What would you tell your first-year self?

What would you tell your first-year self? Over the past three years there have definitely been times when I wish I could go back in time to tell my first-year self something.

a girl stands in front of a red brick building and smiles. beside her is a sign that says "st. hilda's"
pictured: my first year self on the day I moved into residence

Sometimes it’s something that I wish I could have reassured myself with (like “don’t worry if you don’t get into residence second year, you’re going to great a great apartment with your best friends”), and sometimes it’s something that I wish I had done in first year to save myself stress now (like taking all my breadth requirements in first year, or taking french because it will be important for grad school.) Sometimes I wish I could go back and let myself know that I’m going to really like a subject that hadn’t really been on my radar before (like Russian history) so that I can take more of it (I really wish I had taken Russian language because I would really like to do a masters in Russian history now).

In addition to those things that I would tell myself I asked a few people around campus what they would tell their first year selves.

girl poses for the camera

Hayley, third year: “Work hard but still allow yourself time to enjoy your university experience. At the end of the day, grades aren’t everything!”

guy wearing hat poses for the camera

Michael, third year: “Michael has no idea, he’s still a first-year at heart.”

a girl faces the camera and smiles while sitting in a cubicle at graham library

Jahaan, third year: “You don’t need to use other people around you as a measure for success; relying on your passion for something will help you thrive.”

guy wearing dog sweater poses for the camera

Ondiek, third year: “Don’t take courses that you aren’t passionate about for the “prestige,” listen to more Rihanna music, Floss your teeth.”

girl with sunglasses on poses for the camera

Katy, third year: “Don’t worry if you don’t stick to your original plan. You might find things that you’re more interested in that you hadn’t thought of!”

guy wearing sweater poses for the camera

Johnny, third year: “Be resourceful. Look into credit/no-credit for those courses you don’t know anything about… Trust me, it can really save your GPA. Also, when you have questions or you don’t know what you’re doing, just email your prof. You’ll suffer a lot less.”

 What about you? What would you tell your first-year self? What is something you wish you knew in first year?


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