A Letter To My First Year At UMass

Dear UMass,

Coming into the second half of the second semester, I look back on my first year here and sight with relief. Not only have you been the demon that I wanted to run away from in many situations, but you’ve also become my home, and I wouldn’t want to trade you for anything else. During my time here, I’ve learned more about myself than I’ve ever thought possible. I can only hope that the people who are coming next semester have the same, or even better experience than I did.

When I first committed, I knew I liked you, but I compared it to a relationship that you’re not sure about committing to. You were attractive from the outside, and was the same school my current boyfriend went to. Nobody else at my old school was planning on committing there, either, and I was ready for a huge change beyond means. You definitely didn’t seem like Connecticut, and that difference in scenery was what I needed.

When I first came here, it was like a scene from a college fairy tale–well, if you like going to outdoor parties with thousands of strangers between the ages of 18 and 22, cuddling with the ex, and a sunny week in the mid-70’s. Needless to say, it was good while it lasted.

Unfortunately, there have been some times where I have been bombarded with stress. If I could give any advice to incoming freshman, it would be not to encourage such a hectic schedule. I thought I could handle it being that I did just that in high school, but when you take away the sheltered lifestyle that I lived back in Connecticut, you realize that you need to start taking care of yourself a lot more often, and that requires time and energy.

When I first moved out after Halloween Weekend, it was a memorable time for me. Not only had I just come out of a messy relationship, I was suffering academically because I hadn’t slept in my own bed during midterms week, and my friends suddenly took sides on a really horrible situation in my life. No matter what, though, I still had that support system of my sisters, which ultimately led me to not want to transfer out of here in the first place.

Looking back at my experience, I have learned that adulthood is hard–not only will you get used to budgeting your time and money according to what’s the most important in life, but you’ll start to realize that high school was uber-sugarcoated. People can be mean in life, and because college is the first taste of freedom for a lot of people, you might realize the personality of someone you knew in high school wasn’t their genuine personality.

I would advise incoming college students to do the following: follow your heart while still trying to become an adult. In college, if you choose something that might not be the best choice for you, you no longer have your parents to confide in. When you have a bad day or make a bad choice, it’s up to you to deal with it in whichever way you feel. Just make sure it’s a good one.

As always, xoxo.



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