Unsolicited Advice to College Freshman
Living in Lincoln, you can always tell when school is about to start again because the police are on the hunt and the bars are full (not that I go to the bars because I’m not that cool anymore). It takes me back to my days of being in college, particularly a freshman with wide eyes and absolutely no clue. To give you an idea of what I mean — I moved to town with $73 in my bank account and no job nailed down.
If I could have a chat with my 18-year-old self and give her some advice on what she’s about to get herself into, it might look something like this…
Don’t be Afraid of Judgement
For crying out loud I wish I would have learned this lesson about a million years sooner than I did. First of all, no one is probably even judging you to begin with, so don’t spend so much subconscious time thinking about it. Second, once you learn to let go of that fear, you’re going to absolutely soar, so kick those thoughts as soon as possible.
Meet New People
I love the people I went to high school with and I’ll always value their friendships, but going to college with them gave me a crutch to avoid meeting new people. I made the choice to stay comfortable inside my box for most of college and now that I’m an “adult” I find myself playing catch up a little bit. Don’t be afraid to leave the known. The new people you’ll meet will add so much value to your life and maybe even contribute to the success of your future professional endeavors.
This is something I actually did do in college, but if I could go back and do it again I would make a lot of changes to my experience. When I studied abroad, it was the first time in my life I didn’t have a job and to say I took advantage of the down time is understatement. I probably got a little too lazy and took living in an amazing city like London for granted. My point is, definitely study abroad, and when you do, really live it up and never stop being a tourist.
I thought about starting a blog for YEARS before I actually did it. I kick myself when I think about those times because I feel like I could be much further in the blog world had I not been so afraid to just take the plunge. Don’t be afraid. Dive in head first to whatever project you’re thinking about starting. Now is the time.
At the end of the day, college — and life — is way too short. Snap your fingers and you’ll be graduating, which leads to a whole other conversation that we’ll save for another time. To sum it up, don’t be afraid of anything, take all the (smart) risks and chase those dreams without hesitation.
Photography by Brooke Lehman