Dear Freshmen; Love, A Senior

Dear freshmen,

Don't be scared. This feels like a funny thing for me to say because when I was a freshman, I was scared. I was scared of literally everything and everyone. College is scary. Leaving home is scary. Making new friends and starting a new chapter in your life is scary. I get it, really I do. But don't be scared. Upperclassmen aren't here to mess with you (at least, the majority aren't) and if you meet an upperclassman in your major, many of us are willing to forge friendships with the freshies. Look at us as someone who can help you, not someone to be scared of.

Go outside. Do stuff. Explore campus. Explore Hartford (carefully). You're here for four years. Learn about this place. It's pretty cool. You can take a bus to historic downtown Hartford and just walk around the city. Lots of open space and places to see. Take advantage of student discounts at museums and shops and just go do stuff. Trust me, you'll wish you did later.

Experiment. Go outside your comfort zone and try out a club you might not have thought of. We have a great Philosophy Club where we basically eat food and chat about stuff. Join an intramural team. Maybe even rush a Greek organization if you feel so inclined. College is a time for self-discovery.

Speaking of self-discovery, don't be afraid to change your major if you find that you love something else more than your original major. I'm a prime example of that - I enrolled as a physics major and found out by the end of my first semester that I would be far happier as a reporter than as a physicist. Now I'm set to get a degree in journalism. Your advisor won't be upset, they want what's best for you, and you're the one who determines that. If switching majors makes you happy, go for it. If transferring out of UHart makes you happy, by all means, transfer. Four years is a long time to live miserably.

Perhaps most importantly, realize that while four years feels like a long time now, in four years, you'll be wondering how it passed so quickly. I used to think to myself that 2015 would never get here. Now I only have eight months left and I wonder where the time has gone. I'm even a little jealous of you freshies. My college adventure might be coming to an end, but yours is just beginning. Cherish it.