To my freshman self:
It’s hard to narrow down everything I’ve learned the past four years at Auburn. Being completely on your own means learning something every day, but if I could travel back to the fall of 2010 here’s some advice I’d leave you with…
Random roommates are not the end of the world.
I’ll never forget the car ride from Connecticut to Auburn. After a 3 a.m. departure I woke up somewhere in New Jersey and thought, “I’m about to move to Alabama. I have no friends. AND I’ll be sharing a room with a complete stranger. WHAT AM I DOING?!”
Guess what, I survived.
After a few days I made friends. After a few months I had friends I liked enough to live with. It’s shocking because my second-semester freshman roommate was, and still is, the messiest person I’ve ever encountered. She taught me the virtue of patience and how to let go of obsessive neatness. She transferred after freshman year, but we still talk everyday.
Give yourself one year.
You’re not the only one thinking about transferring. You’re not the only one who misses your family and friends from home. You’re not the only one who feels like he or she doesn’t fit in. Wait it out because every semester is different. I can guarantee you that your entire college career will not be like your first semester (socially, academically, physically… you’ll see). Enjoy freshman year because you’ll continually look back wishing things were that easy again.
Be yourself + make a story jar.
Trust me, college flies by. Don’t waste time hanging out with people you feel you are changing yourself for.
You’ll know who your friends are, and friends are funny. Write down the good stuff: epic quotes, hilarious stories and weird events, and put them into a jar. Later on, pull them out for nostalgia, a good laugh or the classic, “oh em gee” moment. This is something I seriously wish I did.
You’re not too cool for school.
Jump in. Join clubs on campus. If you can’t find what you’re looking for search online or ask around. Auburn is a big place; you’ll meet people with similar interests, just don’t be afraid to look.
GO TO FREE THINGS!
Once you graduate concerts, stand-up comedy, carnivals and most fun things don’t come free. Auburn’s University Program Council puts on countless events throughout the year that are included in your tuition; do not miss out.
Change your major.
What are you waiting for? Go to the career center. See a counselor. It’s okay if you don’t know what you want to do, but let others help you. College will present you with more opportunities than you even know exist. Don’t feel bound to your major if you’re struggling and miserable.
Take classes that interest you. Need to fulfill your philosophy credit? Take “Art and its Value to Society” instead of “Logics.” Sign up for a yoga elective or kayaking. Take one year of astronomy instead of chemistry. The options are there for you.
Once you find your major, make friends. Otherwise, you’ll be sitting alone at graduation.
Do them ASAP. It’s never too early. The experience is necessary and so are the friendships.
Lastly, study abroad.
Because you need to see the world to understand.
While these notes may help guide you through the next four years, the best parts of college are unimaginable. Your best friends are unknown. Your career is uncertain. Your time and memories here are incomparable, so open your mind and enjoy the ride. War eagle, baby.
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