Dear Incoming College Freshman,
May I start by stating my utter jealousy to you. Why, you ask? Well you see, you’re about to start the best four years of your life and I only have three left. You are about to embark on the most amazing ride that will go faster than you’d ever imagine. Whether you’re headed to Los Angeles, California or Columbus, Ohio I beg you to listen closely: Soak in every second of every situation that you get to experience.
This summer, when you spend countless hours searching for items to make your Pinterest perfect dorm a success and get ridiculed for it, hush the haters and search harder. After all, those photos wouldn’t be online if they weren’t actual dorms right? Those haters are just jealous because they know they are going to have an uglier, less-decorative dorm than you anyways. Preparing for college is so fun and after all, it beats sitting around on Netflix all summer. Oh, and if you’re not familiar with/a fan of Netflix you will be once you’re in college, trust me.
We all know for the next two months you’ll be counting down until the day you move out and go to school. In your head, you’ll be giving your dog a goodbye hug and hopping in the car with a suitcase and desk lamp, ready to make the journey to college and smiling from ear-to-ear. Well, I’m sorry to burst your bubble incoming college freshman but, it’s not all giggles and rainbows. I for one never expected to be sad but let me tell ya, when you watch your best friend drive away with a whole lot more than a desk lamp and a smile, tears will probably be on the way. When the people you spent every waking minute with in high school move hundreds, even thousands of miles away it’s natural that our emotions kick in more than we’d like them to. However, it’s all apart of the beautiful college journey.
Once you get to campus, you will be bombarded with new activities, new faces and new experiences. I can not stress enough: Get involved, get involved, get involved. Most schools have some sort of activities fair in the fall and I encourage each and every one of you to try something you never saw yourself doing. Put your email down at any booths/tables you have any interest learning more about because who knows, a true passion and a few best friends may be waiting for you in a club you sort of think is cool.
As the leaves begin to fall and the seasons change, appreciate the beauty of your campus. For me, I fell in love with fall at my school. Gold, red, yellow leaves, crisp air and football Saturdays were hard to not entirely obsess over. You may think that you know your campus already but I promise, you don’t. Coming from the girl who went to school ten minutes away, I knew my university was beautiful before I attended. However, I was clueless that each and every day, I would learn something new and absolutely wonderful to appreciate on my walks from my dorm to class and so on.
Represent your school by wearing your apparel and showing school spirit. When you walk to class, throw on your favorite sweatshirt with the name of your college on it. Heading to the airport to go home for Thanksgiving? You better be wearing something spirited for everyone on your flight to see. Side note: You will learn this later on but, networking will be one of the most important things you do while in college. I guarantee you if you wear/show you are a student, older people will talk to you and ask about your major, etc. Who knows, that person could potentially help you land an internship or future job someday.
With that being said, this may be the most important note of all: Don’t forget you are going to college for an education. I know, it’s hard to stay on track when you’re basically diving into an ocean full of new experiences. Obviously, college is a time to grow and to find yourself and it is important to meet new people and have fun. However, know that is zero excuse for you to go out to the bar on a weekday rather than studying for your quiz the next day. Trust me, your friends will say “Oh just study later. It will be fun. C’mon!” more times than you’d like. As fun as it may be, there will be many more opportunities for you to go socialize with friends. Universities and colleges have high standards of academic excellence and will not tolerate poor grades. If you fail to meet requirements, you may be put on academic probation or even kicked out of school. I guarantee a few nights out when you should be studying are not worth the penalty and embarrassment of being asked to leave college and not come back.
It’s pretty simple, incoming college freshman: work hard, be open to new experiences and have fun. Don’t be embarrassed when your parents hug you and cry as they move you into your dorm. Hug them so hard back and say you’ll make them proud. When you’re walking to class and you can’t find the building, just ask someone for directions. There are definitely more people confused than just you on campus so don’t feel ashamed. Appreciate living in a residence hall, take lots of cheesy pictures and if you want to overindulge in extra dessert one day in the dining hall, do it. Time will move sooner than you could imagine and as you’re saying goodbye to your roommate for the summer at the end of second semester, I hope you will be just as sad as I was. Why? Because it means you had an amazing first year of college and can’t wait to be back as a sophomore.