Dear Freshman,

I know a lot has changed in your life recently and it has felt like a huge adjustment, but you will be okay. It is not easy going from High School to College but thankfully all of those years in a classroom have prepared you for this moment. This may have been your first time away from home, or maybe this is like second nature to you and being away from home was the goal. Whatever the case may be, still take a second to remind yourself of home and check in on your parents every so often. They may brag about having your room as an entertainment room they always wanted but in truth, they miss you just as much as you miss them.

While you may still feel close with your high school friends, inevitably there will be a challenge of distance or time on your hands. As you grow up, you start to have different priorities, and this results in seeing them a lot less and probably talking to them much less as well. If you really feel like these friendships are meant to last, and you plan on maintaining them through the future, you need to put in the effort. This does not mean a phone call every night. But a text every so often to check in on them goes a long way. It is always a nice feeling to appreciate what and who you have in your new-found college life but on the flip side, having friends that support you and look forward to when you come home is a pretty unbeatable feeling as well.

These first few months may be some of the toughest ones you go through. Learning where all your classes are, figuring out how to write a college paper and manage deadlines or even getting to know this vast amount of faces you haven’t seen before. I remember those days and if I could, I would have gone home every weekend to be able to feel some sense of home again. But I am glad I didn’t. Facing some of the scariest moments in college head on ended up being the most beneficial in my experience. Mind you, things did not always turn out exactly how I wanted but, in this environment, will you find, that no matter how tough it gets there is someone on the Saint Mary campus that cares enough about you to have your back no matter how big the evil is you are facing.

So, go forth with confidence. Make mistakes. Learn how to be the version of yourself you envision for yourself. Go to the school events. Make a new friend or fifty. Learn something new every day. Because you are given an opportunity to learn among some of the best people you may meet in your life. I know this is starting to come of cliché and that might be the nostalgia talking but these are things people told me when I was in your shoes and taking them to heart made the learning process a little easier.

One day, you will be sitting in your first day of classes and the next day you are going home for summer of your junior year. Time is what you make of it and it does not stop for anyone. These four years are your opportunity to prepare yourself for the rest of your life. Enjoy being a “kid” while you still can. Grow as a person and learn to be a part of something special. When your time comes, and you get that piece of paper in your hand, you will not remember many of the all-nighters, lectures and homework assignments. You will remember the people and experiences that inspired you and kept you on the right track towards your goal.

Whatever you do these four years, do them with grace. Have no regrets. Set goals and crush them. For someday soon you will be a senior looking at the incoming class of freshman and wonder where all your time went.

I’ll see you around campus.

Signed,

A Senior that is just as scared as you are.