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The Freshman Years

Upon discussing the vast ways that life changes constantly in our twenties, my best friend brought up this idea of how every four years feels like her freshman year of life—a time to start fresh and be free. Pondering this statement, I asked her to elaborate. She continued by saying that every four years, we start a new chapter of our lives: first high school, then undergrad, and currently awaiting the beginning of graduate school.

I recall beginning high school as an insecure and naive girl. I was very dependent on my friends and family and constantly seemed to need validation in many aspects of my life. I remember being very lost freshman year—I was more free than I was in middle school, yet there were still so many restraints and rules. By the end of freshman year of high school, I began to find my place with friends and started to try new activities to further engage with peers in various settings. The amount I changed from my freshman year to my senior year of high school is something I will always be shocked by, but it just comes to prove that so much change can happen in four years—if you allow it to.

While we were children when we started high school, embarking on the journey of college life allowed us both to create new personas and versions of ourselves—a fresh start. With my best friend leaving home to attend college in Wisconsin, I got daily updates on the adventures of being a free and naive freshman in a new place. Free from all the responsibilities and expectations that LA carries, a weight was lifted off of her shoulders and she was able to become the independent and strong woman I had always seen her as. Her potential became her new reality and it was all because she started her first of four years in a new place, creating a new and fresh environment for her mind to grow. The freedom that starting over allowed her ultimately led her to starting her own company and feeling confident enough to move away to New York after college.

However, my freshman year experience of college was quite different. While my best friend was out at frat parties and meeting new people, I was trying to figure out the best way to maintain my first long distance relationship and was surrounded by my high school friends who remained in LA. While I would get phone calls excitingly ranting about her first game day, I was sitting in the library trying to figure out the best methods for me to transfer to a four-year university on time in order to not miss out on any more college experiences. Our first years of college could not have been more different, nevertheless, they were both transformative years that have led us to where we currently are in life.

Currently, we are finishing up our last quarter of undergrad and while she plans to embark on a new journey in New York, I plan to begin law school in the Fall—once again, beginning a freshman year of my life. A time to let the person I have wanted to be shine through and not be afraid of what others think or say. A time to experience new people and embrace new ideologies in a new place and new time of my life. This next freshman year of my life will guide me in the direction for my future and lead me to opportunities I have yet to dream of. And the same will happen for my best friend, freshly graduated from college, moving to the city on her own, as the strong and independent woman I’ve known her to be my whole life.

So, the reason why I’ve shared all of this is to remind you and also myself that life is full of freshman years. Whenever you feel stuck in one place or that your life is not progressing at the speed that you want it to, remind yourself that there is always more time. Remind yourself that everything is happening for a reason at the time that it is and will ultimately lead you to the right direction for your future. And finally, remind yourself that there will always be new beginnings and it is never, ever too late to become the individual you have dreamed of becoming.

About the author
Reading books in one sitting is a sport for me :) Follow Daniella on Instagram or read more articles from Daniella on Thought Catalog.

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