To My Freshman Self
When I originally started to think about what I wanted to write to you, I took some time to reflect on the past three years. Immediately, the first few things that came to mind were regrets. I thought about all the things and people I put time and effort into, just to be left frustrated, sad and sometimes even hopeless. But then I realized I don’t want to measure my college years in terms of things that I regretted, I wanted to measure them on the happy moments, the self growth, the adventures I’ve been on and tell you that no matter what has happened, I am so insanely proud of you.
College was hard. I know it for you in the beginning, it was a culture shock, an academic shock, and everything shock. Coming from such a small town, to a small city right next to NYC, we got to experience so many new things, many of which have become staples and favorites in our lives. The course load was vigorous and challenging, unlike any that you faced in high school, but it felt so good to put the work in and get good grades in return. I still remember how good it felt when we finally cracked how to make a vending machine code in Intro to Programming.
When you first came to college, that very day you got dropped off, it felt like everything went wrong. From not being able to get into your room, to feeling like the world dropped on your shoulders, so overwhelming that you made your way to a tree outside of CPH and sat and cried. In that moment, sitting under a tree, crying on the first day of college, you looked over to the city and wiped your eyes. The world was not ending anymore. In fact, I think your life started just then and I am proud of you for that.
Half way through the first year, the unimaginable happened to you, dad passed away. Everything changed then, you know we went from a little girl, to a young woman who had to deal with grief, yet still push on and do what you needed to do. You needed to balance the emotions of loss but not too much that it didn’t weigh you down. You needed to cry, but not too much that it clouded all your happiness and that of those around you. And it wasn’t easy. But four years later, here you are; beginning your senior year of college, no longer 18 years old and scared. You are 21 years old and ready to conquer your last year of college with the people who mean the most to you by your side.
When I think about all the people I met along the way, it brings a huge smile to my face. You didn’t know it then, but our basically random roommate would turn out to be one of the best friends in the whole world. You got to live with her for the next four years of college and experience life’s ups and downs together. From heartbreak, to so many college firsts, to late nights, and everything in between you’ll have her as a best friend by your side.
Something else I know you wouldn’t have expected in a million years, we joined a sorority! In search of a community at school and that “girl” group, you became interested in the sororities at Stevens. Learning and meeting different girls, you felt so many connections with the sisters of Alpha Phi, so much so that you accepted a bid in the Fall 2021 semester as a COB. The people from home told you this was a bad idea and they didn’t like it, thank god you didn’t listen. These people did not have your best interests at heart, and would end up not being there for you like your sisters would be.
So many amazing women came out of Alpha Phi. You made a best friend in your Big, one that will certainly last a lifetime. You talk about your futures and dreams like they’re in reach and do anything to support each other in reaching those goals. She shows you what it means to be a mentor by setting the perfect example. You’ll look up to her like no one you ever have before. So much so, that when the time comes, you definitely want littles of your own to try and be that mentor for them. You end up with two amazing, one of a kind, individuals as your littles. And of course, there are some mistakes along the way, life isn’t perfect, you aren’t perfect. But you do your best to keep going and keep showing them how much they mean to you.
Apart from your family line, you meet so many fantastic women in the sorority. Women you can bond with, who understand you and your dreams, fears, anxieties, etc. Girls you share classes with who are always down to study and work together. Girls you can text at the randomest times and pick up like you never left off. And girls who truly want to see you succeed, that is what is most important, having that support will be crucial for you.
Looking back, I know your life looks different then you thought it would be. You had it all planned out, and none of it worked out like you thought. But that is the biggest blessing. It has been better than you thought, full of memories and nights you never want to forget. So good, that the thought of going into senior year is terrifying because you are definitely not ready to let go.
Freshman to senior year really does fly by. So to you, whoever is reading this, make sure to live each and every day in the moment. Join that club. Join that sorority. Go to the party. Go to the philanthropy event. You just never know who you will meet or what will happen, all because you got on your feet and went. College is scary and new, but it mirrors life; new experiences in a new place with new people. You find out who you are in the midst of the scary, juggling the good and the bad. So embrace it, because before you know it, you’d be texting your roommate saying you cannot believe the first day of freshman year was already years ago.
VP Health, Wellness, & Accountability