Letter to Freshman Year Self
Dear Freshman me,
Guess what? You’re fine! And you’re going to end up exactly where you’re supposed to be. Here are some things to remember.
You’ll only really feel like a freshman the first semester.
If you won’t remember it five years from now it’s not worth dwelling on for more than five minutes.
LOTS of things won’t go as planned, but that’s normal. Many of the issues we face are very trivial even if they don’t seem so in the moment. Feel what you feel, but move on. Don’t dwell.
Other people feel the same way.
It’s more likely than not that if you are struggling with something, other people are too. Although it may not seem like others are struggling, some people are just way better at faking it.
DO IT. Find two upperclassmen - one in your major and one not. It’s nice to have people to talk to that have recently experienced what you are experiencing now, and they give great advice.
Honor yourself- join as much or as little as you want.
Some people feel better taking things slow. It’s okay to join just one thing, take time to adjust, and find your rhythm. You have SEVEN other semesters to join things and get more involved. On the other hand if you find comfort in jumping right in and keeping yourself busy, do that! Whatever you choose is fine and you don’t have to justify yourself or compare yourself to your peers one way or the other.
I’ve been watching “Yes Theory” videos and I love the motto they live by - seek discomfort. Do things outside your comfort zone - that’s what college is all about. Each day, do something that’s a stretch - introducing yourself to the person next to you in class, attending an info session about an organization you find intriguing, etc. Getting out of your comfort zone is an important avenue for personal growth, and college is nothing if not personal growth.
Get to know at least one or two of your professors.
Go to office hours, shake their hand, and sit in the first three rows of class. Make that personal connection. It’ll get you more comfortable building those relationships which will become more and more important as you move through college. And knowing your professor, at least in my experience, makes it easier to focus and invest yourself in the class.
Make friends with people in OTHER majors
This is a sure fire way to avoid talking about exams, homeworks, grades, etc. when you choose to take a break and just have fun. Making friends, or at least acquaintances in your major will be more natural so make an effort to also meet people outside of your major to have that diversity in friends.
Registration probably will suck so don’t stress about it.
It’s inevitable that some classes will fill up when you have the last registration time, but don’t stress out about it!. You will get your required courses and there are other semesters to take classes that you didn’t get this time around.
Lastly, enjoy the journey!
You’re in college and yes, you will work hard, but you are also supposed to have fun!! Be present, laugh, and spend time with the people you love.