Dear Up-And-Coming College Freshman,
Please don’t be afraid to be called a freshman.
You can shove your welcome week lanyard in your pocket instead of sporting it (fashionably) around your neck, you can tuck away your class shirt with the bold CLASS OF 2019 lettering on the back in the bottom of your drawer for the years to come, you can shoo your parents off campus ASAP, but please, don’t do these things because you’re scared of what that upperclassmen walking by may think.
The negative stigma associated with first-year college students is only as extreme as you make it. Some of the oldest people you will encounter are only 3 years older than you, and most of the people alongside you would be flattered if you inquired about the easiest route to here, or the best place to study over there. It is okay to take out the map you were given, because guess what? Everyone was a freshman once (MIND-BOGGLING, I KNOW.)
Please find your passion and don’t be scared if you find it shifting toward something else.
We often think we have to stick to our original major choice because we picked it in the first place for some reason, right? But my parents said that I would be good at *insert job in high-demand here,* I need to graduate with that degree, right??
If you see yourself starting to love something else, then pick up a class or two, take it to the changing room, and see how it looks on you. Some people find that they fall in love with their majors right away, and for some, the process just takes a little longer. College is the time for self-discovery; it’s impossible to discover something by just scanning the plain surface.
Please put yourself out there.
Stay after class on your first day and shake hands with your professor. Knock on everyone’s door in your hall and introduce yourself. Take yourself to the involvement fair and find a cool club you can jump into. Talk to the cute boy in your calculus class. Offer your notes to someone if you notice they’ve missed a class.
There are so many things you can do that will make you feel comfortable not only with your environment, but also in your own skin at school. The thing about college is that everyone is busy building themselves, and that leaves time for you to focus solely on you.
Please turn away from your screen and write down what you want to accomplish during your first year of college and place that tiny sheet of paper in your college pile I know you’ve already started. Look back at this when needed during the best year of your life.
Hold on and enjoy the ride. The journey is long, but joyful.
A nostalgic sophomore.