3 Simple Things I Would Tell My Freshman Self

The transition from high school to college is probably one of the biggest changes I have faced thus far. New friends, new subjects, new independence- it’s a whole new world to navigate all while trying to accomplish possibly the biggest challenge thrown at you yet- finding yourself. Finding yourself at any college will be hard, but at a school with over 30,000 undergraduates, it almost seems impossible. If I could go back in time and tell my freshman self just three simple pieces of advice, here’s what I would say.

1. Your Roommates Won't Always Be Your BFFs

It’s a common misconception that your freshman year roommates are going to be the best friends you’ve ever had. I’m here to tell you that for 90% of people, this couldn’t be further from the case. When you really think about it, that assumption actually makes no sense. You don’t even know who you are yet! How are you supposed to know whether these people (whom you’ve never met before) will make good roommates, let alone friends? You don’t need to be close with your roommates- they are simply the first piece of a very large social puzzle you’ll keep crafting through college for years to come. You just need to be able to share a space with them- that’s all that matters.

2. You Don’t Need To Have Everything Figured Out Just Yet

So many people come into college thinking they already know their major, which is great. But if you don’t- that’s fine too! I was so intimidated last year by the fact that everyone seemed to have everything figured out. Everyone knew what classes they were taking for the year, what their major and minors were, and what they wanted to do post graduation. I was shocked. Not only did I not know what I wanted to be, but I didn’t even know my major, nor what classes I should even be taking. I thought I was somehow behind because I didn’t have everything figure out, but I was also confused because… I was eighteen? How does anyone know what they want to do for sure yet? What I came to realize was that not everyone had their life planned out- that’s just how most people are trying to appear. Be confident in being undeclared or confused. Believe it or not, you’re actually supposed to use this time to figure it out.

3. Your Major Does Not Define You

This is feeding off my last point, but seriously!! This could not be more true! Your major these days is just one side of your very multi-faceted self. What matters in the real world is how you choose to present that self. If you love math more than anything, major in math! Or maybe you are fascinated by gender studies? Major in it!! Do not worry about the fear of, “what will I do with this kind of degree” because what makes you an interesting candidate when applying to jobs is the fact that you are able to articulate the why of your major, and in turn, the passion you have for that subject. That is way more appealing to a recruiter than the bland answer of majoring in something because you thought it would look good. Do what you love! And don’t be afraid of what people say. Only you can determine your future.

Ok that’s my spiel. If you’re a freshman, take this into account! I wish I had, as I would have been relieved of many late nights worrying I wouldn’t find my path and wouldn’t find my friends. When in reality, all I needed to realize was that everything comes with time, and I am most certainly not alone. Everyone feels the same way as a freshman. It’s ok to let it show.