Dear College Freshmen.

I know you’ll be scared on the first day. Even if you spend all summer claiming to be “mostly excited” and “not at all nervous”, your first day will hit you like a ton of bricks. Especially after your parents are gone and you’re sitting in your room alone. Don’t stay there long. Go out and introduce yourself. Everyone else is just as scared as you.

Work hard. Work harder than you’ve ever worked before. But take breaks. Invest in relationships. Because there will be times when you need the support of friends.

Please, in the name of all that is good, do not date the boy that you met on Facebook over the summer. It will not turn out well.

Go to class. Work out as much as possible (the endorphins are worth it). Pop-Tarts are not a substantial meal. Get eight hours of sleep. Smile at professors. Sit towards the front of the classroom. Don’t wear sweatpants to class. Do your homework. Create study schedules. Find a job if you can.

Don’t always color inside the lines. Be who you are, and don’t be afraid to say how you feel. Don’t obsess over things that you cannot change. Get in the habit of calling your mother. She worries about you.

Know that you will have friends. And know that the world will, at times, be partying without you. Be okay with that. Befriend the people who understand you, who enjoy the same movies and books, who love dance and music and taking ridiculous pictures. But don’t be afraid to talk to the people who are your polar opposites. You will learn the most from them.

(Courtesy of Tom Bishop)

Stay up late with the friend whose boyfriend broke up with her. Plan your roommate’s birthday party. Have girl’s nights out. Go on dates. Dress up. Make midnight Dunkin Donuts runs. Watch the sunrise on the beach.

Try to soak in every moment.

At some point, you will be told that the hardest parts of letting go are the people you leave behind. This is only partially true.

The hardest parts are the people, yes; but they are the people who will move forward without you, perhaps in an opposite direction, into the callings that are their own lives. Because you never really leave any living, functioning being behind. You’re all continuously moving, and changing, and dreaming, and becoming the people that you were purposed to be.

Take comfort in familiar faces now, because there may be years and miles and experiences that you will not have in common.

But, oh, hold to those who matter. Write them letters and call (even though you hate the phone) and plan reunions and stick to those plans. Because somewhere down the line, you will forget the way you fell on the ice outside of Pizza Hut with your hands inside the pockets of your pea coat, and you will need someone to remind you.


  1. Hi there! Thanks so much for stopping by and for your sweet comment :)

    Loving these tips. You are oh so right!

  2. this is absolutely amazing and beautifully written . love love love this.

  3. What a wonderful list! So so true! (Especially the Facebook boys...!)

  4. i love this. so much of it is true. i only wish we had dunkin donuts in san diego (boo!) and that i took your advice not to wear sweatpants to class.


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