Let me start by saying a huge CONGRATULATIONS on your acceptance into college. I am so proud of you, and you should be extremely proud of yourself. You are taking a step to better yourself, to grow in your education, and to do something for yourself, and that is incredible. Sorry if I sound think your Mom right now, but I am genuinely excited for you.
Now I know first hand that as exciting as it is to get your acceptance letter in the mail and thinking about all that college has to offer, there are also so many things that you may stress or worry about. One of the biggest things I know I thought about was not knowing anyone as I ventured into this new chapter of my life. You see I chose a college where I didn’t really know anyone that was attending, and the thought of being the lowly freshman wandering around lost and friendless (yes I know that sounds dramatic, but at 18 we can all be a little dramatic) terrified me. But it shouldn’t have. I cannot stress enough how unimportant it is, especially in the long run. You see you will find people, not just people, but your people. These will probably end up being some of your best friends and the people that help you move into and throughout adulthood and the next phases of your life. I know it is easier said than done to not worry about that, but trust me when I say it will work itself out. Not knowing anyone allows you the chance to meet people without any pretext of who you may have been before college. You will meet people at orientation, in your dorms, on your halls, in your first classes, and huddled around the ice cream in the dining hall. These people are all going through the same thing you are. They are all living a whole new set of first experiences and for many of them they are doing it just like you, without knowing anyone.
I met my first friend the first day of orientation. A bunch of us had been grouped up with an upperclasswoman who would show us around and teach us the ropes so to speak. I will remember this memory for the rest of my life. We all sat down and introduced ourselves with animal names that started with the same letter as our first name. One of those stereotypical camp games that helps people remember each other. That was the day I met a girl named Moose (okay that’s not her real name that was her animal name), and she became my first friend in college. We clung to each other in those first few days, and even as we made other friends we still stayed close. Even today years after college she is still in my life, and one of my most cherished friendships. Now I am sure some of you are thinking maybe you won’t be that lucky, and maybe you won’t meet a friend the first day, but you will in the first few days for sure. One of the girls I met the first week of school heard me talking about the Vlogbrothers in my room (I had my door open, which I recommend to do to meet people) and walked right in and introduced herself as a fellow fan, and the rest was history. So when I say don’t worry I really mean it. You are diving head first into one of the most exciting times of your life, and so is everyone around you. There is no other time in our life like college, and as you start to find your way around your new home you will start connecting with your classmates and those around you. Now you may not want to believe me, and that is okay, but just promise me that you will try and leave yourself open to those people because they are out there waiting to change your life; waiting to be your midnight study buddies, shoulders to cry on, early morning breakfast sharers, and late night dancing partners. So shake off that fear and brace yourselves for meeting some of the best people you didn’t know you were missing from your life.