10 Things I Wish I Could Have Told My First-Year Self

Written by: Katie Cassin

When I started my first year of University, I was pretty disappointed in myself. I spent a lot of time sulking over what I was doing and how it didn’t feel quite right or how my future didn’t look as exciting as it once did. It was a horrible feeling, and I didn’t ever think I would get over it.  I haven’t completely gotten over it, and I don’t think anyone ever does, but I know now that that feeling doesn’t stay for long.

The first year or two of University is an exciting time in any student’s life, but I know from my own experience that it can also be one of the most anxiety provoking, uncertain, and scariest times of someone’s life. It’s hard to go through these times when all you see are the good things that friends from high school tell you or post on social media about how fantastic their life after high school is, but like I said, these hard times don’t last forever. And if you’re a student going through this right now, please believe me when I say that IT DOESN’T LAST FOREVER.

I had to find my way to this place where I feel better and happier in. It took a lot out of me, and it took a while to get here, but I think I finally did. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change a thing about how or when I got here, but I often think about how I wish I knew a few things when I was going through these rough times to know that it does get better. So these are a handful of the things that I wish someone would have told me 3 or 4 years ago, and really listened to. And maybe–just maybe, if you are going through something similar, you might just listen too.

  1. Stop panicking about not getting through every reading. Don’t get me wrong, doing your readings is important, but your mental health comes first.
  2. Don’t workout to lose weight, go to stay sane.
  3. Speaking of the gym, just go already. Sure it might be a little scary and intimidating at first, but nobody is judging you (and if they are that’s their problem, not yours).
  4. Your friend group can change during your time as a student. You change a lot over 4 years, and that doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
  5. It’s okay to admit that you don’t know what you want to do with your life. Although you may not realize it, most people around don’t know either, no matter how confident they appear.
  6. Be okay with who you are and where you’re at.
  7. Don’t get a haircut every time you need a change.
  8. It’s okay to admit that a certain place isn’t right for you.
  9. Stop letting the words and actions of others keep you from being happy.
  10. Having alone time doesn’t have to be lonely.

Although I wish I knew these things then, I don’t think I would have listened. I know now that I had to go through a little heartache in order to get to where I am and where I’m going. I don’t have it figured out in any way, and I know that I have a new list of ten coming in almost every day. Still, it’s nice to look back and see the changes I have made for the better.

What are some things that you would have liked to tell your first year self?

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