An Open Letter To Incoming College Freshmen

Editor's note: The following article is by Florham Campus senior Emily Potrzuski and originally appeared in The Odyssey. Potrzuski is majoring in communication studies.

Welcome to the best four years of your life!

Dear Freshmen,

emily1Well first off, I would like to start out saying: congratulations! You finally graduated high school and you are about to embark on the best four years of your life and I am being completely honest when I say that. Contrary to popular belief, everybody at college does not hate you. You might hear things like "Stupid freshman," but believe me, we've all been there and we've all been that stupid freshman. Don't fear though, freshman year was a wonderful time of my life. The building blocks of my college career.

I remember my freshman year like it was yesterday. I can still remember every emotion, sight, sound, and smell when I first stepped onto campus. The fear, excitement and anxiety was nothing that I have ever felt before. Anticipating your first day of class is scary, but there is nothing better. You meet new people every day, your parents aren’t around to boss you around, you’re taking classes that are somewhat enjoyable, and you make up your own schedule. Being a college freshman is amazing, however, you don’t often notice it until it’s over, or you’re getting ready to start your senior year of college.

Truthfully, I would go back and do it all over again. This isn’t because I am unhappy with choices I have made, but because I wish I could do it all just one more time. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve made my fair share of mistakes, whether it be going out instead of studying for an exam, drank one too many drinks, or binge watching Netflix way too much.

Three years ago as I sat in your shoes, graduating college seemed like a lifetime away. It, unfortunately, is not and it goes by in a blink of an eye. The best advice that I can give you is to live your freshman year of college to the fullest because you don’t get a redo. See an organization that looks cool? Join it. Want to take a class that has nothing to do with your major? Do it. Want to join a sorority or fraternity? Rush it. Want to be in a play? Audition for it. Don't like your major as much as you thought you would? Change it. My point is, you never know until you try. Break out of your comfort zone, it’s the best thing that I ever did.

College truly is what you make it and your freshman year is the building block for how the next several years are going to go. The easiest way to live college life to the fullest is to get involved. It is you who shapes the future of our sororities, our organizations, and our programs.

Just remember a few things. No one forces you to go to class, but that isn’t a reason to not go. Missing one class can really set you back, and plus you’re paying a ton of money to not go to class. College is not as easy as high school; I learned that one the hard way. So study. You are not going to get made fun of for staying in on a Tuesday night to study. Trust me, the library becomes your favorite place. The freshman 15 is a real thing. Ice cream, French fries, and cookies all seem good until you come home and half of your winter wardrobe doesn’t fit. If you want to eat those cookies and French fries, exercise. It’s okay to go to the gym. Don’t spend hours binge-watching Netflix when you have homework to do. Netflix isn’t going to help you get an A in Organic Chemistry. And most importantly, don’t forget to have fun!


Someone who was once in your shoes