Hey there you! College is about to start, and right now I know that your nerves are an equal match to your excitement, but don’t get ahead of yourself! After all the advice you have received from every person you know I am sure this letter comes as just one more thing to overwhelm you but I hope it greets you as a way to calm the nerves and heighten the excitement.
There are a lot of things that I wish I knew before starting college, as you are about to. First and foremost, I wish I knew that I didn’t need to have it all figured out. I did not have to know which clubs I would join, which friends I would make, and whether or not they would be forever. I did not need to know what the rest of my life was going to look on that first day, because guess what, it is all going to change.
Lesson two: be open to that change. No I mean really open to it. College is packaged as a time to discover yourself, so wander! Don’t be a copycat version of the High School you, jump out of that comfort zone! I am in no way saying abandon your previous self, but don’t cling to her either. Use the girl you were as a stepping-stone to the woman you will become in the next four years.
The best way to become that woman is to find and pursue your passions, so try everything at least once: speech club, basketball games, intermural sports, student government, things unique to your school etc. After that one try, weed out the things that didn’t immediately capture you. When I started school, I hated the idea of not committing fully, and ended up missing out on things I later learned I loved, and joined things that did not end up meeting my desire to find myself. College clubs first meetings and events are great for trying them out, don’t commit until you’re sure, and then give it your 110%.
Now I know that your biggest concern is about making friends, and where you are going to sit in the dinning hall, but do not worry! Making friends will come naturally when you are exploring and pursuing your passions. Those life-long friendships that every one talks about making in college will be made through exploring your interests. I met my best friend second semester of freshman year in one of my major classes, two years later its hard to remember life before her, so be patient! You will meet your best friends when you’re meant too.
Every single freshman there is in the exact same boat as you, use that! It is a great way to start a conversation, ease nerves, and find someone to grab lunch with. Two of my friends met waiting in line at the stir fry station in our dinning hall during freshman orientation. They were both nervous and a simple mistake of ordering cheese and hummus when it was really tofu and garlic resulted in a laugh, an invitation to sit together, and a friendship for years to come!
Lastly I would like you to know that college goes by way too fast, so promise me you’ll live in the moment, Soak it all up, because it really is going to be done in the blink of an eye. I never believed these warnings as I started school, and as I sit here about to begin my Senior year I wish I would have listened. So get excited, you are about to start the greatest next four years of your life! Pursue your passions, explores, wander, get lost even, for that is when you will find yourself. Have fun, be safe, and get ready for the adventure that will take you to the rest of your life.
Your Smart Girl Sister