Things I’d Go Back and Tell My Freshman Self

It’s hard to believe four years have flown by so quickly. Four years ago to the day I’m writing this, I paid my deposit to attend the University of New Haven. Now, I’m just weeks away from graduation and the beginning of the rest of my life.

Starting college felt a little bit like jumping off the deep end. I grew up in a small town, went to a relatively small high school and had the same friends for most of my life. I had no idea what to expect. If I could go back in time, I’d tell my 17-year-old self a few things that she deserves to know.

First off, patience is everything. As I’m sure a lot of people have experienced, making friends is hard when you’re shy, but it’s even harder when you’re shy and impatient. You can’t expect everything to happen instantly. Lifelong friends will come within two weeks of your first semester, but it’ll take another three semesters before you meet one of the best friends you’ll have here. You won’t be alone, even if the first week on campus is lonely. Things take time, but when they finally happen, they’re so good.

Second, say yes to more things earlier. Things you never saw yourself doing will become a major part of your identity on campus. Your schedule will become hectic, but you wouldn’t have it any other way, even if you say you wish you did less. You’ll love being busy, and some of the things you end up participating in are going to change your life. You’ll do things you always wanted to do, but never thought you were capable of, and you’ll find that you’re actually pretty passionate about things that may have never crossed your mind before.

On a lighter note, cutting through Maxcy Hall to get from the residential side of campus to the academic side will make walking to class shorter, and in some cases, drier, warmer, or cooler depending on the weather. Also, go a little easier on the Dining Dollars, because they’re not unlimited, and running out with a few weeks left in the semester makes getting lunch at Jazzman’s pretty hard.

Above all, freshman me also should know that bad days, or even bad weeks, are just that. They aren’t going to last forever. People will tell you that college will be one of the best times of your life, and I’m here to say that they were right.