Dear First-Year Me,

Published 2 years ago -

Maggie Buckley, Copy Editor

Dear First-Year Me,

I know you’re nervous.  I know you’re scared.  I know you don’t seem as excited as everyone else.  I know you think everyone already knows everyone else and that no one will have time for you.

It’s ok to feel like that, honestly.

But, honey, it’s not true.

I know you want to stay in your room all day and study.  I know you think college is about getting good grades so you can do something with your life.  I know you don’t think anyone would want to talk to you so you just stay silent.

But I know you’ll just hurt yourself if you do.

See, college is about going to class and working hard.  It’s about passing classes and deciding on a major.  But more importantly, it’s about finding yourself.

It’s about working up enough courage to raise your hand in class and speaking in front of intelligent people.  It’s about staying up all night writing papers in Tsotsis, knowing full well you can’t concentrate in the Honors Lounge past 9.

It’s about the friends you make.  It’s about wanting to talk to your next-door neighbors for weeks and finally just going for it.  It’s about going bowling with a bunch of people you didn’t really know but miss now that you’re apart.  It’s about discovering a love of trashy TV shows, or at least a love of trash-talking them, every Monday night.  It’s about holding on to the friends that you can talk through the night with and the one that never left your side.

It’s about running up and grabbing fries when they come out of the fryer at Tay’s.  It’s about regretting how much Ben & Jerry’s you ate in one sitting.  It’s about Dominos and McDonald’s and Chucks and committing to eating healthier next week.  It’s about being embarrassed about writing this but not ashamed enough to hide it.

It’s about trying things you haven’t tried before and having fun while doing it.  It’s about going for it because you’re young and you’re dumb and you don’t have to have everything figured out yet.  It’s about joining random clubs and finding a job on campus that you love and going to Late-Night events with the people that make you smile.  It’s about the newfound love of yoga and boxing.  It’s about the creative release that comes with going to PAWS.  It’s about joining the Provoc and reading your first in-print article.  It’s about doing what feels good for you.

So, first-year me, there you go.  You won’t have all this figured out by the time you finish your first semester, but believe me, it’s not too late.  You’ll learn from your mistakes and your preconceived notions and you’ll make things better for yourself.  Trust me, they’ll be so much better.

-Junior Year You

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