An Open Letter to Incoming College Freshmen

It's no secret that officially having one year of college in the books has been, for lack of better phrasing, a process. I, for one, have experienced a wide range of emotions and sorted through quite a few opinions. Soon we won't be the freshmen anymore- a new class is coming in, most likely feeling just as excited (and lost) as we did. To that new class, I'd like to pass on a few things. I'd like to give you all, the newbies, an idea of what NOT to expect out of your first year of college.


  • Don't expect a fairy tale.

A lot of the ways college is presented to high school students, especially ones that are merely months away from starting their college experience, make it appear perfect. In a lot of ways, the first year WILL be the time of your life, but don't feel bad if it seems like it isn't playing out the way you expected. Nobody has a perfect first year, I promise.

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  • Don't expect total independence.

It's extremely easy to feel as though you've been set free. I just ask this- don't ignore your parents. Answer their calls, or call THEM every once in a while. Trust me, you've won't be all on your own right away, even if you want to be. Also, they'll appreciate being updated on your life more than you know, even if it seems like something small.

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  • Don't expect to know what you want right away.

Not everyone falls madly in love with their experience immediately. It's incredibly common to switch majors or join campus organizations only to leave them later. It takes a little bit to figure out what path you want to continue down, so don't expect to see it as soon as you step onto campus.

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  • Don't expect your experience to match anyone else's.

Adjusting to college/campus life and how different it is from what you're used to is a gradual process, but nobody moves through that process at the same speed. Try to refrain from wishing you could feel as at home as your friends or peers seem to. You aren't doing anything wrong if you aren't having the same experiences as others are.

  • DO expect to find your place.

Regardless of anything you might struggle through, remember that you chose your school for a reason. You're supposed to be here, and you'll remember why in no time. You may not find a fairytale ending out of freshman year, but you absolutely will find a home. 

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