To my Freshman Self,
In the blink of eye, four years have come and gone, and you are now a graduating senior at the University of Michigan. Four years ago, it felt like you had all the time in the world to figure everything out. Those years have passed, and here you are, ready to face the real world as a grown up. You took every opportunity that college had to offer and conquered them. But along the way, you started to lose yourself in the chaos and stress of it all. Here are some things that I wish you had known and understood from day one.
1. Don’t treat your GPA like a life and death situation. I know that you don’t accept anything other than an A, but sometimes your best effort might fall below the mark. Don’t let your grade mania destroy the meaning of what you’re learning. Soak in the knowledge, try your absolute best, and you will get what you deserve.
2. Have more fun! You are so serious about school and work that you have often neglected your personal life. Don’t wear yourself down to the point of having no energy to go out with your friends, or to go to that cool event that only comes to campus once. You will remember the memories made with your friends and those once in a lifetime experiences.
3. Stay close to your parents. Your independence is so important to you, but don’t forget the people who are making this college experience possible for you. Call or text your parents every so often! Stay in their lives and let them know what you’re up to. It means the world to them when you show them your appreciation. Your parents are your biggest fans and supporters and will lift you up when you need it.
4. Forgive yourself for your mistakes or failures. So often you have beaten yourself up for saying the wrong thing, missing a deadline, or getting rejected from a job or position. Find the strength to realize your mistake, fix it, improve, and move on with life. Four years later, none of these things will matter. You will have found something bigger and better to pursue.
When all is said and done, I am proud of you, freshman self. Your focus, strength, and compassion have served you well. Don’t forget the most important thing in life, though. Relationships with others and yourself are so valuable. Friends and family help support you through the hard times. Continue to be well rounded person in the classroom and community while balancing your physical and mental health.
Your Senior Self