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A Letter to My Freshman Self

Hi there old friend

Before I begin, I must ask something of you. Keep an open mind, and trust that I have the experiences to support these tidbits of wisdom

Here you are at college, and it’s not just any university, you are at the Zoo. You never saw yourself here, probably ever, and you may even feel the slightest bit of regret as you are now one of nearly 25,000. Of course that’s overwhelming. But give it your best shot, that’s the only thing you can do. 

You being you, the first step is to learn the low down on food. Yes, you now have to walk to eat. It will be cold and you will feel too lazy to make the trek more often than not, but you have to do it. Don’t eat pizza everyday and avoid the pancake bar at all costs. Enjoy yourself, of course, but you will save money and calories if you avoid stocking up on snacks at Target and make it to Grab and Go instead. 

Deep breath… it IS possible to meet your person on this massive campus. Be friendly, join groups, and seize the opportunity to meet someone new every day. These people don’t bite… at least not most of them, and believe it or not you will find more than a few who enjoy your company too. You can find your niche, you just have to be willing to look.

Nothing will help you more than leaving your dorm room as often as possible. It is for sleeping, but get to the library to do your work. Walk around downtown and discover the beautiful area you’re living in. If you don’t take advantage of your new home, it will quickly slip away in the next four years, and you will never be able to appreciate it. And of course, keep up with your school work. There is nothing more valuable than time management skills, develop them! Procrastination will happen, but keep up with classes and make them a priority.

Aside from the ins and outs of adjusting to college life, we need to get serious. Stop worrying about every little thing… in five years from now will it really matter? Find what’s important and enjoy the little things in life because you may not have time later. Don’t hesitate and have a presence in the here and now, not in what happened last weekend or what you need to do with the rest of your life. That’s not energy well spent.

Most importantly, you need to accept that you are human. You will make mistakes, and that’s okay. Learn to love it, love the times you mess up as much as the times you rock it. Things aren’t always going to go your way. You can no longer try to control every little thing, and you shouldn’t want to. It’s a part of life, and guess what… that’s OK! 

Enjoy the 3 am stories that you’ll laugh about for weeks, see and do things that you never could’ve imagined, and meet people that will change you forever. Become the best possible version of yourself, because believe me she’s out there and she’s waiting with open arms. 

Love always,




Photos/Videos: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8

I am a double major in political science and legal studies and am also seeking a certificate in public policy. I'm an avid reader and writer and am proud to be the event coordinator for my chapter! UMass Amherst Class of 2018
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