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As another school year begins, I can only think about how fast the last three years have gone by. It felt like just yesterday that I was arriving for the first time on campus and moving into my dorm. I would give anything to be able to go back to that year. You see, freshman year was THE year. The only thing you needed to worry about was that the year would be over too soon. Freshman year is something that you will want to hold on to. By the time you are a senior, like myself, you will find yourself reminiscing on old stories and memories from that beloved first year. You may not realize it now, but one day you will look back and remember how amazing freshman year truly is.
Talking from experience, freshman year is simple and filled with naiveté. Let's be honest, the best memories from freshman year always start with not having any plans and being able to go anywhere at anytime with anyone. I remember my first week on campus I walked from my dorm, Kirwan II, to Tolly Ho at four in the morning simply because I had to see why everyone was talking about this place. Decisions such as this are only made during your freshman year because they are made out of spontaneity. You look back on them thinking, “Wow, I can’t believe I did that,” or “What was I thinking?” That is what makes freshman year so great! Never again will you be as naïve as you are during this first year. These experiences will build you into the person you will become.
Along with being inexperienced, freshman year is typically easier than most years. Now, I’m not saying that this is a blow off year, but it’s definitely nothing to stress too much over. This is the year to start off strong, create an academic foundation and get a great GPA that will cushion the next few years. Explore courses; don’t take a heavy course load and most importantly work on your time management for when you do have a larger, harder class load. Go out and have fun, get involved on campus and experience everything you can. Join a club, Greek life, or just make as many friends as possible and have endless adventures. The ease of freshman year isn’t just in academics though. Because you are new on campus there is a certain “slack” given to you. Things such as not knowing where each building is or how long it will take to walk across campus are all understandable because you are new. Of course there are upper classmen who give you a hard time for not knowing certain things, but again it’s all in good fun because they were once in your shoes.
Another great thing about freshman year that will be missed is living in the dorms. Sure, at the time they don’t seem like much, but once you get into your own house you start asking yourself why you ever left. Not only do you have a majority of your friends living down the hall from you, but you also have the luxuries of being centrally located on campus and having a cleaning staff. You can be carefree knowing that the bathrooms will be cleaned every morning and that you are a short five-minute walk from class.
Freshman year is the time of your life and one of the greatest years of college you will encounter. Take advantage of it while you can. You may feel in your heart that you are a grown responsible adult, yet you won’t feel any repercussions of your actions. You aren’t paying any electric or water bills. You’re not carrying the weight of adult life on your shoulders yet. The only real obligation you have is to call your parents and let them know how you are doing. You can still stay up incredibly late and function the next day with barely any sleep, which gets harder as you get older. Don’t let this first year slip away and make the most of it. One day you will be like me sitting with your friends thinking about that nostalgic first year of college.