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Seniors Answer: What Would You Tell Your Freshman Year Self?

As a senior nearing (pains me to say) graduation, what would you tell yourself as a freshman newbie in college?

When you enter college at the mere age of 18, the world is an entirely different place. I think back sometimes to the mindset I had; similar in humor, yet astoundingly different. I know that I, for one, could have used a few encouraging words and a little advice. Hindsight, however, is 20/20. I feel throughout my four undergrad years here at the University of Scranton I have put myself in different shoes, obtained a new outlook, and honestly grown in the most amazing ways. I wanted to bestow this ~wisdom upon any college newcomers or younger students. I asked my fellow classmates the same question I asked myself, and this is what I found. J


A young freshman Jenna about to head on her maiden voyage to Scranton in August 2013.


What Would You Tell Your Freshman Year Self?


“I would tell myself to be confident, and not to worry about the future. I would tell myself not to worry about the little things, and to appreciate every second the world has to offer because this will be the best four years of your life. So keep your head high and that smile big, and don’t let a second go to waste!” –AP


“Take every opportunity that you are given and don’t think about it – just do it.” –LB


“I would tell my freshman-year self that I’m in control of my life. I am the captain of my own ship, and if I’m unhappy, I can do something to change that. Everyone tells you that college goes by so quickly, BUT IT DOES. Cherish each moment, be kind and compassionate, and make sure that you thoroughly understand what your major entails, and make sure it’s something you really want to do! Empathy is key. To feel so much emotion all the time can be draining, but it’s vital. Love everyone around you and take each day as comes.” –ML


“It’s what you make of it. Appreciate every moment with friends in little Scranton, PA. These moments fly by.” –LL


“Life is not like the movie Click – you can’t go back and rewind your college years, you can’t pause your favorite moments, and you cannot delete the hard times! But you can make the most of your four years. Enjoy every moment. Learn from your experiences, because before you know it, it’ll all be over.” –AW


“Getting Dean’s List will make you feel good, sure, but don’t lose nights out with friends to achieve that. Go out a little more – it’s ok. If you are in a relationship and it does not feel right, then get out of it. You are starting a new chapter in your life and you deserve to be happy, free, and independent. Biggest thing: it’s okay to stand up for yourself.” –JR


“I wish I knew as a freshman that the dorms weren’t a free-for-all. My friends and I got in trouble so many times because we thought there were no rules and would throw parties in our rooms.” –ET


“I wish I could tell my freshman self that everyone you were scared of talking to or met out at Scranton and saw the next morning at brunch in DeNaples, that you should just say hi to them because now everyone is friends anyways. It would have been better to become friends sooner rather than later since we are gradating now.” –TT


“Do everything and anything, you can never give up any opportunities that come your way.” –BM


“Don’t date anyone! Have fun alone; this is your time to do you. You’ll find the right person eventually, but not today. You need to grow individually before you can evolve with someone else!” –Anonymous


“I would tell myself that you did it right. You were right for actually going out with your friends on the weekend instead of staying in the library. This is where you learned the most.” –JH


“Most people are searching for happiness outside of themselves. That’s a fundamental mistake. Happiness is something you are and it comes from the way you think.” –MA


“I would tell myself to put myself out there more and not go home so much because I was so quiet and afraid to do anything freshmen year. Once I started jumping into things and being more out there is when I started to make friends and enjoy Scranton.” –SC


“Be open to new people and new experiences. You’ll never regret saying yes, but you will regret saying no to things that would otherwise help you grow as a person. Favorite quote: great things never came from comfort zones.” –EM


“I would tell myself to relax. It’s ok to skip out on being social to watch a movie. It’s ok to skip studying to hang out with friends. There is not wrong or right way to “do” college.” –KM


“Take a deep breath. Anatomy can be rough, but you will survive it and the friendships you will make with other struggling students will carry you through the rest of your Scranton experience.” –SS


“Don’t go to college unless you are absolutely ready to. Don’t go just because everyone else is.” –KM


“Be yourself and don’t do anything you don’t want to. If you don’t like something, don’t do it because everyone else is. Be who you are. “–LW


“Just because your year isn’t what everyone else does doesn’t mean that it’s wrong. Being yourself is more important than doing what you’re ‘supposed to’ in college. “–KS


“If I ever had the chance to do college over again, I wouldn’t – not because I didn’t enjoy it, but because I’m so happy with the person I am now that I wouldn’t risk having myself turn out any other way. I’ve learned over the past four years how to truly keep my mind open, to choose love over hate, and to always remember that people’s words are usually a reflection of their own feelings toward themselves. This may sound stupid, but the simple advice I have to give to undergrad women is to not scowl at the girl who bumped into you at the bar – there’s no point. Part of being kind is understanding that we’re all human. Sh*t happens! It’s as simple as that. Be good by doing good.” –AR



Jenna is a senior occupational therapy student here at the U. She enjoys making people laugh, frolicking in warm weather, eating copious amounts of food, and dancing the night away. Follow her on insta @jennarizzy
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