To the Freshman College Student after their first Semester

Subject: To the Freshman College Student after their first Semester
From: Caroline L
Date: 8 Jan 2019

Dear student,

As this fall semester has come to a close, so has your first semester of college. You have learned more about yourself in these few short weeks than probably in your whole lifetime.

You have successfully lived away from home for months on end, on your own. No one was there to save you when you needed it. No comfort, no safety net, no home cooked meals to warm you up. No one actually knew who you were, yet you managed to make a name for yourself. A new name, one of which people respect and look up to. Not because they know your past but because they know your present. You have planted the seeds, and now it is the time to begin growing a reputation that will leave your college a little more colorful and alive.

Every failure first required an attempt. You were brave enough to make those attempts instead of shying away.

From calculus, to taking time to discover your true self and gifts, to enduring a very unlucky living situation--you survived to tell the tale, and now you’re a better person from it. You know how to handle failure and are now more prepared than ever before to live. Life is about both failure and success. Being familiar with failure only makes life a little bit more comfortable and a little less daunting. Life is short--make it enjoyable.

College has forced you to learn how to budget your time better. This applies to not only coursework, but also the people around you. They will help you achieve your goals moreso than any archaic textbook can.

Remember that two minds are better than one and that you can’t progress alone. Desire others’ opinions and feedback, even criticism. Sip their words like rich red wine: taste, and then forget. Remember, your work only matters if it makes sense to others.

I am proud of you for taking the time to discover who you are from the inside and out by opening up to the world and its possibilities. You took the time to talk to others and try on different lenses of how they may see the world. Having an open mind to explore the insatiable options our world presents to us is a privilege. Therefore, make the most out of every situation by taking advantage of opportunities even if they are disguised as obstacles at first. Every challenge is an opportunity to learn more, we just have to adjust our mindset.

You have learned how to deal with people--not only learn with them, but LIVE with them. You have seen some of the best as well as the worst of the human creature. Despite the reality of our imperfect mortality, you know that making connections is the most important part of the college experience. Not just connections, but genuine connections fostered through authenticity and respect. Be kind and the world will be kind back.

You got this next semester. I know you’re scared, but that means that you aren’t comfortable, and discomfort means that you are challenging yourself to be the best you can be. That is all to ask out of this life that we live. To strive to be the best not only through our strengths, but our weaknesses as well.

Also stay true to yourself and your values--they will never fail you.

From one college student to another, you got this. I believe in you from the bottom of my heart.

Have a great next semester!