Words by Kiana Duncan

Despite how awesome college is and how empowered you may feel being independent, we are all capable of being victims of post-semester regrets. You didn’t become an Olympian with the skin of Kim Kardashian and the hair of a mermaid. You didn’t go to the gym every day and do the Pinterest clean eating challenge while crafting on your caffeine-free diet, you basic. You didn’t graduate with honors while somehow completing two internships and scoring a sweet job to provide for your family of four. You’re only a freshman, after all.

Wait, you in the back, what did you say? Oh, you did? Wow, Tiffany, you can leave. Bye.

So you’re feeling

jealous. “Dude, that girl is so freaking cool. No, I know. The one with the perfect makeup who’s going out with all the people you want to be friends with. She’s totally awesome and is probably rich and…” Woah, hold on a minute, baby freshman. You don’t know that. She could be struggling to pay for school and wants to go out all the time to forget about the fact that she may not be here next semester. And that super attractive guy with the huge muscles that seems to get all the girls? Maybe he has a terrible personality or, even worse, a tiny… smoking habit. Size doesn’t matter when it comes to smoking habits. Even the tiniest one is pretty gross.

like you didn’t do enough. You’re running around campus like crazy while working in a lab, writing four articles a week for kentwired.com, working 20 hours and taking 16 credit hours, and somehow it still doesn’t feel like enough. You should have joined the National Residence Hall Honorary. You should have written more articles. You should have become president of every club while curing cancer and becoming a YouTube sensation. Bro, chill. Take a step back. Think about every incredible thing you’ve accomplished so far and realize that not everyone could do that. I promise, when the school year is over, you’re going to be amazed that you did all that you did on such little sleep. You think Troy, the former “rapper” of Shadyside High School who now works at a gas station, could have done that? Of course he couldn’t; he has a toddler for crying out loud.

like you didn’t make enough friends. This was something I always felt so paranoid about as a freshman. I would be super content with all the friends I did have, and then boomI’d see a tweet or picture about some club I wasn’t a part of and instantly felt like I was missing out on a million new friends. Stop. Realize that there are 25,000 students here and you literally cannot be friends with them all. It is not possible. Don’t let it stop you from telling the awesome guy next to you in class that you enjoy his puns immensely and would like to be his best friend. Because that’s weird. Play it cool.

like your freshman year wasn’t everything it was supposed to be. Lord, if I could go back and tell myself what I know now. If someone sees her walking around, please tell her where Prentice Hall is. Dumbass. What I needed to learn then was that your freshman year belongs to you. It doesn’t belong to any of the girls on Instagram. It doesn’t belong to your parents, your advisor, your boyfriend or your roommate. It’s yours, and that means that if knitting on a night in with a mug of tea is what you want to do, do it. If you want to have a movie night with your friends and get a little wild and order some fries, I’ll keep an eye out for my invitation in the mail. If that sounds boring and you want to get so drunk that you forget how much your parents hate your major, have at it. (Disclaimer: PleasebesafeIloveuouguyssomuchdontbedumb.) My point is that if you’re feeling some regret, look at the times you truly had fun and stay true to yourself. Not, “I stayed in for my roommate,” or, “I went out because I had FOMO,” but really enjoyed yourself.

like you made some bad judgement calls. You thought you wanted to go to medical school. You thought you and your socially awkward roommate were going to be best friends. You thought you wanted to be a dentist. You decided to drink an entire bottle of bourbon in one sitting, and your friends almost called 911. (Let’s play a fun game called “Which one of these applies to Kiana?”) So you made some bad judgement calls. You adopted a cat. You ate an entire pizza in one sitting. (OK, I take that one back. That was for love. As in, I love pizza.) My motto? Live and learn. Now, I will never do one of those unspecified activities again.

like you didn’t stand out. Especially in majors that are super competitive, it is pounded into you to stand out. For example, sometimes I get wild and print my resume on nice paper. This can feel really hard, especially when you’re a super average white girl who is literally so white, her heritage is Canadian (In case you haven’t figured it out, we’re talking about me. Everything is about me.) But that doesn’t mean that you don’t have a way to make yourself notable. People are always really nice and use phrases like “super hungry,” “aggressive” and “why are you like this?” to describe me. So now I tell employers I’m strong-willed. Everybody winsexcept my stomach; I’m still hungry.

like no one likes you. To be the newbie in any situation, especially in a residence hall or club, is a fast track way to feeling alone. You start to second guess yourself. Was that guy at the gym really giving you a weird look or was it because you don’t know how to use this machine and your head is where your crotch should be? Does that girl hate you or is it because you dropped your omelette on the ground and ate it anyway? No one hates you; it’s just that sometimes they think you’re a little weird. Just find other weird people. Just find the girl who eats peanut butter straight out of the jar during class. Oh hey, that’s me.

like a complete wreck, every second of the day. Like right this second. Like I swear if someone looks at me I’m hitting the ground. During freshman year, I was a constant wreck every day. In case no one guessed, I’m not really a 7:45 a.m. person as much as a midnight to 3 a.m. person who thinks one in the afternoon is a reasonable time to wake up. Needless to say, I was constantly a trainwreck and was in sweatpants with no makeup to the point where people started complimenting me if I wore normal people clothes. Chin up: you still have three more years to prove that you’re not a mess. Unfortunately, every time I see people from freshman year, it’s always a time when I’m having a meltdown. Dammit.

like I don’t know what to expect next year. Freshman year isn’t everything. Actually, it’s pretty small in the grand scheme of things. By sophomore year, you already have an established friend group, usually a major you love and most importantly, self-confidence. You aren’t constantly double-checking to make sure you don’t want to go out. You don’t have a serious case of FOMO. You’re pretty happy with who you are, and you aren’t nervous and apprehensive about trying new things. Don’t get me wrong, you’re still awkward as hell and a bumbling idiot almost all the time. You still have a super weird eating and sleeping schedule, and you tell awful jokes. But, you know, less.

Check yourself. If you enjoyed this blog and are feeling much less sad and overwhelmed, my name is Kiana Duncan, and you can contact my editor to tell her what a great person I am.

If not, my name is Steve from AAA, and to be honest, I’ve just kind of been ruining everything lately. Please blame me for all your problems because someone named Kiana said it would make you feel better. I don’t know her, but I hear she’s awesome.