A year ago this week, I was moved into my college dorm feeling completely ecstatic, overwhelmed, terrified and every other emotion a person can possibly feel. Freshman year was a roller coaster. There were the late nights that I stayed up with friends laughing those deep belly laughs that feel like an ab workout, and other nights I put myself to bed early after finding myself feeling deeply alone and crying on the itchy dorm carpet. There were many one-person dance parties hosted. There was a lot of Bova’s cannoli or Maria’s nachos eaten past midnight. There were fights to be had. There were the horrible professors and the disappointing grades here and there. But I do not take any of it for granted – both the good and the bad because despite it all, I am so thrilled to be back.
Yes, I still remember all of the lows suffered. The delusions of a young heart, the times I was an awful friend and the procrastination that left me in a mess of stress. From all of it, I learned who I was and who I wanted to be. I came into my freshman year wanting so much, but I had to banish many of those desires. I wish I had let the unknown creep in more because the minute you let go of your expectations is the moment that anything can happen. So as all of you college freshman, roll onto your college campuses feeling all the feels as they say (or maybe I just say this, whatever) please, let one emotion rise to the top: uncertainty.
Embrace the mystery of what is going to be ahead of you for your freshman year. Let curiosity allow you to walk a messy but fulfilling path to reaching your potential. I’m not trying to write this as some all knowing upperclassmen because I certainly am not. While I hold many regrets from my freshman year, I do my best to hopefully right my wrongs and then move on knowing that the past is in the past.
Therefore, I sort of hope that reading this would allow even just one of you to avoid regretting moments in this incredible year of your life. Be driven by the uncertain future. Don’t take your education for granted. Do stupid stuff but always be safe. Break the mold and be full of contradictions. Define yourself and don’t let others try and stuff you into a box. It’s okay to cry because you won’t remembers those nights. However, you will remember the nights with your friends where you can’t stop smiling. When you look back and recall those nights a few days, weeks, months, even a year later, that smile will return to your face.
College is such a massive opportunity above all. Go in with an open mind, stay positive and just have some fun.