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Dear Freshman, This Is the Best Mindset To Have When Starting College (From a College Senior)

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

If you’re reading this, it probably means two things: you’re someone who just came across this article or you’re an incoming freshman going into college. And if you’re the latter, don’t worry! I was terrified too. I was completely, utterly, and totally scared of starting college. I had no idea what to expect. That whole summer prior to starting college, I had anxious thoughts and concerns circulating my mind constantly. 

I believe that the only way you learn in life is through experiences and making mistakes. Life is a collection of things that happen and your reactions to those things. Now, despite life being unpredictable and having to adjust to whatever it throws at you, it’s important to channel a certain type of mindset, if possible. The proper mindset can help change not be as scary or drastic. The first piece of advice I can give to incoming freshmen is to not stress about finding friends right away. You meet everyone for a reason. Either that person will become one of your people or they’ll teach you a valuable lesson. There are so many opportunities for you to meet new people: in your dorm, in classes, social gatherings, clubs, and even dining halls. Just be friendly, authentic, and your true self, because everyone’s in the same boat when starting college. No one really knows anyone.  

The second piece of advice that I can give is to live in every moment. Don’t wish away your years here at school. I remember being in middle school and wishing I was sixteen. And, when I was sixteen, I would wish and wish that I was in college already. Now that I’m a senior in college, I find myself wanting to rewind the clock. I want to go back to freshman year, high school, even to my earlier years in elementary school.

Let me tell you, you might think that starting college right now is the most terrifying thing you have ever done, and I’m sure that’s true for many. However, a little secret between you and me: being a senior in college is a million times scarier. The responsibilities are frightening and the unknown of setting foot into this world as an adult is even worse. With that being said, don’t sweat the small stuff. I won’t lie to you and say don’t focus on your grades because those are very important, but you also need to take the time to do fun things, things you will never forget. Trust me, those are the memories you’ll want to go back to. 

Be open to new possibilities. Don’t be afraid of rejection. Don’t panic too much about the future. Be a good friend and roommate. Introduce yourself and talk to your professors. Call your family and loved ones often. If you have friendships at home that you cherish, don’t lose touch. You’ll need them one day. You can be whoever you want to be here at college and have the chance to take complete control of your life.

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Katie Hagearty

U Mass Amherst '22

Katie Hagearty is a senior at UMass Amherst with a major in communication disorders and minors in education and psychology. She hopes to become a speech pathologist one day and work with children. Katie has a passion and love for fashion, beauty, current events, and writing. She is eager to be involved in the Her Campus chapter at Umass as an outlet to write and reach others with her words and creativity.
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