A Love Letter to Freshman Year

By Maddie Howard on April 27, 2017
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Dear Freshman Year,

Where do I begin? This year has been a year of learning and growth, both intellectually and emotionally. A year of late-night tacos that I’ve since learned to regret and oh so necessary morning coffee on the way to class. A year that began with “What’s your major? Which dorm are you in?” and ended with thinking, “Wow. I can’t believe I’ve found my best friends!”

Freshman year is a special time in every college student’s life when they are truly on their own for the first time. Whether you are living 20 minutes from home or on the other side of the country from your hometown, the freedom that comes along with a fresh start is intoxicating. Drink it in and don’t take a second of it for granted.

For me, I came to college without knowing a single face on my campus. I’ve always been a confident person, but the thought of being left completely alone for the first time in my life sort of terrified me. I reminisced on my high school experiences, cried at the idea of leaving my amazing friends, and wondered how I would ever find people as amazing as them.

The first week of school can only be summarized as a mad dash to make friends. You meet the students in your dorm hall, you go to grab food with perfect strangers, and you follow people on Instagram that you will never see again. Everyone is as eager to make friends as you are. Some people will become just another face in the crowd, some will become your best friends, and someone might even become your first love.

Soon you settle into a routine. You see the same people in your classes and out at events and parties. You join a club or two and embark on Greek life. You can easily find your way to your classes and campus starts to seem like your home away from home. Your group chat from home blows up with pictures of your friend’s dorms and stories about their new lives. You miss them to death, but you’re excited they love college as much as you do.

The dorms are the most exciting part of freshman year. Living a few doors down from all of your friends is a dream. Running from dorm to dorm on a Monday night because you can’t sleep and want to hang out is a weekly occurrence. You and your friends share one giant mutual closet, and you give out clothes you’ll never see again, but you’re also always prepared for every theme party imaginable. On the weekends, you sit in the hall outside of your room eating cheap pizza and talking about your dreams and crying about things that won’t matter shortly.

I plan to move out of the dorms and into a house with friends in a few weeks and it’s bittersweet. I’ll miss my new “framily.” I’ll miss passing these girls in the hall and seeing my guy friends in the dorm. It’s a chance to gain more independence, learn new skills, and yet it will be another change in my life.

The biggest thing I’ve learned from this year is there is a whole world out there. There is life beyond high school, the town you grew up in, and your life up until this point. Going to college on the west coast is one of the biggest changes in my life so far. But, I can honestly say it’s been so rewarding. Although my life is constantly evolving, I’m armed with the knowledge that I am not afraid, I can embrace change, and I can manage anything that life throws at me.

It’s a good feeling.

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