A Letter to Sophomores: It’s Okay to Not Have a Perfect Freshman Year of College

Before beginning your freshman year, and during it, you'll always hear other people’s perspectives, thoughts, and opinions about it. 

“Stay focused and get all A’s. It’s easy!”

“Join clubs and organizations. Put yourself out there, make a lot of friends.”

“If you don’t do this ... you’re wasting your freshman year”

I heard these things, and more, from my peers and many people I didn’t even know. Although these may be beneficial tips to give a young 18-year-old, they can also be hindering. College brings forth a new environment filled with new people, new experiences, and situations that are unfamiliar to us. There's room for error and exploration. For me, there were many things I wanted to do, but those things didn’t happen.

But it’s important to know that:

It’s OKAY to not end your freshman year with your ideal GPA.

It’s OKAY to not have made as many friends as you see in movies or on TV.

It’s OKAY if you didn’t join clubs or go to parties.

Your experience is one hundred and five percent valid. If you’re an incoming freshman, don’t let ANYONE tell you how your freshman year should go (or any part of your life for that matter).

For the longest time, I blamed myself (and my mental health) for not getting straight A’s, making tons of friends, joining clubs, getting opportunities within my major, etc. I’m now a sophomore and these “what ifs” still weigh on me, but hopefully this brings comfort to those whose situations weren’t ideal.

I’m also writing to comfort myself for all the times I doubted myself, my abilities, and even my everyday life because it didn’t meet everyone else’s standards.

Your freshman year is YOURS, define it how you wish because after all, it’s only the beginning!

Now that you're a sophomore and have hopefully gained insight from your first year, you should be ready to tackle the next three years!

So with that being said,