As the end of my freshman year of college comes to a close, I cannot help but think how quickly the year has passed by. When I was preparing to start college, I had no idea what to expect. Like many high school graduates, I was unsure of where this new life path would take me. I have always been told that college is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but the actual experience cannot be put into words.
When I was getting ready to start college, I wanted some small amount of information that would begin to explain what my freshman year would be like. Since I was not able to find this myself, I thought it would be effective to write a letter attempting to explain how amazing and indescribable college really is.
Dear future college students,
Congratulations on finishing high school and taking the next step in your life to attend college. At this point, you have spent the majority of your life in one building preparing for life after high school. I hope you are ready for the most unique and exciting experience in your life. Throughout your first year, you will experience many challenges, opportunities and setbacks that will help you grow as an individual. Make sure you meet them all head on.
This first year will be one of the scariest, exciting and most fun times. I hope you are ready to meet your lifelong friends and begin learning about your future career. After all, this is your first step toward independence and becoming a unique individual. It may sound like a cliché, but time really will fly by. It seems like just yesterday my parents helped me move into my tiny, corner room in the basement of Neihardt Residence Hall at Wayne State College. Now, the year is over and it is time for a new set of students to take my place this coming August.
When moving into your dorm, be prepared to make some slight changes. You will no longer have your parent as your second alarm clock. You have the responsibility to feed yourself, do your laundry and clean your room. You no longer have to ask permission to go places. This is, more than likely, your first sense of freedom, enjoy it, but do not abuse it.
When it comes to academics, the most important piece of information is that it is okay to ask for help. No matter how much you want to prove that you can do it by yourself, there is always someone or something there to step in when you need it. Your professors, though they can be intimidating at times, are some of the nicest and most helpful people you will meet in your life. Make sure you communicate with them and your advisor to keep your future clear and make sure you always know what you are doing.
Also, half of college is simply showing up and doing what you are asked to do. It may be tempting to skip that boring 8 a.m. class, but try your best to make it. However, I would suggest scheduling those early morning classes if you can. By the end of the semester, they take their toll.
One of the largest worries of most college freshmen is fitting in and making friends. The best piece of advice I can offer is to put yourself out there. Join that club you are interested in, talk to the people on your floor, leave your door open so people can pop in and out. The people you meet at college are one of a kind and you will wonder where they have been your entire life.
Trust me, after spending 13 years with the same group of classmates, it is a breath of fresh air to meet new people. As you all spend nights together that turn into mornings, you will create memories that you will look back on for years to come.
As I reflect on this past year and look into the future, I envy you for the experience you are about to have. You will meet so many new people and create relationships that will last a lifetime.
My freshman year of college has been one of the most exciting, stressful and eye-opening experiences and I have already opened so many doors for my life starting next year. I hope you feel the same way by the end of your freshman year.
You will encounter viewpoints and opinions that will challenge your own thoughts and make you a better, more well-rounded, person.
This week, as I finish finals and clean my room, I cannot help but lament over the ending of an amazing experience, but I am even more excited for my future. By the time you move in, the room will be cleaned out and ready for you to move in and start your legacy. Enjoy every minute of your freshman experience; it will go fast. This is an experience that you will never forget.
A current college student