What I’d Say To My Incoming-Freshman Self

Hi, past me. Congratulations on getting into Lafayette! You worked hard to achieve that goal, and you should be proud of yourself.

 

So I have good news and bad news. The good news? When you have to leave your freshman year early because of a worldwide pandemic (surprise!), you’re going to be really sad to go. You’re going to have friends you love, professors who make you laugh, and classes that expand your worldview and make your heart sing. You leave your freshman year excited about your housing for the next, bursting with excitement for everything to come. The bad news? Freshman year wasn’t always easy or fun, especially in the beginning.

 

The bad days are tough. You’ll learn to eat lunch alone sometimes but will learn that eating alone is not weird at all. But you’ll also have a lot of lunches where you meet up with new people, bond over the weird spices on the vegetable salad, and have to rush to class because you lost track of time. Sometimes the amount of classwork you have will feel like pipe dripping a puddle on the floor that you can’t mop up fast enough. It’s worth it. You’ll have classes that invigorate you, challenge you. You’ll enjoy writing your essays for those classes because it’s just so interesting.

 

College is about balance. You’ll have good days and bad days and in-between days. You have to learn to appreciate the good days, let go of the bad days, and stay focused on those that hover in-between. 

 

Making new friends can be a little (and by a little I mean a lot) intimidating, but I’ll let you in on a not-so-secret secret. Everybody is some level of intimidated when they start. Even if you feel a little lame, just take a deep breath, go up to someone, and introduce yourself. Give them a genuine compliment. Ask them what they’re planning to major in. 

 

Oh, and your major? You think you want to double in English and Psychology. After freshman year, you’ll know that thought was only half-right. Change is okay. Change is more than okay, actually. Change is good. Part of being in college is growing. It’s okay to feel certain of your major, and it’s okay to still want to explore. You will find what you love.

 

Some classes will fill you with passion. Some are interesting. Some are just to fill course requirements. Don’t take something that’s not interesting, but if you have to, there’s a lesson to be learned in every class. You can discover what’s interesting where you didn’t expect to find it. 

 

Going into college right now, you are uncertain about a lot of things. Rather than shying into what you know, lean into all of that unknown waiting for you. I know it’s scary, and I know you’re going to avoid being alone in the beginning, sometimes to your own detriment. But, that’s normal, and you will learn to appreciate that time with yourself. Everyone is on their own journey!

 

Forgive yourself for those mistakes. A huge part of going to college is learning that takes place outside the classroom. And also, club meetings are going to become one of your favorite parts of the day. You’ll meet so many talented and interesting people. Talking for an hour about the things you’re passionate about with like-minded peers? Yes, please! 

 

I won’t tell you not to be afraid, because I know you will be. Instead, I’ll tell you that it’s okay to be anxious about college. Knowing that change is coming, but not what that change is, is one of the hardest feelings to face.

 

Hang in there! Change is always worth it, and you will grow bolder and stronger, like a sunflower stretching toward the sun.