Dear Sophomore Year
2 years down, 2 to go. But where did the past two years go? You mean in the same amount of time I will be on my own… for the rest of my life?
The easiest two years have past and the hardest two years lie ahead of me. Some of the hardest decisions have yet to be made while some of the most difficult obstacles have been overcome. Beginning college is a roller coaster, to say the least. Filled with new experiences, people and situations that you have never been faced with before. You are completely independent from your parents, forced to do your own laundry, feed yourself, and wake up on time in the morning. College will teach you lessons that cannot be learned anywhere else.
During your freshman year, you enter a new world where you have the freedom to make your own decisions and for the first time, you are held completely responsible for your actions. Everything is entirely up to you. You probably grow the most during your first year of school… Then, during your second, everyone expects you to know the ropes. They expect you to act more mature and make decisions that will permanently impact your future. I’m not ready to make decisions on what I will be doing in 10 years, 20 years or even 40 years… What if I want to change those decisions? What if I don’t actually want to be a biology major? Eek!
In two years of college you also get a better understanding of who your real friends are. I have discovered just how important it is to be surrounded by good friends… ones that will support you and help you through difficult times. Good friends will more than likely see you though your best times as well as your worst. Surround yourself with people that can teach you something, people that will make you laugh and feel good about yourself.
In the words of Lauren Conrad, “it’s less important to have more friends and more important to have real ones.”
You will learn about people and you learn about yourself. You realize that life will throw more challenges in your way than one can prepare you for. You realize that everyone is in it for him or herself and they rarely hand you anything on a silver platter. The world doesn’t revolve around you but more importantly, everything that you do should revolve around yourself and set you up for success in the future. In college, I have learned how to say no to people and that you don’t always need a reason for it. College will teach you that the world is selfish and that whoever takes advantage of the most opportunities will get the job at the end of the tunnel.
While it may not seem like it at the time, there are a lot of fish in the sea and college is too short to waste your time chasing just one. Go out and meet new people any chance that you get, don’t let someone treat you badly and never cry over someone that doesn’t deserve you. Always remember your self-worth and have respect for yourself. If your friends don’t like a guy… they are probably right.
You also quickly learn that in college, if you don’t put in the work, you fail. Whether it is in a class or in an everyday situation… there is rarely extra credit and you don’t get many second chances. Much like the real world, you get one shot and that is it. Your parents are no longer there to save you from a situation that you got yourself into… it is all on you at this point.
Take advantage of every opportunity that surrounds you. Network with your professors and your classmates, they might be able to help you in the future. Write a resume. Be nice to everyone because you never know what he or she might have to offer. Take advantage of the free workout classes, the writing center, tutors and even the student discounts. Use the library and take your classes seriously. You might come across a new hobby that you love. Stay up late, spend time volunteering and traveling. Don’t be afraid to change your major… once, twice, even three times. Find something that you love because you will most likely spend the rest of your life doing it.
Finally, college makes you realize just how great your family really is. You savor every visit with your family, every home cooked meal and every phone call. You are no longer embarrassed to be seen with your parents but instead you call them multiple times a day just to talk. For once, you understand where they were coming from for all those years and can now ask them for life advice. They worked like crazy to get you to this point so tell them thank you, tell them that you love them and you miss them on a regular basis.
Thank you freshman and sophomore year for teaching me this and more… but more importantly, thank you for making me the person that I am. Cherish every moment and every opportunity because it goes fast. Here’s to the next two years of my college journey and the lessons that they will bring…