Writing for The Burr Magazine has truly been an amazing opportunity that I encourage for all students regardless of their past writing experience. I first heard about The Burr from a friend who was involved with the magazine. After I had expressed interest in getting involved, she encouraged me to fill out an application. Today, I am so grateful that I took the chance and applied to become a part of this student-run magazine here at Kent State. The Burr is an amazing student-facilitated platform that encourages diversity, student involvement and the expression of ideas from all different types of students on campus.
When I began writing blogs at the beginning of the spring 2020 semester, I wanted to adhere to the theme of adjusting to college. As a college freshman, I knew first-hand how difficult adjusting to college had been, and I wanted to help others who may have felt the same way. Now, as the semester comes to a close, I wanted to write my last blog post in a style that is not only personable to myself, but also has the intention of shedding light to incoming college freshmen. With this letter, I hope incoming freshmen can relate to many of the aspects I was intimidated by when adjusting to college that will hopefully lessen their anxieties about beginning this wonderful new chapter in their lives.
Dear Past Self,
Look at you! Graduated from high school and ready to begin a very big chapter in your life — college. I know you feel so grown up now, but I also know you’re quite nervous to begin this new part of your life. From the future, I’m here to tell you not to be intimidated by this next step. Although college can seem quite daunting, it’s important for you to know that there are so many things that you’re worried about now that you will figure out with ease. So, let’s begin with some of your biggest worries.
Living away from home can seem scary at first, but it’s such an amazing opportunity to discover yourself. Away from your family, you’ll gain a new sense of independence and realize that you can do a lot of things all on your own. Moving into your dorm is definitely nerve-racking, but I can assure you, within your first week of moving in you’re going to be fully adjusted to living away from your family.
Now that you’re on campus, it can feel like such a big and scary place! I can assure you that it’s alright to not know where everything is located the minute you step on campus. The first few days, it can seem like you’ll never learn where all of the buildings are on campus. The best advice I can give you is what an upperclassman told me in the beginning of my first week, which is to (literally) get lost on campus. Grab a friend and begin exploring around! First, roam around your hall. Notice where bigger buildings, such as the library, are relative to where you live. After some time, you’ll slowly begin to piece together the campus. At the end of your first full month at school, you’ll know the campus like the back of your hand!
You’re also going to meet so many new and incredible people on this new journey, so don’t worry about making new friends. I can assure you the girl sitting next to you in class is just as nervous as you to talk to new people, so just say hello! It’s important to know that mostly every incoming college freshman is just as nervous as you are, so don’t feel intimidated by making small talk! Also, don’t doubt the importance of saying hello to people you may not know, holding doors for other people, or complimenting other people you see around. People appreciate this kindness!
Your freshman year in college is all about exploring new opportunities, meeting new people and discovering more about yourself. This new chapter can definitely be daunting, but don’t let it intimidate you too much. You’re going to learn so much about yourself and make some of the best memories that you’ve had so far. Invite this experience with open arms!
Your Future (Sophomore) Self
Lillianna DiFini is a first-year student at Kent State University studying communication studies with a concentration in relational and workplace communication. This semester, she is a blogger for The Burr Magazine and plans to focus much of her content on ways students can better adapt to college. After earning her bachelor’s degree, Lillianna plans to continue her education and earn her master’s degree in education to one day pursue a career in academic advising.