A Letter to My First-Year University Self

Written by: Billie Clark

Dear (First-Year) Billie,

Congratulations!  You are about to start your first year at TrentU Durham (well, I guess it was Trent Oshawa when you started—but, what’s in a name?)  I’m currently about to graduate from Trent, so I thought I’d write you this letter as an opportunity to reflect on my last four years of university.

A little over four years ago, now, I toured a couple of the schools that accepted my application to their institutions (I’m sure it’s still very fresh in your mind, past-me), and fell in love with the TrentU Durham campus and atmosphere.  In these past four years, my love for the campus, the staff, the students, and the atmosphere hasn’t changed.  The total student population of students is still lower than that of the high school I attended, and especially after spending a year at a large university, I love that fact.

The small class sizes, the small student population, and the friendly community of the campus will enable you to make some great, and lasting, friendships—even with students outside your major.  You should realize by around the end of first semester that you aren’t actually good at history classes, but you will still end up taking them into your second year, so just do your best!  After all, some of your best friends are History majors.

Billie, I am so proud of you for planning on studying abroad with Trent.  Keep on planning and talking to Craig, and work hard—the trip to Wales is worth every second of the effort to get there, and you will make even more friends once you’ve travelled!

If there is one piece of advice that I could give you, one thing I could have you change, it would be to start making friends sooner.  I know you’re shy when you meet new people (it still happened in third year, while in Swansea), but the friends you make part-way through first year are fantastic and you could have had that support right from day one.

So, once again, congratulations, past-Billie.  Enjoy your university career, get involved, and be yourself—it will be so great for you, and you will learn and grow so much.  You started to bloom in high school and these four years will give you even more opportunity to shine!

All the best,

(Present) Billie

PS

Dear Future Billie—congratulations on your acceptance to TrentU Dutham!  I hope your next year is as great as the first four!

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