Dear College Student-
So I have only been a college grad for about a year now, but last year around this time as the back to school supplies and dorm room accessories came out at Target, I started to feel a little sad and reflective. And this year that feeling has returned. Not because I constantly try to relive all of my days as a student, but because those four years truly were the most inspiring, challenging, and life developing years. So here's a little something all of you college students.
Freshman- I know you are beyond nervous. I vividly remember driving with my younger brother to my freshman dorm and literally saying "Okay I think I will just go back home to my safe space where my meals are cooked and I already have friends and my classes are in one building." Thankfully I knew my roommate from show choir in high school and we battled the firsts together. First dining hall meal, first frat party, first day of classes, first sorority campus event. There are so many things I could tell you freshman, but here are three. First, be yourself no matter what. Second, find your friend group and make a million memories. Third, seriously don't blink because it goes by so fast even when it seems impossible to get through that 25 page paper with an annotated bibliography.
Sophomores- Okay you made it through year one. You know the best study spaces, the best meal spots, and the best printers on campus. Your friend group is probably pretty well established and I am sure you are beyond ready to get back to campus after being at home this summer under parental watch. I studied abroad my Sophomore year and am so thankful I had that opportunity. That is the biggest piece of advice I have for you. If you don't have plans to study abroad this year, look into it for junior year. Also, try to take more than the suggested 12 credit hours so you don't get stuck with 18 your junior or senior year. Sit back, relax, keep studying, and have a little fun too.
Juniors- Woohoo! You turn 21 this year. Wow that was an exciting, tiring, drunken mess of a year but honestly it might have been my favorite. No one was stressed about job hunting and we had the college thing completely figured out. If you don't turn 21 until the end of the year, don't worry. That just means that more people will be able to celebrate with you at the bars and it will be a blast. Go out, take a lemon drop shot, and take a friend who knows when to tell you that it's time to go home. Also, if your major requires internships, you should definitely be doing those your junior year. In most industries, experience is everything (even above that high GPA that professors push so hard).
Seniors- OMG. That moment of panic sets in when you realize you are moving into your senior house and heading back to campus as a student for the last time. How did this happen? Who decided to let you be a senior and where did the last 3 years go? You're probably thinking you're not ready for the real world, but honestly is anybody ever ready? Make senior year the year you don't say no to going out on a Wednesday. Don't say no to walks around campus or late night Insomnia Cookies runs. Spend time with the people you have created relationships with over the last four years. Thank your professors who have guided you through those times you sat in their office and babbled about not knowing what to do with your life. And most importantly, do not panic when everyone around you gets a job offer and you're still waiting after 96 applications. Your time will come, always has, always will.
Here's to another year and the many memories you'll make.
P.S.- I might be getting married and that's super exciting, but I am just slightly jealous of each of you. Have a great year.