One Year Down

Where did my first year go? It is so bittersweet to sit here and reminisce about all the memories I have of my freshman year at the University of Illinois. I can still remember my first day of classes when I had no idea what was going on, but I survived.

Freshman year has been both stressful and fun, making it the greatest time of my life. I have met people who will be my friends until the day I die, and I have started to make my stamp on this amazing university. My advice to anyone who attends college is this: Do not be complacent. Get out there and do whatever it is you want to do. I live by the phrase “work hard, play hard” because all hard work deserves to be met with a little bit of fun.

I really cannot believe that in a few months I will be in my second year at college living in an apartment with some of my best buddies. I have made some crazy decisions over the last year, but I can honestly say that I have no regrets. I applied to many schools before making my decision to attend Illinois, and wow, did I make the right decision. This place has become my home, maybe even more than my hometown is at this point.

College is different from high school in that people do not care where you came from or who you used to be. College changes you, and your friends will change along with you. So do not get too hung up if your high school friends do not have much in common with you anymore, because I promise there will be thousands of people at college who will. I can remember being so nervous about school last summer because I did not want to leave all of my friends and live on my own, but I did it and it was the best decision I have ever made.

So take a leap of faith and go to college with confidence, but do not be afraid to be a little naive. You are not the only one—I promise.

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