What I Would Tell My Freshman Self

By Meredith Sweet on May 5, 2017

You're counting down the days to college graduation, making plans for the life you've always wanted. Now that you're at the end of your undergraduate education, it all seems like it went by so fast. You think about who you were at the beginning, that freshman student who didn't have a clue, and it seems impossible to think about how much you've grown.

Still, it would have been nice if someone had taken the time to tell you then what you know now. It would have saved you time, stress, even a little bit of heartbreak; maybe you should pass on that knowledge to someone new.

Taking Control of Your College Education

If you step inside a time machine and travel back to talk to your freshman self, here's what you wish you could say.

1. Keep your commitments.

If you say you're going to be somewhere, be there. If you're going to do something, do it. There's nothing worse than falling through on your word when there's somebody counting on you. Don't let it get that far: make a habit of taking responsibility for your actions.

2. Plan ahead.

Another step to responsibility? Making sure you have a future to take care. Write down important dates in a planner. Work on projects before the night they're due. This way, your classmates, and professors will know you're a student they can count on to get things done.

3. Stop comparing yourself to others.

College is not a competition. It's not about the smartest, prettiest, or the most popular. It's about getting an education and growing into the person that you were always meant to be. Comparison will get you nowhere; be kind to yourself, and you'll go far.

4. Step outside your comfort zone.

If you want to make friends, then you need to engage in your own community. You'll meet like-minded people with the same interests and hobbies that you have. Don't let fear keep holding you back when there are so many opportunities waiting outside your door.

5. Dream big.

This is the time to be a little selfish. You literally have your whole life ahead of you, just waiting to be lived to the fullest. Meet people. Travel. And do whatever you can to help others, and in doing so, you'll find yourself in greater places than you've ever imagined.

The Takeaway

So, apparently, time machines don't actually exist. But that doesn't mean you should look back on your college experience with any regrets. Learn from the mistakes that others have made, and live your life to the fullest, in and out of college. You might make your own mistakes, but that's what it means to take a chance.

Category: First-Year Checklists