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A Letter to my Freshman Year Self

Going into your freshman year of college is a new, exciting and intimidating experience all at once. You may have friends from high school coming with you, or you might have a fresh start without any familiar faces. You have to know where your classes are and move from building to building instead of room to room. Dorm-life is certainly going to be an adjustment, and dining hall food isn’t going to be like home cooking, but there are so many amazing adventures that are bound to await you on your journey.

This is the dialogue that was running through my mind as I anticipated what going away to college was going to be like. And as much as I tried to predict what I would encounter, learn, and how I would grow along the way, there was still so much that I could have never expected.

This is a letter to my freshman year self:

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Dear Amanda,

First and foremost, don’t start wishing college would just be over already like you did with high school, because one day you’re going to look back on your high school past as ‘the good old days’. Treasure each moment and make the most of your college experience while you can, because I know once graduation comes around, these will be the good old days too. The dorms weren’t really as bad as you think they’re going to be – not that communal living is to be envied by anyone – but you’ll get used to it quicker than you expect. And no, the dining hall food isn’t immaculate, but they do make a pretty decent burrito and the breakfast is the best. Don’t worry about feeling like you won’t make a lot of friends, because the right ones will find you when you least expect it and you’ll create many wild, hilarious and unforgettable memories. And your old friendships – the gold ones – will grow stronger than ever despite being apart, so don’t be afraid. You’ll miss your best friend and family most of all (as expected) and you’ll cry when you have to say goodbye, but you’ll be reunited again before you know it as if no time has passed at all. School will be tough, and you may struggle in your studies from time to time, but you will always find a way to make it through. Your classes will open your mind and you will gain so much knowledge and new perspectives that you never had before. You will face hardships following an incredible freshman year but have faith and know that you will make it through those as well. Even if it seems as if all hope is lost and that things will never get better, they will, and you will be a stronger person for having gone through them. Always remember that you’re not alone, and that you have a wonderful support system of family and friends that will stay by your side every step of the way. And never, ever be afraid to reach out for help. Have fun, take risks, and be happy – things are going to work out just the way they’re supposed to.

Love,

Your Future Self

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Amanda Layne

Illinois State '21

Amanda is a Public Relations major at Illinois State University. Writing has been a passion of hers for as long as she can remember, and she aspires to publish an original novel one day. She'd rather read the book than watch the movie, always chooses tea over coffee, and insists that Halloween is the superior holiday. When she's not writing, you can find Amanda cheering on the Chicago Blackhawks, spending time outdoors, or hanging out with her family and friends. She's a firm believer in following every dream and living in the moment. Peace, love, & light. XO
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