honest advice from honestly nice people
By Calleigh Swift
Dear Freshman Me,
Looking back, it really was quite the year. You grew up so much. You’re about to be a junior now, and you can’t believe time has flown by THAT fast. You had all these ideas and expectations for your freshman year, and guess what? It didn’t turn out like you planned...it was better.
The long awaited move in day was so nerve-wracking, but exciting at the same time. You were finally in charge of your own life. You got to decide if you made your bed or not, when you ate, and when you did your homework (PSA: 2 am is not the best time to start your homework.). Saying goodbye to Mom & Dad was rough, but they were only a quick call or text away. And they pick up the phone every time you call.
Get ready for your world to be turned upside down because making friends this year is hard for you. Those people you think you’re going to be friends with? You’re not. That girl you meet in World Cultures on the first day? The one that you’re terrified to say hello to? Say hi because she becomes your best friend, and you would be lost without her. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there...people are going to love you. It took a while for you to figure out where you fit, but you did. You find the friendships college is famous for, so stop worrying about them.
That sweet professor you have, but you think you hate right now. Yeah, you need to change your attitude. He is one of the sweetest professor's you'll have all year. (Yes, you take him again in the spring. Don't be too surprised. You grow to love him.) Give him a break, he acts scary, but he isn't. Also, have him look over your essays-it makes all the difference in the world.
Those struggles you face first semester...I know you don't want to hear about those, but they happen. Making friends is hard. You go through quite a few before you figure out who your real ones are. These people, your people, are indescribable. They sneak up on you, you don't realize that these people are your people until you can't imagine college without them.
You cry. You laugh. You stay up too late. You do stupid (but fun) things. You get scared. You meet people who don't believe the same thing you do at all. You go pick people up from a party at 3 am. You learn more about God than you though you would. You learn more about yourself than you thought you would. You find your people. You spend way too much money at Common Grounds. You find new people to love. You hear new stories. You learn new ways to love. You figure out that high school didn't really prepare you for college. You have great professors. You have professors you would never take again. You (unfortunately) have a multitude of 8 ams (but that's second semester). You chop all your hair off (and now you're growing it back out, but it was a good change). You and your roommate aren't best friends (and that's okay, you get over it). You make mistakes. You learn from them. You mend a friendship that you had all intentions of severing. You sign a lease for an apartment (how are you old enough for that?). You don't always get the things you want. You go to your first concert (yeah Ben Rector). You learn that there are some weeks where you just don't sleep. You have days where it seems like you can't do anything right. You get hurt. You bask in God's grace because there are some days where that's all you have going for you. You get a job. You love your job (although there are some days where you don't). You feel that nudge from the Holy Spirit that confirms that this-helping and molding children-is what you're supposed to be doing with your life. You don't understand how to do life sometimes, but that's okay. You survive your freshman year.
Freshman year is gonna be hard, but you can do this. Yes, there are moments where you think you can't, and that's the moment you have a breakdown in the middle of Penland. But, hey, you get right back up, and keep moving forward. You even make an A on one of Ballard's essays. You're going to have a fantastic year. And guess what, you can't wait to come back.