The End of an Era: Freshman Year Edition

It’s no high school or college graduation, but the end of your freshman year of college really IS a big deal.

If you’re a current freshman reading this, think back to where you were a year ago today. Depending on how easy or difficult it was for you to make your decision, many of you had already chosen your college by now and we're counting down the days until graduation.

Here you are, an entire school year later, chock-full of knowledge from your GE’s and memories that’ll last you a lifetime…and since you’re only a rising sophomore, you most likely have three more years to look forward to.

Let’s be real though, this first year probably wasn’t all fun. By now you may have figured out you’re slightly broke, either have too much or too little meal plan money left, have developed a caffeine addiction, and are drowning in final papers and projects.

BUT here you are, approaching the finish line of your freshman year (maybe some of you are even already on summer break), with so much to be proud of whether you know it or not.  

Remember your kindergarten graduation? Maybe your school didn’t have one, but my elementary school sure did, and it was quite the event. Looking back, the whole concept of “graduating from kindergarten” is seriously weird…given the fact that, at that specific point in time, kids have years and years of schooling left ahead of them and probably had just started to master their ABC’s. So, what’s the point of this and why am I reminiscing on my kindergarten years? As five or six-year-old little kids, kindergarten “graduates” have their whole lives ahead of them but are recognized for completing their first year of real school. Right now, we are just like them: the babies of college that have just completed their first year. Why don’t we get a mini-graduation for that?!

I know everyone’s freshman year experience is so unique and completely different from those around them, but regardless of the year you had, good or bad, take a moment to congratulate yourself on “graduating” from freshman year.

Maybe you loved it so much you want to do it all over again. Maybe you want to go back and change the way certain things played out. Or maybe you want it to be the end of senior year already so you can get the heck out of here. However this year played out for you, it’s important to reflect on what you loved and what you didn’t, so you can make the changes needed to set yourself up for a successful sophomore year.

On a lighter note, there’s this funny expression my dad and has always said to me about college that I want to throw in here:

“Freshman know nothing and know they know nothing, sophomores know something but think they know nothing, juniors know something but think they know everything, & seniors know everything and know they know everything.”

We’ve officially made the jump from nothing-to-something in that silly sense, and we deserve to feel proud of ourselves for the year we’ve endured. We’ve met new people, gotten creative with food in the dining hall, co-existed with a roommate(s), slept through some 8 a.m.’s, and survived communal bathroom living! All in all, we’ve come so far and I’m proud of each and every one of us for all we’ve accomplished this year.

So, here’s to you class of 2022 (or whatever your TBD graduation year is). One down, three more to go!!