For Freshmen. By Freshmen.
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Feb 09 2016
by Julie Charlebois

To the Class of 2020: Your College Experience Will be What You Make It

By Julie Charlebois - Feb 09 2016

Dear the class of 2020,

You have already submitted the majority of your college applications and are probably beginning to hear back from those schools. As you all hope and pray that you got into your reach school, or that you get enough financial aid to go to school you’ve been dreaming about since middle school, keep one thing in mind: wherever you end up going to college, you will have to make the most of it.

When I was applying to schools last year, I kept on getting asked, “So, where you applying and which one is your favorite?” The aunts, uncles, parents of friends, managers, parent’s coworker, et cetera, were all disappointed when I told them I didn’t have a favorite. Not one of the five schools I applied to jumped out at me as the one I needed to go to. How was I supposed to make a decision that I would be stuck with for four years? I analyzed location, sports teams, even the amount of grass on campus! Anything to help me make my decision. And when I got back acceptances from four out of the five, and my deadline to decide was hurtling towards me like a train, I was afraid to make my decision for all the wrong reasons and when I finally paid--literally, by deposit--to commit to my school, I immediately got a nagging feeling: I was worried I had made the wrong decision.

But oh, was I wrong.

My advice to you, class of 2020, is to accept that the college that you go to may not have been your first choice in high school, but once you get here, don’t let that hold you back. Make the most of your freshmen experience. Get to know the people in your dorm, go to sporting events and learn to love what is amazing about your school. My school was not where I pictured myself being a few years ago but I have been able to find so many amazing things that make my school amazing and unique and I love it. Your experience in college will be whatever you make of it, wherever you end up. So make it great. 

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Julie Charlebois - University of Pittsburgh

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