College Advice

Dear Freshman Me

Dear Freshman Me (featuring random pictures I’ve taken of campus),

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It’s really crazy to think that two years of college have already flown by and when I go back in the fall I’m starting my downward climb. After two years in school I’ve had enough time to compare my hopes and dreams for college with the reality of what actually happened. So, I think it could be interesting to write this post now while I have two years left to see if my thoughts change between now and my graduation. I will try and write an updated version of this in the summer of 2019 after I’ve graduated from school, but for now here are my thoughts on what I would tell freshman me if I could go back in time.

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The number one thing I would want to tell freshman me if I could go back in time would be to not stress about friends as much, or stress in general. I think because college is built up so much in high school and when you’re younger and through movies and TV shows, everyone gets an idea of how college should go in their head. I assumed I needed to be best friends with my roommate and suitemates, that I should hang out with people constantly, and that I would make friends everywhere. That is not at all the case; it was in fact pretty hard for me to make friends in college.

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Even now I really have only one good friend at school, and lots of acquaintance friends but I’m more ok with that now than I was freshman year. What I mean by a good friend is someone I know will want to hangout with me pretty much whenever, and it doesn’t have to be for specific events i.e. studying, lunch, parties, etc. It’s taken me a while and I still don’t completely believe this all the way, but it’s more about the quality of your friends than the quantity of your friends.

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I’m also a really big planner so when plans with potential friends broke down once or twice, I tended to give up on the friendship because to freshman me if we made a plan I thought we should stick to it. I thought if they couldn’t stick to plans then I didn’t want their friendship. Obviously now that I’m older that’s not the best way to look at potential friendships, it took me a while to realize that people’s lives are just busy and especially in college people tend to overbook themselves. I’m still very much a planner, but I definitely think now I would give people more chances than the few I would have given them in the past.

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Another thing I wish I could go back and tell freshman me is that you can make payments on your loans while still in school. I didn’t know that was at all possible and while a couple hundred dollars paid off on thousands of dollars of loans a year doesn’t seem like a lot, it’s still something that’ll lessen the burden on my future self. I’ve also recently found out that you can refinance your student loans, through a company like Earnest once you’re out of school. While I don’t know too much about refinancing yet, I’m sure I’ll learn more upon graduation and living out in the “real world” with car payments, mortgages, and loans.

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To end this letter to my freshman self here are a few more random things I would tell myself. Wake up early just to eat the dining hall breakfast it’s really good and 8 times out of 10 the grits are perfect. Sitting in Kenan after class is great for relaxing and just thinking about life. Take a class at the gym it’s not as intimidating as you think it is, and it’s actually pretty fun. Go eat lunch at the dining hall by yourself a lot of people are eating there by themselves too.

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And last but not least the cleanest and best bathrooms on campus to use when the dorm is too far away: 1) Graham Memorial 2) Kenan Music Building 3) the Union. That may seem the strangest way to end a letter to my freshman self but it’s pretty important, our campus newspaper even featured a best bathrooms to use list, my opinions are different but the idea is still the same. Thanks for reading this letter to my freshman self, I’ll be back with my regular posting schedule next week.

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