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To the me who was scared of becoming a college student,

Did you know that it actually is overwhelming? Sorry, but it is. I don’t know if I can sugarcoat that. There will be tons of homework assignments, tests and quizzes to study for every week, and projects to work on. It seems like there’s just no end to it. It’s like you’re obligated to overwork and never take breaks.

Did you know that it would be a little hard to find friends? Well, it was a little difficult to stick with people, even if you talked to them in class. They already seemed to have a solid group of friends because they lived in the dorms, and you didn’t. 

Did you know you’d feel the pressure of trying to do all sorts of things all at once? There’s the pressure of joining new clubs, taking up on internship opportunities, and yeah, the pressure of keeping your grades up. You’re comparing yourself to others 24/7, and you can’t stop because everywhere you look, everyone is doing so much better than you and you feel obligated to reach everyone else’s level.

But, did you know that it gets better?

You should know that, yeah, it’s overwhelming. But you have tons of resources available to help you. There’s the writing center, counseling services, professors who are willing to help. You should know that taking breaks and having time for yourself is perfectly fine, and actually healthy for work and study habits.

You should know that you will find the friends you’ve been looking for. It was just a matter of having new classes each semester. You meet new people again, and this time you get lucky. You actually hang out with them on the weekends sometimes. 

You should know that you don’t need to feel pressured to be on everyone else’s level. You are your own person, and you get to take things at your own pace. You can make your own decisions. Why does it matter that that other first-year is rescuing animals, becoming the leader of a club, or joining a sorority? 

But, these positive thoughts didn’t just appear out of nowhere. It was a matter of actually taking steps towards recovery. You needed to step up. Yes, it’s ok to feel overwhelmed and scared. But, you need to remember that if you don’t take the first step, how are you supposed to make any progress at all? 

You should know that everything will be ok. That is the most generic thing you can tell someone who isn’t doing the greatest, but it’s true. You just really need to believe in it. If you believe in it, you can do it. Work towards your goals, and put in that effort. Reach out to friends and family for help, reach out to your professors, take breaks when needed, take advantage of the resources you have, go at your own pace, and do the things you truly love and enjoy. 

You can do it.

Sincerely,

The you who isn’t scared of continuing to be a college student

Ally (she/they/he) is a design major and advertising minor at the University of San Francisco. In her free time, they like watching cartoons and anime, playing video games, drawing, singing, and playing piano. Some other interests include Marvel, Star Wars, and well you guessed it, Disney and Pixar. She's been in the Bay Area, specifically South SF, her entire life and loves adventuring out into the city
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