An Open Letter to My First Year of College
Dear freshman year,
Wow, our time together is coming to an end. How is that possible? It feels like yesterday that I moved in and we started to get to know one another.
Today, I wanted to write a little something to thank you for being one of the most important parts of my life.
This has been one of the most essential years of my life. Everything that happened this year has shaped and will shape who I become during and after college.
Thank you for the friends.
Through this year, I've been so lucky and fortunate to meet some wonderful people. These people come from all over the country (and world) and mean everything to me. They encourage me and challenge me. I wouldn't survive without them. I've met people who have the same interests as me, but I have also met people who are very different than me. None the less, I've gotten to know some astounding, wonderful people that I hope to keep by my side for the rest of my life.
Thank you so much for the eye opening experiences.
I've tried new things, met new people, and, most importantly, learned new lessons. This year has been essential to my personal growth. Every choice I made, whether a mistake or a good choice, has helped shape me into a more well-rounded individual. I'm glad I've stepped out of my comfort zone and gotten a little more feisty!
Thank you for the hard times.
Thank you for the tears. Thank you for the times I thought I wanted to give up. Now, that sounds weird that I am saying that, but I am one of those people who thoroughly believes you have to go through moments like that in order to become stronger and get to better places. It was these moments that remind me that life isn't always wonderful, but is full of challenges and personal growth.
I've learned to take a bad experience and try your best to learn (at least) one thing from it.
Thank you for the challenging people and discussions.
Yes, I did meet people that I don't exactly agree with and frankly, don't get along with. However, those people challenged my own personal beliefs and choices and allowed me to fully analyze exactly what I believe. It was those tough discussions and realizations that have helped me become more confident in myself. I'm fortunate to say that there were not too many people that I didn't get along with, but I definitely still appreciate those people.
Thank you for the time away from my friends and family from home.
Being able to step away from home and focus on me was very important. I needed to explore if I could be independent and live in a new environment that I wasn't used to. It was definitely good to step away from my high school friends and community, travel to a new place, and meet new people. My time with my family and friends from home is even more special to me now because it isn't as common. It's weird to say this, but I think I've gotten closer to my friends and family from home while being away from them. I've cherished my conversations and time with them more because it is more limited.
Thank you for the freedom.
I was able to step outside of my comfort zone without anyone holding me back. This blog I am currently writing on would not exist if it wasn't for the freedom that college has given me. No one forced me to start this blog and no one told me that I can't. It was a personal choice that I did based on the freedom of college - and it was one of my best choices in life thus far.
Thank you for all of the iced coffee and the cookies.
Definitely a very specific thank you, but I've had so many cups of iced coffee and large chocolate chip cookies that I couldn't even possibly count. I wouldn't have been able to survive with these little amounts of joy keeping me going. I try my best to enjoy the small things in life, and these two delicious parts of my college life for sure have kept me going.
Thank you for all of the interesting classes.
I haven't even mentioned any of the academics I've experienced, but I wanted to say I definitely appreciate being able to finally pinpoint exactly what I want to learn. Each class feels more fulfilling because it's a little extra piece that is adding to exactly what I want to do. That is something I'm not used to, and I love it dearly.
Most of all, thank you for the opportunities.
The word I associate with my first year of college is opportunity. I was able to step outside of my comfort zone, try new things, and become my own person. Every day became a fresh day of new opportunities. I was able to explore (what feels like) a million different passions, and that is something I wouldn't be able to do anywhere else.
These have been the happiest days of my life thus far, and I'm nothing but excited for the future.
The concept of "no regrets" has always been something I found slightly cheesy, but I can firmly attest to the fact that I feel that way. I have absolutely no regrets. Yes, I messed up through the year. Yes, there were moments I "could of" and "should have" done something else. However, there is no way to go back and I don't really want to. I've learned so much from everything.
Have fun with the next bunch of first year students - they aren't even ready for what's to come.