Amanda’s Corner: Letter to My Freshman Self
You can do this. Trust me on this one.
Never been to sleep-away camp. Cried when you went to your first Girl Scout meeting and didn’t want to leave your mom. First sleepover at a friend’s house? Fifteen years old. Scared of the dark? Used to be. Guess you’re a bit of a late bloomer – so what? Everything comes with time.
And girl, it is time.
Welcome to a new place on the map. This castle of a college—Bryn Mawr—is about to become your home for the next four years. Even though your face is puffy with red blotches and tears as you say bye to your family on the lawn surrounding your freshman year dorm, you are so ready, so sure that somehow, you will grow and grow. It feels right here.
But don’t think you have just parachuted into fairyland, though. Just because you live in “dorms like palaces” doesn’t mean that you’ll have it easy. Get ready for mountains of reading that seem insurmountable (but really aren’t—skimming will be your BFF), an intro class that should really be taken by upperclassmen, and staying up way past your bedtime (and you thought 11 pm was LATE in high school).
And formerly a sworn enemy, coffee will become a welcome part of your day – who woulda thunk it? (But really, we all know it was inevitable.)
But at the same time, you will realize that each semester means eons more than getting the best grade point average. Appreciate the depth of discussions, the papers you are proud of, and the critical thinking that crosses your mind with every reading.
Take risks that challenge the beliefs you grew up with, the conventions of writing, the comfort zone you so carefully stayed inside. Your grandmother doesn’t call you her Happy Wanderer for nothing these days. Get on that jetplane to Scotland your junior year and don’t think twice about it. Take a weekend trip to Paris here, Geneva there. See your now-100-year-old grandmother the day before your 21st birthday, when you get to gloriously stab a haggis and celebrate with family on another continent, whom you haven’t seen in years. Take it all in, and try to feel the cobblestone streets of Edinburgh beneath your feet when you miss it a year later.
And when senior year rolls around, stay grounded. You may feel a little off-kilter, uncertain about your place on the map a year ahead, but plow ahead. Write that thesis. Continue to have adventures with your beautiful, funny, incredible friends, and see where you land next. You got this, girl.
What would you tell your younger self if you could? Share in the comment section!