A letter to freshman me: All those things I wish I would have known

I remember very vividly the summer before my freshman year of college. Sitting in my room one night I thought to myself, "things are never going to be the same." I know...that's some deep stuff right there! It was very true though. This is a big change. I mean, being a college freshman...that's HUGE! What I originally wanted to do for this post was tell you all everything that I wish someone had told me before I came to college. But then I thought that it might be fun if I wrote a letter to my freshman year self. After writing it and reading it back, I realized that it's kind of a letter to all of you too. So if you are a new student that's coming here in the fall, please feel free to think of this as my letter to you! Because we are all friends and I love you! haha

Well hi there!

Yay college! You finally get to get away. You get to be on your own. This is such an exciting time and, honestly, being two years through already, I'm a tad bit jealous of where you are right now. I know you're nervous. I remember that. But don't worry too much. Things work out I promise! I do want to give you some tips though. Just some things that I think would have been nice to know before heading off to college a couple years ago.

Move-in and Welcome Week are awesome! Your roommate is really cool and...spoiler alert, you're about to meet your best friend in the entire world so when your RA takes the floor to go watch The Hangover in the formal lounge, GO! Oh and also, be prepared to throw some bows during Midnight Maddness. People get very excited about that trip to Walmart.

First semester goes pretty well for you. But, just to let you know, Finite (M118) is not as easy as you thought it was going to be. Those academic support centers are very helpful though and your tutor is really nice! You come out with a B so go ahead and give yourself a high-five. Good job! Another tip, don't be afraid of your professors. They really do want to help you so go visit them. They are actually really cool people!

The girls on your floor are great too so go hang out with them. That is one thing I regret about freshman year. I didn't go out of my way to get to know the people on my floor and I feel like I missed out on the perfect opportunity to make connections. And that reminds me...sorry if this next part is a bit of a downer but I promise this has a happy ending!

Something else that I want to make sure you know is that you are probably going to feel lonely every now and then. This is a big change and I don't know why loneliness is the emotion that seems to catch up with you but it does. It's not because you don't have people to hang out with. You do and they are awesome but they aren't the friends you've known for so long and that's weird sometimes. The thing you have to realize though is that you aren't the only one that feels this way. It may seem like that but nearly every other freshman is feeling the exact same way from time to time. So be the one to reach out to them first. If you ever feel shy, get past that. Say "hi" to that person you always see in class or, better yet, see if they want to get lunch! In college you'll come to find that for some reason "getting lunch" with someone is like the first step to actually being friends. Crazy! Because it's so simple! Seriously though, eventually those feelings of loneliness fade. You start to find that core group of people that you can really rely on. IU probably won't feel like "home" until sophomore year but when that feeling hits it's great. I can definitely say that now IU is my second home and I love it with all my heart. You have made the right choice when it comes to college, trust me. 

One lesson I have learned during my first two years here is that nothing ever goes according to your plan. At the end of this year you are going to think that you have your sophomore year all mapped out. I hate to break it to you, but that plan falls through. You're actually not even going to know where you are living that next year until about two weeks before school gets out. I know that this is not something you are used to. For the most part in high school everything followed a set plan and each year was pretty predicatable. That's not how things seem to go here most of the time. But actually, that's kind of the fun of it. You'll learn that you have to be open to anything. You are about to discover so much about yourself and what it is you want out of life. You gotta kinda learn to just go with the flow and embrace whatever comes. I heard a quote today from somebody that I think goes along with this. They said it sounds like a hippie wrote it and...ok yes that might be an accurate description but I think it is very fitting! "You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf."  So forget the fact that you have never so much as touched a surfboard. Embrace whatever comes! I have a feeling you're gonna like it!

You have absolutely nothing to worry about. You are about to start the best years of your life...so far :) Be careful. Have fun. Learn things. See you around!


Oh and P.S. When you get on the wrong bus that one time, don't panic! Think of it as a scenic tour of Bloomington! Eventually you get to the mall in one piece. Love ya!




About The Author
Linden SpaldingSpeech and Hearing Sciences Class of 2014

Hi there! My name is Linden Spalding. I am a Senior from New Albany, IN and I am studying Speech and Hearing Sciences here at Indiana University. I work as a Resident Assistant in one of the residence halls on campus and I absolutely love my job! I also serve as a Hoosier Guide which is part of our Student Ambassador program through the Office of Admissions. I show prospective students and their families the campus and tell them why I love IU! This summer, I also worked for New Student Orientation as a Student Coordinator. It was so much fun working with the OTeam and getting to meet all the new students and their families! Please feel free to get in touch with me if you have any questions or comments. I would love to hear from you! Go Hoosiers!