An Open Letter To My Freshman Self
It was a weekend full of emotions hitting me from every angle. Usually I would solely blame mother nature but this time around another culprit was involved. As I laid in bed fighting a cold I took a break from watching Stranger Things to see what was happening in the world of social media. I wasn’t mentally prepared for what I was about to see. It was Bid Day at my alma mater, University Of Alabama, and with every Instagram post and Snapchat video of ecstatic screaming college girls my heart strings were being pulled.
*Side note: bid day is the last day of sorority recruitment when the potential new members receive bids to join the chapter.
The gates to memory lane swung open and there I was, an 18-year-old Chelsea unable to hold back tears hugging her parents’ goodbye outside her new home, the freshman dorms.
Without much thought, I traded Instagram for a pen and paper and wrote a letter to my freshman self. As you read the below ask yourself; knowing what you know now, what would you tell your college self?
Dear Freshman Chelsea,
This new world is a mixture of all the feels so be prepared for an emotional roller coaster. At the end of the day know that feeling scared, excited, intimidated, happy and vulnerable all at the same time doesn’t make you crazy it makes you a normal freshman. After your bags are unpacked and your dorm room is up to par your to do list should be the following:
1. Learn your way around campus ASAP
2. Find a fake ID ASAP
Spoiler alert: your GPA isn’t the most important thing in the world but make your parents proud, they are the ones paying out of state tuition. Finding balance between studying and knowing when to close the books to have a good time is key – find it earlier than later.
You will get sick from alcohol, more than once. Before you go out at night put a glass of water and an Advil on your night stand, you’ll thank me later. Oh and no, you don’t’ have to tell mom but you should remember what she said about tequila: don’t drink it. Where a physical hangover is a moral hangover usually isn’t that far behind. Don’t beat yourself up over it.
All of the inappropriate foolish behavior will be part of the memories that will keep your 26 year-old self laughing when your curled up on the couch at 8PM on a Friday night. So, dance on those tables, kiss the boy who’s name you will never know, order another round of sugary shots and don’t go to bed before the sun comes out. Live for the the nights you wont’ remember with the people you will never forget.
Yes, the freshman 15 is an actual thing and even though your weight gain doesn’t begin to hit until Sophomore year, don’t worry about a damn pound. God knows there is enough pressure in the real world to be perfect at everything all the while maintaining a flat stomach so if you ask me, eat up sista!
Your sorority sisters will time after time define true friends. They will inevitably be there during the most crucial moments of your life and you, together, will navigate through all the twist and turns that the college years bring. Hold them close and know that the unnecessary drama that unfolds between you won’t last forever, that’s just girls being well, girls. These friendships will last a lifetime so in the moments when you’re feeling extra homesick know that you can lean on them.
The guy that caught your eye in the bar, you know, the one all of your friends warned you about? Date him. Love him. Give him your everything. When he single handedly rips your heart from your chest know that it’s ok to feel like your world is crumbling because well, a part of it did. You will one day be able to recognize the invaluable life lessons in each tear that you shed for him. Until that day comes, heal in your own time.
College goes so by damn fast. When people say, “it’s the best 4 years of your life” they aren’t lying. When you think you’re soaking it all in, soak it in some more. There will be days in the future where you would do just about anything to be able to go back. In the blink of an eye you will be standing at graduation wondering where in the hell time went. Be grateful for every single day that you are on campus and strive to be able to walk across the graduation stage without a regret.
The coolest part of all this? You will end up right here, exactly where you need to be.
Good luck to those who are about to embark on the college journey! x