Dear Miss LAJA,
I’m just starting my first semester in college and there’s so much to do! I don’t want to miss out on anything so I’m thinking of doing everything you know? Everyone keeps saying you should enjoy your freshman year while it lasts because it only happens once. Now I’m overwhelmed because I feel there’s so much to do and so little time! It seems like people are always partying, drinking, turning up and what not and I can’t help but feel I’m missing out. What’s the ideal freshman experience?
Dear Typical Freshman,
I totally understand where you’re coming from. Beginning college is exciting because you get to start afresh and be whoever you want to be. Everyone’s new so there’s no judging but most of all, you’re independent. You can do what you want, when you want and no one will tell you jazz. It’s awesome!
I definitely recommend you trying a lot new because why not? You have nothing to loose and it’s a great way to meet new people. Again the whole idea of beginning afresh so take full advantage of it! While you’re trying to do “everything”, make sure it’s what you want to do not what EVERYONE is doing. Also remember you should balance it with your school work cause let’s be realistic that’s why you’re in college in the first place. If you’re doing things just because other people are then you need to do a recheck. There’s a big difference between going out of your comfort zone and floating with the wind.
I feel there’s the typical norm of how one should spend their freshmen year. Turning up every weekend, excessive alcohol consumption and all that jazz. While that lifestyle might suit some people, it does not automatically apply to the rest of the freshmen population. You shouldn’t let a particular standard define or influence how you spend your freshman year. Your freshman experience should be what you make it not trying to live up to others. Would you want to look back when you’re an upperclassman and realize how much of a ‘follow-follow’ you were you freshman year? I mean, we all have those times when we go “What was I thinking?” but you do not want this to be the only response to most of your memories.
Yeah it is intimidating sometimes when you see your classmates’ pictures on Instagram with captions like #lastnight or #turnt (EVERY WEEK) and you think “Why is my life so boring?!”. Yeah they’re having a blast but if that’s not your thing, look away. Thinking about it, you won’t feel intimidated if you have something going for you. Be open and explore new things and you’ll be too pre-occupied to even think such! If you so badly want turn up, that’s not a problem! There are tons of parties going on and even if there aren’t, what are clubs there for? Make sure it’s something you want to do and not what will make you look cool.
One thing I love about college is it’s diversity. There are some many different varieties and species (yes, I said species) of people that it’s impossible to not find a match. Typical Freshman, you’re not missing out just cause you’re not turning up for Matchsticks day (you’re right, you haven’t heard of Matchsticks day either cause it doesn’t exist) every weekend and telling everyone how massive your hangover was the next day. If that’s your thing, yay you! If that’s not your thing, still, yay you!
You shouldn’t listen to the stupid criteria for what the “best” freshman experience is because it will always vary from person. As long as you enjoy what you do and it’s from your heart, fly away young grasshopper and explore the fields! Don’t succumb to peer pressure. You’ll regret it.
While I’m saying you should have a mind of your own, you shouldn’t be close minded either. If you’re on the shy side, find people with similar interests and they will push you out of your comfort zone to try new things! Again, you wouldn’t want to NOT have story-worthy memories of your freshman year. You might not get everything done your freshman year but you still have your sophomore, junior and senior. Chill and get out there!
Take your time, try new things, leave your comfort zone and enjoy your freshman year because ‘Everyone’ is right. It only happens once.