Freshman year? Read this first.

Okay! So first of all, congratulations, felicidades, and gratulacje (yes that’s Polish).

You made it! You ground the hard grind, sweat the post-pubescent sweat and dared the dark hallways and musty pits of high school hell. You’ve got that sweet college acceptance letter in your hand and the smell of the dorm room fairy lights, stale dining hall food and even staler frat party air is so close that you can almost taste it. Image result for taste it gifWell trust me, I couldn’t be happier for you. This is an exciting time in your life and trust me x2 but very little can beat the fresh breath of freedom, independence and adulthood that you feel when you come to college.

But as some wise dudes once probably said, with great liberation comes a lot of tea. (Or was that about power and responsibility…? I’m too old to remember anymore) It’s not all fun and games the whole freshman year thing, so take the following few paragraphs with a grain or two of salt, bae.

1) FAKE IT. FAKE IT and FAKE IT.

A lot of happiness and gram-worthy money shots of freshman year are just the prettiest of the pick. They’re the filtered, enhanced, sunkissed, documentations of less than half the experience, because no one really takes the selfies of the nights when you are alone in your room, homesick, tired, failing a class, worried about social drama, and your mirror starts to reflect the freshman 15 on you. It is an overwhelming year and a lot of what seems like unicorns and rainbows is just the outwardly expression of what could succeed a pretty trashy storm.

This is not to say however, that there isn’t any power to faking it. Faking it IS IMPORTANT, crucial even!! Image result for fake it till you make it gif

Even when things seem terrible, sometimes you don't have to cry it out or wallow in self-despair. You can patch on a fake smile, slap on your brightest lipstick, wear your highest heels and go out if you so desire.

Hell! Change into your comfiest pajamas and binge-watch Netflix while soaking your pores in Mozzarella Stick Grease. But feigning happiness is sometimes the best way to get happy, and (repeat after me) there is NO shame is a little pretence.

2) BE A NICE PERSON

Okay, so this is how I see it: Freshman year of college is a chance to reinvent yourself.

Who you were in high school does NOT have to matter if you don’t want it to. The kind of person you are this year is a) your choice and b) sets the tone for the kind of person you want to be through adulthood.

So choose to be a nice person! Be the girl who’s helpful, who holds open doors, who maybe doesn’t compete in gossiping about other people as a sport, a leader who pulls people up instead of bring other down and most importantly be the WOMAN that makes others comfortable to be around her.

Image result for be nice gif Everyone, and I mean every single Freshman in your class is struggling with something, I guarantee it! Everyone has their stuff. So the best thing you can do is be a positive influence and ray of sunshine to the best of your ability… just try to bring good into other people’s lives instead of negativity and you’re already killing the game sis.  

3) HAVE AN IMPACT.

Now I totally get it if you’re not the activist, wanna-change-the-world messiah that everyone feels like they need to be these days. And you have no responsibility to be the godsent savior of mankind... but what you do have the responsibility to do is to justify your privilege and your education.

If you are lucky enough to receive a higher education, make sure you use what you have learned to create good in the world. Start a club, join an organization that serves, find a gap in the system that you are equipped to deal with and make it your mission to try and help! Don’t be a passive citizen of this world when you have the means and the brain fodder, aka an overpriced degree worth of cranium fuel, at your disposal. Image result for doing good gif Exploit the resources at your intellectual disposal and leave a print of your passing. Let them know you were here! Be a goddamn force of nature girl.

 

4) CUT YOURSELF A FATTY SLICE OF SLACK.

So you’re well into a few months of college and you feel like you don’t have that college pamphlet diverse set of friends? You’re so single, it’s written on your face? You got the opposite of college fit? Your first semester 4.0 dreams tanked before midterm szn even began? You feel like your social life was NOTHING like what you dreamt it would be?

It’s OK, it’s OK, it’s OKAY… I swear. Image result for it's okay gif This is YOUR experience. YOURS. No one else gets a say in what it’s supposed to look like. Do the best you can and do no more in the fear of not living up to an unrealistic expectation. Find your own happy. Make your own happy.

Don’t live in the awe and relentless of pursuit of someone else’s fantasy because that is the single WORST foot on which to begin a lifetime’s worth of independence. Embrace all the shortcomings and all the messiness of life. It is what makes the end result so much more worth it. Take it from me who struggled with this the most… what looks like the “normal-est,” most “underwhelming” lifestyle will prove you the greatest growth. The magic is all in the fine print, not in the blaring headlines. Just remember that.

5) InTrOsPeCt AnD TaKe It In.

Do this. Religiously do this. I am begging. Image result for begging gif Every once in a while, get away. Take an extra five minutes in the shower, take the longer walk to lecture, go grab a coffee and a nice bench by the trees, or sit down by the window to write something. But take a minute every so often and just reminisce. Think about where you came from, think about yourself from 10 years ago and how she would react if she could see you now… look at the road behind you and see what you have overcome and passed to be here. Daydream about the future and thank the universe for giving you all that you have, because no matter the rain clouds, you are so infinitely blessed to have this existence and this journey. So take time to reflect on the mathematically incongruous miracle that is your life dear reader. Image result for blessed gif Because this time you’re living in right now, it’s gone in the blink of an eye… trust me I say this a rising sophomore (triple gasp) sitting lethargically on her bed a hot sunday afternoon… Take it in, soak it in your memory foam and never let this time go.