For 12 years of your life, the start of the school year means new clothes, new shoes, new notebooks, new friends, new schedules, and just one step closer to *freedom*. Then you go to a four year college and suddenly you have to figure out where you are, where you want to go, how you’re going to get there, and why you ever complained about your 10pm bedtime.
While absolutely thrilling and worth every late night and #YOLO decision, those four years are definitely tricky. I don’t know about you, but there are a few things I wish I knew during my fateful Freshman year of college (well, high school too, but that’s a whole other ball game.) If I could go back in time, this is what my current self would say to the younger more hip version of me.
You hate that word, I know. Nothing sounds less mature and inexperienced than a big ol’ F.R.E.S.H.M.A.N. plastered across your forehead. You’ll get over that soon enough, just like wearing that dorky lanyard in your pocket and carrying all of your books to class. As you already know, hindsight is 20/20. I have a few pointers for you in my old age…seriously, what would you do with out me?
Say hello to everyone (and keep saying it). To your professors, old friends, guys who would inevitably disappoint you, strangers…never stop showing the world what you have to give and never let anyone you meet forget what it feels like to be greeted. People will never remember your silence, they’ll remember your words. Use them.
For goodness sakes, go to the gym simply because it’s free and you’re about to put a lot of weird things in your body. Someday you will like Moscato and eat cereal three times a day. Enough said.
Ask questions when you have questions. Stop lying to yourself, you have no idea what’s going on. Someday Google will be your only source of finding answers and that’s terrifying.
Study a little more for that awful class you didn’t actually want to take. You’ll thank your GPA later. Not that your mediocre GPA is going to be the end of the world, but anyway. You’ll have to spend plenty more time doing things that you don’t want or need to do. Let this serve as a good time to practice.
That mountain view will never get old. Ever. Stop trying to take pictures out of your window on the drive home. 100% unsafe. While we’re on the topic, go hiking more. Wake up earlier. Appreciate the sunrise and sunset like I know you wish you could. Homework, papers, and exams will come and go, but you’ll never get your days back.
Stop worrying so much. You would never believe me if I told you that everything will be okay. Where you once found uncertainty, you will find a whole lot of clarity (and a whole lot more uncertainty), but you will fall in love with your decision to stay, over and over again. You will have amazing experiences, make incredible friendships, and learn plenty of lessons. Taking the easy way out would’ve gotten you no where.
Some things will never matter as much as you think, while others will puncture a forever place into your soul. Look at the sky a little more often and remember that life never works out as planned. It’s even better.
The future will come–let it.