Standing in the middle of Temple’s campus, you’re confused — you wonder how you’ll learn the streets, whether you’ll meet friends, how many times you’ll change your major if you can even figure out what to declare in the first place.
Maybe Temple is your first choice. Maybe it’s your safety school. Either way, it isn’t so much about where you go – it’s about what you do, who you become and the people you meet along the way.
I was in your shoes just one year ago, and I can say with a fair degree of certainty that the confusion you’re feeling as you embark on your college career doesn’t quite go away.
During my freshman year, I learned more than I had my entire life before ever thinking about Temple. Yes, what you learn in class is important, but it does not compare to what you learn outside.
One of the biggest realizations I came to this year is that as college students, we are supposed to be confused. Your freshman year is about embracing change, not resisting it.
My first year has been one of the best years of my life, but also one of the most difficult.
I fell in love with my major, and figured out what I want to do with my life. I learned a work ethic.
I explored every corner of the city that has always been my home and realized my roots here.
I met friends who now know me better than I know myself and who accept me unconditionally. I had my heart broken, and I learned to let go of the past and say goodbye. Letting things change can sometimes be the scariest thing in the world.
You’ll do all of these things, whether you choose to do them at Temple or elsewhere.
I didn’t believe that college would change me at all – I couldn’t see it then, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. As you finish your first two semesters, remember who you were when you visited colleges, and you will realize that you’re different, too.
It won’t be easy, but when you look back at the end of the year, you’ll realize you’ve accomplished so much – not only academically, but also personally.
For all the heartache that comes with growing up, you will look back and realize that you are that much better for it.
If your world does not feel flipped upside down when you get to college, then you’re missing out. Be confused – you aren’t alone. This is how it’s supposed to feel, so embrace it.
Best of luck beginning this chapter of your life. You won’t be disappointed.
Morgan A. Zalot can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.