A Letter to Incoming College Freshmen

 

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Dear soon-to-be freshmen,

As senior year is running its course and coming to an end, a new door is opening for you. Behind that door, opportunities, independence and a new lifestyle await you. A wave of every emotion may hit, but that’s okay. You might be sad to be turning a new leaf and leaving your hometown and the relationships you’ve made in it. You might be reminiscent of all the memories you actually found yourself enjoying throughout your four years of high school and (some of) the quirks of everyone else in it. You might be extremely happy or scared. Trust me, it’s okay to be on your own and learn to do “grown-up” stuff like make your own doctor appointments or learn a thing or two about time management. Who knows, you may even feel angry that you have to spend another few years away from home to do even more homework and sitting through lesson plans you don’t even understand.

So, congratulations to you! Whether you’ve chosen where you want to get your degree or not, you got through most of the hard part: pricey college applications and repetitive standardized testing. Now, pat yourself on the back because those are things you should truly be proud of. It’s about that time in your life when you need to become more selfish about your own choices to ensure you are fulfilling and living up to your own expectations. No matter what route you want to take, make sure you take the road that will make you happy.

I can’t promise you that it’s going to be easy when the time comes to pack up all of your things into your car and just drive off to who knows where. However, I can promise you that the first year of being on your own will be nothing less of a learning experience. Creating a home away from home can be difficult when you enter it with a closed mind. Think about it this way. Even though you’ll miss the comfort of your family and friends, there will be chances to make new ones right around the corner. There is a lot to be afraid of (e.g. freshman fifteen is only real if you let it be), but nothing you can’t handle on your own.

I along with millions of others know exactly how you feel and what you are going through. It’s normal not to know what to expect your first semester to look like or pinpoint exactly what it is you want to study. You’ll experiment and try new things you may like or dislike but that's college, it is all about getting yourself out of your own shell. Behind all the late-night study sessions in the library, that annoying eight a.m. class, partying and newfound freedom lies a better understanding of yourself. It’s important to know that in the upcoming years of adulthood, you must mold yourself into who you want to see yourself as, not who you think you should be. Above all, I wish you luck in the rest of your endeavors as a senior in high school. Cherish the time you have left before you have to start saying that you are at home “just visiting."

 

Yours truly,

A college freshman who was once in your shoes.

Photo credit: Mocah ImagesUniversity of Rochester