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High School

A Letter To a Rising College Freshman

Dear senior about to graduate from high school, 


As I wrap up my freshman year of college, I am beginning to reflect on the last eight months of my life. It’s true what they say, as you get older time really begins to fly by. I can testify to this as it seems as though I blinked and the school year was over. Over the course of this year, I have been challenged, surprised, happy, sad, angry, passionate, and wrapped up in a myriad of emotions that I can’t even begin to describe. 

As a high school senior, I had different aspirations of where I would be going to school. I didn’t get into my top choice school and, at the time, any other school I had gotten into only paled in comparison. Change is hard but change that doesn’t go necessarily how you were expecting it to, is way harder. In my head, I had planned for a school and an experience that I didn’t get to have. I spent the better half of my first semester comparing my experience to that of other people and wishing I had done better and could be better. 

As I look back on the year, I wish I had spent more time trying to make myself happy, trying to create a home away from home, and less time thinking about what I didn’t have and couldn’t get. Your college experience will never be the same as your friend, it will never be the same as someone who went to an in-state school or an out-of-state-school. It will be a journey entirely unique to you and your situation. As a word of advice, I suggest you don’t compare yourself to your peers or friends from home. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, it’s easy to get caught up in the social media rabbit hole and fall for the curated timelines you see. I had to learn to focus on myself and my experience and let the rest go. 

On that note, learning to focus on yourself all while experiencing a whole new trend of change is a personal challenge that can also lead to personal growth. Being away from home, away from friends, from your routine, and the life you’ve had for the last 18 years is the hardest thing to let go of. Being challenged is healthy and helps you grow as a person; the trick is trusting yourself enough to leave the nest and fly. At the same time, remember where you came from and the people who helped you get there. Call your mom, or dad, or whoever helped you reach this goal because they deserve that, and it will keep you sane.  

I was always told that college will be the best four years of my life and although I can’t say my freshman year met this expectation, I do feel I have grown and changed as a person. As you enter your freshman year of college remember that you did this, you got yourself here, and this should be your pride and joy. A good quote to think about in this transition is, “Remember when you wanted what you currently have?” Have fun, be wild, study, make friends, fall in love, get your heart broken, but most of all take advantage of the opportunity being presented in front of you right now because it only lasts four years and time is fleeting. 

Images: 1, 2, 3

Estela Suarez

U Mass Amherst '22

Estela is a junior at the University of Massachusetts. She's a communications major interested in social media and writing. She enjoys spending time with friends and family and spending time at the beach in her home-state of Florida.
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