treasure every Barone meal because soon you’ll be a senior trying to sneak in to eat the food that you complained about for two years. Take advantage of the incredible restaurants in town. Sit outside in the quad and appreciate where you are.  Walk to the beach when it’s warm. Not every school has a beach 10 minutes from campus.

Lastly, make the best of every situation. Things are going to go wrong. You may not get along with your roommate, or you may struggle with a professor’s teaching style. Push through and stay yourself.  As silly as it sounds, the worst thing you can do in college is pretend to be someone you’re not.

Soon you’ll be like me, weeks away from graduation, wondering where the time went. Take a deep breath and get excited for the four wild and unexplainable years ahead of you!

Sincerely,

A nostalgic senior in denial Jillian