My Dearest Freshman Year,
We need closure. After a year of spending too much of my money on textbooks I’ll never use again, redefining the term “going out,” and convincing me that all of my clothes just can’t fit in my dorm room closet, you’ve left a pretty big impression on me. While you definitely had your rough moments, overall, you were pretty great. Before I bid you adieu, there are a few things that I would like to say.
First of all, thank you for teaching me that you shouldn’t care what other people think. Honestly, you’ve taught me that people encourage you to screw up. After all, we are here to learn. After sheepishly taking my lanyard off my neck, hiding my water bottle in my purse at my first college party, and completely falling on my face while walking on the quad, you taught me that no one here really cares what I’m doing. We’re all growing and changing, and you taught me that the occasional embarrassing moment won’t ruin my entire college career.
Second, thank you for introducing me to new people and experiences, and for teaching me that it’s okay to hold on to memories and friends from the past. You not only introduced me to my newest best friends, but my favorite professors, mentors, and coffee baristas. You showed me glow-in-the-dark dodge ball, parties in the middle of the day, and staying up all night talking to new people, even with an 8:30 class in the morning. You helped me to not only balance all of these things in my “new” life, but the people and experiences from my “old” life. Thank you for making clear the relationships that I’m meant to hold on to and the traditions that will always be important.
Third, thank you for providing me the opportunity to figure it all out. I came here thinking that I knew exactly what I wanted – a career as a TV reporter, perfect grades, and an equally balanced school and extracurricular activity schedule. I am leaving you, however, much differently than I had expected – a change in career focus to public relations and advertising, the occasional missed reading, and extra hours that should have been spent studying but were spent at the dining hall with friends, falling out of our chairs from laughter. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to learn what I like and don’t like. I wish someone would have told me that I didn’t have to have it all figured out before I came to you.
And finally, thank you for reinforcing the idea that everything happens for a reason. I knew that I would like the school that I chose, but I never knew how much love I could gain for a place, just over the course of a year. Thanks to you, I have now realized that I am where I am supposed to be, studying what I’m supposed to do for the rest of my life, and spending time with the people who are changing me for the better. When I was talking to my mom on the phone the other day, she told me how happy I seemed. I was honestly able to tell her that this was the best time of my life. You did that. That’s pretty awesome of you.
So freshman year, I guess this is the time where I tell you that it’s been real getting to know ya. Thank you for providing me memories that will last a lifetime, and stories that I’m sure my kids will roll their eyes at once they’re getting ready to apply for college. I hope that you’ve had the same impact on far more people than just me, but from the looks of it, you’ve done a good job. It’s been nice knowing you. I hope to see you around sometime. Thanks again.
Your #1 Fan