What I Would Tell My Freshman Self?

 

Four years have flown by faster than I could have ever imagined. I am sitting in my childhood room, packing one last time, updating the pictures in my picture frames and saying good-bye to my hometown friends one last time. By the time this article is posted, I will have completed my last first day of my undergraduate career. I will have also submitted my applications to physical therapy programs and be patiently waiting to hear about my future destination. Reflecting back, I have changed a lot since my freshman year. If I had a chance to rewind time would I do anything different? No, but I would give myself some tips and lessons that I now know as a senior. 

I would tell myself that everything will be perfectly fine! I remember my biggest stressors coming into college was worrying that I wouldn’t make friends, that I would end up transferring or that I wouldn’t do well in my classes and end up changing my major several times. Now here I am at the same school I started at, surrounding myself with people who have become more like family, with the same major and a good GPA. 

I would tell myself that everyone is in the same boat and you are not alone! I found that if you were feeling a little homesick at times, the person sitting next to you in class or your roommate most likely is feeling that way or has felt it. I also realized that everyone is trying to make friends and soak up everything that the school has to offer. Yes, at times college is weird, you could sit next to a person for the whole 13-week semester and not even know their name but know that they felt the same way about the exam. However, everyone is in the same boat even if you think you are along, you aren’t!

 

Home will always be home, but school will be your second home! At first, going home seemed like an escape from the reality of school. As the breaks and years went on, I found that Rhode Island was becoming my second home (although I will always be a Masshole at heart). As a junior and senior, I looked forward to going back to school and being back to the normal routine that I had established. I looked forward to walking back on campus and seeing people I hadn’t seen all summer. 

 

It’s okay to put academics first, but make sure to have balance! I’m the type of person who is very organized and will always make sure I have my school-work done and done right before doing other things. I have had a lot of success with this system but I also know that if I put too much pressure on myself that I will just end up more stressed. So, how did I change? I stepped back from things to make sure that I had balance between academics and social life. When I made this switch, I found myself with less stress headaches, less sleepless nights and more laughs/memories. 

The good people will stay and the bad will leave (eventually). You’ll meet a lot of different people over your four years but don’t worry not everyone will want to be your friend. Looking through pictures, I have realized that I have found my people. And trust me, you will too. It might be hard, you might have blow-outs with people who you thought were your best friends but the good ones will ALWAYS STAY! 

CALL YOUR MOM!! I remember freshman year, I would call or text my mom at least once a week. Let’s just say a lot has changed. I text or call her at least once a day. Why? Well, sometimes I ask her basic things like what seasonings she uses to make a specific recipe or update her on my classes. Other times, it’s to distract me from the stress and anxiety about exams and classes. And then sometimes, it’s so that she can send me pictures of the dogs (game-changer). Whatever the case maybe, call your mom or dad or even sibling. They want to know you are A) alive, B) having fun, C) hear your voice. 

 

I think my freshman self would be surprised at who I am now as a senior. I would have never imagined submitting physical therapy school applications or filling out my intent to graduate form. I would have never thought that I would ever be a part of the HerCampus team.