June 25, 2017, by Shweta
Dear incoming first years, here’s what to expect
University is supposed to be the ‘time of your life’. It’s what everyone always says. And it’s probably what you wholeheartedly believe as you spend your last summer preparing to be a freshman this fall. I bet you’ve already heard of all the people you’ll meet and places you’ll go. The things you’ll see and the life you will live. The exciting and unimaginable. The intriguing and the ridiculous. I bet you think you’re ready to tackle first year head first, armed with all the advice you’ve received but trust me, there’s so much nobody has told you yet.
Having completed a year of university, I fondly remember the person I was not too long ago. Surprisingly, she’s a stranger to me now. That is probably lesson number one; the upcoming year will mould you into someone completely different and maybe, just maybe, that’s a good thing. Having survived the typical millennial high school experience, university finally helped me find myself. Despite the not-so-occasional lonely night alone in my dorm and the unrelenting pressure to success socially and academically, I found myself rising above the need to be “popular” or well-liked by everyone. I found myself fighting for what I deserve and recognising my worth. As you stumble through your first year at university, you’ll slowly begin to enjoy your own company. You’ll slowly begin to take care of yourself. Self-care will become a necessity rather than a prize to be won. You will realise that not every Friday night is going to be life-changing and you’ll begin to enjoy that. Most importantly, you’ll no longer find yourself bending over backwards for slight nods of approval from any third party.
You will discover parts of yourself that surprise you. Every now and then, you will pause and smile because of the little things that make life so perfect. You will cherish your family and friends more and you will learn how to be independent and reckless at the same time.
Above all, you’ll realise that they were right all along. This will indeed be the ‘time of your life’, but not for the reasons you might think. So, dear upcoming freshman, you have so much in store for you and I hope that one day, you will go as far as to tell them that it was the ‘time of your life’. But don’t worry about that right now. I think you will. After all, they all do.