Dear college freshman self,

One of our friends described college as an all-inclusive resort: you get food, a room and the opportunity to hang out with your friends all the time, the only difference is that you have to study. Although I wouldn’t define college in such simple terms, indeed college isn’t the prison or boring place that many say it is since it's on you to make the most out of it.

Some people will say that going to welcome week activities organized by your college is boring and childish, that going to parties and bars is the only way to enjoy your first week. The truth is, your freshman welcoming will only happen once and if you don’t take advantage of it you will regret it. Club Fest will help you to find your niche for the rest of the year, the city tours will spark your curiosity to explore the world beyond campus and the student mixers will introduce you to amazing students that will make your transition to college less scary and stressful. Yet, none of your welcome week acquaintances will stay with you. Know that this is absolutely normal as connecting with others can be hard especially if the other person doesn't make an effort in maintaining the friendship. Your long-lasting friends will come into your life in the most random ways possible but only if you have a kind smile and an open mind to talk to anyone.

After a few months in college, you will feel that everyone is doing better than you in all aspects. 

You will see people finding their soulmates, getting well-paid jobs and becoming best friends with their roommates while you are still struggling to catch up with homework. Know that your worth isn't measured in how many people want to date you, how many job offers you get or how many friends you have. It is measured by how capable you are of loving yourself which includes not only your body and character, but also your abilities and deficiencies.

Yes, you are going to college to learn, but academics shouldn't be your only focus. If your body and mind aren't alright, there is no way that you can achieve your academic goals. Don't be afraid to look for help whenever you are feeling stressed or incapable of doing something. If you are going through a family issue and can't submit a piece of work, tell your professors, they are more understanding than you think. After all, they are humans just like you and they have personal issues too. If you are having problems with your roommates as they aren't following the living agreements or they aren't treating you respectfully, have a serious talk with them and, if needed, change rooms. 

Never be afraid to take the proper actions to maintain your well-being. 

Moving to a new city and taking new subjects will be overwhelming, but don’t let those changes interfere with the things that you used to do before going to college.

 Please don't lose yourself.  Doing things related to your passions will bring something familiar into your new life and help you keep a balance between academics and your well-being. Also, don't be afraid to follow new passions even if you think you aren't good enough. No one is born knowing everything. Indeed, there is beauty in the learning process especially if you show passion in everything you do.

Even if you don't trust in your potential right now, you are going to end your first year feeling grateful for your new friendships, academic achievements and personal growth. Just follow my advice.

Best,

Your college sophomore self.

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