Dear Freshmen, This Is What I Wish I Knew About College

Dear Incoming Freshmen,

College, by definition, is crazy. Four years of wonderful, challenging, life-altering craziness. It’s a late night in the library, a Disney movie marathon with your first roommate, dancing on a frat house table with your best friends.

More than anything, though, college is a privilege. Receiving a higher education is not easily attainable and earning a spot at a university is an honor that should not be taken lightly. College is a time to leave what you know and open your mind to new ideas and perspectives.

It is respecting professors and taking the “blah” classes with a grain of salt. It’s enrolling in courses that pertain to your areas of expertise and interest, but also those areas that are intriguingly scary and push you to understand things in different ways.

College is working your ass off for the grade. Going to office hours, getting help in the tutoring center, studying so hard until you know the material better than you know yourself. College is understanding that you gotta work hard to play hard.

Because trust me, there is always time to play hard. College is going to a party on a Wednesday night because why not? It’s playing in intramural basketball even though you hung up the sneakers in 8th grade. College is taking a spontaneous trip to the beach to watch the sunrise, despite the overcast weather.

So I encourage you, sweet freshmen, to embrace everything that college is. Embrace the challenges and savor the triumphs. Cherish the friends you make here and treat them like absolute gold because they are the ones that will see you at your absolute worst and love you in spite of it.

In high school, we were able to hide behind any daytime façade we wanted. College, though, calls for a unique kind of authenticity – we spend so much time with our friends here that we come to know each other to the core, in a raw and real way that makes the friendships that much stronger. So be you. Be unapologetically yourself.

Pursue your passions. Meet people. Ask questions. Get involved. Find what it is that excites you and go for it. Use your campus resources. Work hard. Go to parties. Be physically, mentally, and spiritually active. Keep a journal. Do what makes you happy.

College is crazy. Take it one day at a time and always keep in mind that every single student that walks your university was in the same exact place you are now – anxious, excited and probably using a campus map to get from point a to point b.

Just remember that missing home is okay, questioning yourself is healthy and Ben & Jerry’s can solve just about any crisis.

Believe me, these four years are gonna fly by so fast. So embrace the craziness – you may just find yourself in the midst of it.

With Love,

A Graduating Senior

Image via Anna Schultz

Sarah Sheppard

Editorial Contributor, University of Redlands Major: Visual Media Studies Her heart belongs to: Big cities, Chuck Taylors, spontaneous adventures, and the PNW Her guilty pleasures: Watching Taylor Swift's Wildest Dreams video over and over again (so good), anything chocolate, dancing shamelessly to mainstream music

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