Dear Freshman Me, How are things in your lofted bed on North Campus? You’re probably dreading getting up for the day, climbing down that ladder, grabbing your toiletry caddy, and walking alllll the way to the other end of the hall to wash up in the communal bathroom. Maybe you’re stressed about that exam you have this morning, questioning if you’ve studied enough. Or maybe you’re on edge about that advising appointment later and wondering if you’ll have time to grab a “healthy” lunch beforehand. You’re definitely worried about when you’re going to squeeze in time for the gym, especially before going out tonight, because g-d forbid you eat late-night pizza without getting cardio in.
All of this is racing through your mind, meanwhile your mom is breathing down your back about getting a job this summer.
I’m here to tell you to take a step back. You only have a few months left in that tiny dorm room, and as much as you can’t stand having no privacy, eating questionable food, and walking 20 minutes to class every day, it’s all going to be worth it. That dorm forced you to branch out and you met some good people along the way. It taught you how to get creative with VERY little space and to appreciate your homey apartment as an upperclassman. That exam you have isn’t going to define you. Pay attention in class, learn something new and interesting, do your work and study hard, but you do not need to beat yourself up. If you’re falling asleep on your textbook, go to bed. If your friends are hanging out, finish that flash card and then take a break. Your grades don’t matter more than your health and happiness. Stop letting diet and exercise dictate your plans. If you don’t let loose, you’re going to miss out on memories made over nights out and spontaneous trips to the convenience store. Yes, the Freshman 15 COULD happen, but there’s nothing wrong with gaining a few pounds while living happily. You’re young and you’ll burn it off. Listen to your mom and find a job, but don’t lose sleep over finding the perfect internship or summer gig. Big-time employers will rarely scan your resume if you don’t have a couple of years of education under your belt. If you don’t know what you want to do in the future, that’s great. I’m graduating next month and I’m still not certain. Work locally, earn some cash. Explore your options and know that you’re not tied down to any industry or field of study. Put yourself out there. You never know who you will meet serving ice cream or as a camp counselor. Networking can lead to potential future opportunities. I know it doesn’t feel so glamorous right now, but being confused and a little clueless about the whole college thing is a good place to be. If you’re unsure about something, no one is going to look at you funny for asking – after all, you’re new here. If you make a mistake, there’s room to learn and grow. Don’t waste time micromanaging your life and worrying about what’s next – I promise you’re doing just fine. Sincerely, Senior Me
-Carly Taylor, Admit U Contributor