Hello Freshman Me,
You’re scared of leaving the familiar; leaving your family, friends, house, and pet.
You’re scared of change; coming home to a different bed, not having someone to wake you up in case you miss your alarm, not sitting at the usual lunch table with your friends.
You’re scared of failure.
And that’s good. Be afraid. Be nervous.
It’s that fear and those nerves that will propel you past your greatest challenges yet, all while giving way to the strongest you you’ve encountered.
Within the next three years, you’ll realize you didn’t leave anything behind. Your family, friends, house, and your evil lovable bulldog are still waiting for you back in your small town. You’ll start to believe your mom when she said, “you’ll meet some of your best friends in college”. You won’t believe her because she’s known you your whole life. You won’t believe her because she’s done the college thing before.
You’ll believe her because your first roommate will soon be the friend you move into an apartment with in your Junior year. You’ll believe her because one of your friends from middle school will move in with you, too. You’ll believe her because the sick girl you’ll meet on the bus who happens to live on your floor Freshman year, and the equally sarcastic girl you’ll sit down next to in your first real Journalism class in Sophomore year will become two of your best friends. You’ll believe your mom because, well, in three years you’ll be writing for the blog you don’t yet have and realize that the list of friends and how you met them could go on, but that would take another post.
Oh, and in three years you’ll be getting ready to celebrate your two-year anniversary with your boyfriend. That, too, though would take another post.
In short, right now you’re scared of leaving the familiar for the unfamiliar. In three years, the unfamiliar will become the familiar. You’ll be happy.
Change is inevitable, something you’ll realize during these next three years. Right now, you are majoring in Chemistry. You think know you want to be a pediatrician. You know what courses you have to take. In a decade or so, you see yourself as a resident at a hospital. You have it all figured out.
You have it all figured out, that is, until midway through Fall semester of your Freshman year when you’ll decide to change your major to Psychology. The math that came with chemistry wasn’t your thing, so you’ll settle with being a child therapist.
Ah, there’s the word: “settle”. You’ll think you’ll be okay with settling. You won’t be and you’ll realize that after you somehow find your way into the College of Journalism. Once you start taking Journalism courses, you’ll be shocked by how fast time goes by when you’re studying something you love. More importantly, even though you’re not yet working in your field, you’ll start to truly understand the whole “do what you love, and you’ll never work another day in your life” mentality.
Then, all of a sudden you’ll realize there was never a reason to be scared of change.
In the next three years, you’re going to think you failed at some things. During the Spring semester of your Freshman year, you’re going to fail a trigonometry assignment. You’re going to blame your instructor. It’s not her fault. It’s your own. Face it: you didn’t study. You’re going to realize it wasn’t her fault, you’re going to get back up and study, and you’re going to end the class with an A-. You didn’t fail. You didn’t fail because you got back up instead of being satisfied with the grade. You suffered a temporary setback. You made it through.
Freshman Me, repeat after me: “I will not fail. Failure is a mindset. There will be hurdles. There will be temporary setbacks. I will fall, but I won’t stay down. I will not stay down because to stay down is to fail and I do not fail.”
You’ll learn that it’s okay to be scared of failure. It’s your fear of failure that keeps you from staying down; that keeps you from failing.
So you’re frightened. You’re scared of leaving the familiar. You’re scared of the imminent change. You’re nervous.
And that’s good.
Because in three years you’re going to be sitting at home in your pajamas, writing a letter to yourself as a means of encouraging others and a means of procrastinating the Senior year packing process, and suddenly you’re going to realize it’s okay to be frightened.
At the beginning of the next three school years you’ll find you’re scared. Periodically, though, those fears will fade.
And as those years go by and those fears fade during the school year and resurface at the beginning of each one, you’ll remember you conquered those fears.
The unfamiliar became the familiar.
Change became exciting.
Failure wasn’t a thing.
You conquered those fears just like you’ll conquer the ones to come.
And that’s good.
The More Seasoned Senior You