Dear Freshman Marie,
You’re about to start college! Can you believe it? I know you can’t because guess what, you, it’s me: you! I’m writing to you from a place that seems far off in the future but really is just a few moments away: senior year. Weird, right? I know you’re thinking: “that’s never going to happen.” I’m thinking that even as I pack my innumerable bags to move to campus for the last time. Don’t be nervous, you’re going to have a really awesome time. But I have some words of wisdom that, if I were you (which I am), I would take.
First, bring less stuff. You’re going to wear the same things over and over again, and your overstuffed drawers and closet are stressful and clutter your whole life. Buy another pair of thick, black leggings and unpack that bag full of shorts. Leave them behind, Florida girl, because Boston is cold. Oh, you think you know? You’re so wrong. That “warm” J. Crew jacket you just bought won’t even get you to October. I’m really sorry to have to tell you this, but you’re going to wear the horrible puffy coat mom bought on Overstock.com. You’re going to wear it and love it. Just accept it and move on.
On student activities day, don’t sign up for every e-mail list. It doesn’t make any sense for you to put your name down at the Physics Club table, stupid. You’ve never taken physics and I know for a fact you never will. Just sign up for a few things. Acoustics a cappella is a safe choice (spoiler alert: you’re getting in!), so is the literary magazine. Sign up for a service club, too. We didn’t the first time around, and it’s one of my (our?) big time regrets. You’re living the greatest life and you should pay some of that good forward.
Okay, this one seems pretty obvious, but go to class. Don’t skip that nine o’clock lecture, because it’s a slippery, slippery slope. Muscle your way through the intro-level classes. I know you don’t like most of them, but it only gets better from there, and you can do so well if you just pay attention. Suck it up, stop drawing swirlies and take notes. Get up a little earlier so you have time get your coffee. It makes a difference. Also, go to the library. You actually really like the library. It took a while to find it, but our spot is a 5th floor desk by the big windows during the day and a booth downstairs at night. Be prepared to throw elbows for the booth (worth it). Go there, sit down and take some pride in your work. It took us too long to figure this out. Our GPA will thank you when you’re not making up for your first-year laziness in easy classes.
You’re going to meet a lot of people in a really short period of time. It’s going to be thrilling and also terrifying, and your Facebook might explode with new friends. Try really hard to remember people’s names. Don’t be shy, everyone’s new and everyone wants to make friends. Talk to people in your classes; they probably like a lot of the same things you do. Grab that group of girls who live on the second floor with you and hang on tight, because those are your people. We got really lucky with them. Get to know them sooner, talk and listen more often and love them as hard as you can. Also, don’t wait too long to start borrowing their clothes. They want yours, too. It’s a beautiful thing.
Be involved with activities and serious about school, but don’t forget to make time to play with your friends, to call mom and dad and to reflect on yourself. Take classes that excite you and make you think. Throw out the cowboy boots unless you like falling in the dining hall and down the stairs. Go into Boston as often as you can and explore. Sleep more, being sick in college sucks. Don’t stay in just because it’s snowing. Keep your journal religiously, you’re going to want to go back and read it.
I could go on and on, but you don’t really need me to. You’re going to be fine. Soak it all up and remember, it goes faster than you would have ever imagined.
Catch you later,