A letter from graduation me, to freshers' me
Right now, you are probably busy with signing up to all the societies, going to all the events and trying at the same time to stay on track with the uni work. Ah, I wish I still had that kind of energy. Not all of those things that seem super-important to you right now will be part of all your university journey, but that’s okay, you’ll learn where your heart is and how to let go when things are not quite right. Do hold onto that starry-eyed enthusiasm though – it will carry you through the times when you’ll feel like things are getting a little out of hand.
Right now, you’re also probably worrying whether you will fit into this new, unfamiliar world: whether there is a place for you in this vast and diverse landscape of people and interests. The short answer is yes, there is. The slightly longer answer is that it won’t be the same throughout your degree as you’ll find new interests and meet new people; it will morph and adjust with you. It is a change that sometimes will happen organically and other times more consciously. More importantly, this won’t come to you by sheer force of luck – you'll go out there, find it or create it for yourself. And yes, it is all worth it – some of those friendships will, fortunately, be there to stay.
Not to give you more spoilers about the journey ahead, but you did make it to graduation day. And what a journey. The finish line is probably not on your mind right now as you get comfy in your new room in halls, but it will be. You’ll get to celebrate all the hard work and sacrifices that you’ve put in. I wish I could tell you that self-doubt and worry are not going to poke their head out along the way, but we both know that would be just wishful thinking. They will visit you sometimes, with a knack of picking unfortunate timings. However, I trust you to not let them move in and unpack. Instead, you’ll thank them for reminding you how important the university experience is for you, and politely see them out.
Though in all fairness, there is no advice I could or should give you, other than to believe, to genuinely believe that you are more resilient than anything that university or life, in general, will throw at you. Because it will come in various ways: in the form of a grade, you didn’t expect despite a lot of hard work, in the form of anxiety and feeling like you don’t belong or in the form of things you couldn’t have possibly anticipated. Nevertheless, to that I say, as many times as necessary: you’ve got this. You’ve got this.
Oh, the places you’ll go...
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