A Letter to Freshman Year Me
Dear Freshman Ashli,
At this point, you are about to graduate high school and spend your entire summer wondering about all the mysteries of college. Knowing myself, you are also questioning what your life at Vanderbilt will be like for the next four years. As a now rising college junior, I have learned numerous life lessons while attending Vanderbilt over the past two years. Therefore, in order to ease your mind, I have written this letter which includes some of the more valuable points that I have learned. I hope that you will remember these as you begin your college journey.
- You will make mistakes, but you must learn from them.
Without a doubt, you will make mistakes during your college career. Whether you forgot you had a quiz in your next class, or you said something that you shouldn’t have. Even though these mistakes will make you feel as though the world is ending, it is imperative that you continue to move forward. College is all about learning about yourself and how to look at the bad moments in a positive light.
- Be involved! But not too involved…
Join clubs and student organizations that interest you! Vanderbilt has over 200 different organizations and student groups that you can join, so feel free to find the right ones for you. Through these groups, you will meet your friends for life, and they will share the same interests as you. But at the same time, don’t join so many that you are overwhelmed. Remember that academics, of course, come first! Gen Chem won’t study itself…
- It’s okay to ask for help.
Not everything will be easy, and there will be days that are not your best. However, everyone has a few days like this. There are many different resources on campus full of people you can talk to, such as the Center for Student Wellbeing and the University Counseling Center (formerly called the PCC). At these Centers, they understand that everyone has a few challenging times. Feel free to reach out to them, a friend, or even call home. It’s important to talk through your problems in order to find the best solution.
If you could only see how much you’ve grown as a person from high school graduation to the end of your sophomore year, you would not be afraid of college at all. In fact, you would be excited. Just remember to be yourself!
Ashli (A Rising Junior)