Dear Freshman me...

Starting my junior year in college is somewhat of a surreal experience. I’ve had a number of life changing experiences and I really feel like I’ve been at college for most of my life. However, I find myself asking whether I’ve had the best experience I could’ve had. And with that, I think of what I would’ve done, had I had the ‘mature’ vision I have now. Here are just a few things that I would do (or do again), if I had the chance to start college over with the mind of a junior.

1. Seek Discomfort

Yes. And in all ways (and if you’ve never heard of the phrase, look up Yes Theory on YouTube). The freedom that you get in college is for many of us, and definitely for me, the first real taste of independence. That may be scary but it’s also super exciting, not least because for the first time you get to truly choose what to do. So, what should you choose? Well, you should throw yourself at any opportunity that is offered to you (within reason, of course). This means meeting new people, trying new foods in the cafeteria and going to events which you never thought would interest you, among other things.

2. MEET New People

College is unique because, even if you have moved to a new place before, you have never moved to an environment where everyone is completely new to each other. That is exactly what college offers. Imagine that: being able to start completely from scratch with everyone around you. A huge opportunity to meet new people but also handpick new friends and reach out to people who perhaps in your old school you would’ve not talked to because of the existing social groups. In college, everyone is new to each other, so everyone can hang out with everyone. That is an opportunity that is not worth passing up, so really try to extend your reach to as many new people as possible.

3. Join Associations and Clubs

One of the great things about college campuses, especially in the U.S., is how much stuff they have going on. Associations and clubs are a great way to pursue your interests with other students that share your same passions. Clubs range from societies of students from certain countries, to book clubs and sports teams. Needless to say, they’re also great places to meet great people, that may be more akin to you!

4. Live every second

This is maybe what I wish I had known most. Especially in the first few weeks of college, dive fully into college life and don’t let anything stop you from having fun and enjoying the experience. You only go to college once, and those first weeks and months are experiences that you will never live again, so don’t waste them. Not advocating for any bad study habits here, but if going to an ice cream social to meet new people means losing two hours of work on an early assignment, the first months of college is the time to make those irrational decisions. You only live once!


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