Hey you. Mom and Dad just helped you move into your tiny new room—your new home. They then drove away and here you are, all by yourself, in a brand new world. You are excited, you are scared, but you are on the cusp of the best years of your life.
Your roommate is nice, but you are both shy, so the room is a little quiet. You venture to the dining hall, and while you admit that the food isn’t half bad, you already miss Dad’s Sunday meatball dinner. The first day of classes finally come around and the anxiety rolls around in your stomach, heavy as a bowling ball. Your professors are nice, but firm and intelligent, but relatable. Everyone around you seems to be smarter than you are, but the truth is, they’re just as nervous as you and you are just as smart as them.
You make friends with some girls in your hallway and you go to the mall together on the school shuttle because freshmen can’t have cars on campus. Once you are back on campus the girls invite you into their room for a movie night. They are actually funny and you find yourself laughing at their corny jokes and horrid first date stories. By the end of the night you can call them your friends and by the end of the first month they are your best friends.
The first set of midterms are never easy, but you muster up the courage to go to professors’ office hours and you study and you do well. You sit down to meet with your faculty advisor and they encourage you to declare a major. Little do you know, your major will change 3 times before the end of the year. You can’t decide if you want to be a lawyer or a journalist or an engineer of some sort, but eventually you decide you don’t want to be any of them.
Around 4am of your first all nighter you look around in despair at the amount of the project you have left. You want to kick yourself for waiting to do it for so long and waiting until the last minute. You take another sip of the Redbull and try to convince yourself that sleep is not important. The next day, you turn in the assignment, bleary-eyed and drooling on your desk, but hey, it’s done.
You decide that you like your Psychology class over all the others because you are just really fascinated by Pavlov’s Dogs and Oedipus Complex. Psychology becomes your major and you begin to shape a career path loosely based on what you enjoy.
You join some clubs at the Spring club fair, hoping to spread your wings a tiny bit more. You join the student newspaper because it looks exciting and you join the Psychology club, because why not. You are just beginning to see what these few, short years will bring you.
Your freshman year progresses and you progress with it. You lose the scared, timid person you once were and you grow into an active campus participant. You are smiling, happy, in your element. There are still problems of course; you won’t ace every test and every friendship won’t last forever, but in the moment you are enjoying yourself. College looks good on you.
Like all good things, though, it comes to an end. It flies by, and the following years will, too. You will leave with some debt to pay back and a piece of paper, but you will have priceless memories and skills to match a strong personality. The echo of the laughter from your best friends three down the hall, the mushy hamburger bun in the dining hall, the kind instruction from your professors. There are only a few out of the million things you will miss about your freshman year. Take it in now, while you still can.