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What my Junior Self would say to my Freshman Self

By Carmen Fanning on March, 11 2021

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What my Junior Self would say to my Freshman Self

One day you’re a bright, shiny-eyed, expectant freshman and within the blink of an eye, you’re a junior! How did we get here and how did time pass so quickly!?

There are so many things I would tell my freshman year self. Junior year is notorious for being the most difficult year in college. School wise classes get harder, and you’re becoming older (Hello, 21!). There’s so much I wish I knew then that I know now, here’s some advice I would tell my freshman self.

Go to the corny campus events. Yeah, the first week's activities seem cheesy now, but that’s the best way to meet people and get to know the school better. School pride is not lame, these years will be a lot more enjoyable if you dig into all the university has to offer.

Talk to everyone! College will go a lot smoother if you let down your walls and let people in. You’ll meet your best friends in the most unlikely places. Especially on a small campus, it’s so nice to know a friendly face wherever you go. The friends you make in college will last a lifetime. Be open to meeting new people, you never know the value they can hold in your life.

Stop the comparison! Although education is a very important part of college, so is self-discovery. You’re going to learn A LOT about yourself in four short years. Everything that happens is a stepping stone for the rest of your life. Once you shift your focus inward, the self-growth will be undeniable. Make it a goal to come out of college a different person than when you entered. During my freshman year, I was so focused on what others thought of me. It took until the second semester of my sophomore year to finally shift that focus inward, and that is when I saw the most self-growth. As a current junior, this is the most content and confident I’ve ever been. When you finally love who you are, the right people follow. You can’t truly love others until you love yourself.

Don’t forget why you’re here: to get an education. It’s cool to care about your grades and schoolwork. Why waste so much money when you can truly apply yourself and get something out of these years. My mom would always tell me, “there will always be a party, prioritize school.” I think that’s some of the best advice I’ve ever received. College is definitely about having fun and letting loose, but don’t forget to prioritize the important things in life. This is the precursor for the rest of your life. Don’t look back and regret not giving 100% to anything.

Call mom and dad. Without them, you wouldn’t be here. Even if you don’t have the homesick blues, I can guarantee your parents do. Check-in on them often and let them know how things are going. Thank them for all they’ve done to get you to the place you are now. As you grow older, the relationship with your parents evolves. I can proudly say they are best friends. Whenever I had hard days, I’d call my mom and she’d know exactly what to say to make me feel better.

Don’t beat yourself up for the mistakes you make. Instead of feeling shameful or embarrassed, see every mistake as an opportunity to learn. As a freshman, college is very new and definitely a different world than you’ll be used to. Some of my most vital life lessons came from the mistakes I made. Adjusting to this new adulthood won’t happen overnight. Be gentle with your progress.

Be present! As a freshman, I was always thinking years ahead. You’ll learn soon that life is unpredictable. Every passing day is a new adventure. Embrace these moments because they really do go by fast. You’re going to be a junior one day wishing you could relive freshman year moments.

Be adaptable. Change will happen. As a freshman, I was very resistant to any change. I enjoyed being in my comfort zone because that’s all I knew. Now, I embrace change and am self-sufficient with any curveballs life may throw. Whether it be getting a bad grade in a class, friends leaving, not getting into the program of your choice, these are all life lessons. Embrace it and have faith in yourself to get through any situation life may throw.

Now is the time to be who you’ve always wanted to be. Self-expression is one of the most freeing acts in life. I remember my freshman year self was so self-conscious of what to wear or to fit a certain persona. I’m my happiest when I am truly expressing myself. College is the place to do this because everyone is also in the process of finding themselves. Be fearless in the way you choose to love and express yourself.

Michael Althsuler once said, “The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” Focus on what you can control: how you react, what you say and what you do. You are truly the pilot to your own life. You determine your destiny. Looking back, there are things I wish I could’ve changed but in reality, I am thankful for every good and bad thing that has happened up until this moment. Soon you’ll realize growing pains are actually a beautiful thing.

Carmen Fanning

Hello my name is Carmen Fanning. I'm currently a senior in the ultrasound department at FHSU. Although my major is science, I’ve always enjoyed writing for as long as I can remember. My most enjoyable classes have always been English classes because of how it can be thought provoking and an outlet of emotions and information. I’m not a loud person, so it’s nice to put my thoughts into the world through writing. My other hobbies include roller skating, cooking, thrifting and reading. I hope to continue writing post graduation as an enjoyable hobby. I’ll be entering the health care field as ultrasound tech and will continue my degree at a hospital of my choosing. Not sure where yet, but I’m excited for the journey!


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