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Advice for Soon-to-Be College Freshmen (From a Soon-to-Be College Sophomore)

A college sophomore offers advice to incoming freshmen through relatable lyrics to The Head and the Heart's song, "Rivers and Roads."

The summer before your first year of college is a roller coaster of emotions. I’m sure you’re excited to be done with high school but hesitant to leave your favorite teachers and old friends behind. You’re ready for some freedom but scared of all the change and responsibility that comes with it. It’s fun to shop for your dorm room, but what if you forget something?

Freshmen year is going to be great, believe me. But it’ll also be difficult, which is something not many people talk about. I remember hearing over and over again how excited I should be for the “best four years of my life.” I want to share some pointers to help with some aspects of next year that may prove to be challenging. I think the best way to do so is with a little help from The Head and the Heart and their song “Rivers and Roads.”

“A year from now we’ll all be gone. All our friends will move away, and they’re going to better places. But our friends will be gone away.”

The time to leave for college is rapidly approaching. You are most likely not going to the same college as every one of your friends. It can be hard to think about not seeing these people every day, as you’re used to. It will take some adjustment. However, I remember feeling excited to meet new people and experience new things. Hang on to those feelings. Enjoy these last months spent at home with your friends. Sure, you can reminisce and feel sad. But don’t forget to look forward to what is ahead for everyone. Pushing yourself and your friends to start fresh will be beneficial in the long run.

“Nothing is as it has been, and I miss your face like hell. I guess it’s just as well, but I miss your face like hell.”

The first few months of college can get a bit lonely. You can’t really call your best friend at two in the morning to take a drive with you anymore. I was surprised with how much I missed my old friends. Even though you’ll be surrounded by people all the time, you still might feel alone. Embrace these feelings and let them motivate you to put yourself out there and meet new people. On the other hand, don’t be afraid to call your friends from home to catch up—continue to foster those relationships. Closeness to new people will come, but it might take a while. Be patient and let your older friendships guide you there.

“Been talking ‘bout the way things change, and my family lives in a different state. If you don’t know what to make of this, then we will not relate.”

Take the time to reflect on all the changes that begin to happen around you. You’ll probably find yourself talking to your new friends about how different life is now. You might be living far from home, and even if you aren’t, you will start to realize the new independence you have grown into. Give yourself credit where it is due!

“Rivers and roads, rivers and roads, rivers ‘til I reach you.”

Ultimately, remember this upcoming journey is for you. And the experience will be different for everyone. Use this new setting to find the person you want to be. Try new things. Talk to new people. Do something that scares you. Find something to be passionate about. It will all be worth it—I promise.

Related: Freshmen Year Survival Tips: The Ultimate Collection of College Advice

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advice for freshmen college freshmen high school seniors incoming freshmen Rivers and Roads song lyrics The Head and the Heart

About Megan Rosta

Megan Rosta is a freshman at Loyola University who loves to read, write, and explore the city in her free time. She eats too much chocolate, aspires to become best friends with the cast of New Girl, and is constantly sleep deprived.


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