Dear Class of 2019,
Congratulations! With your summer coming to a rapid close and your first day of college around the corner, it's hard to believe that 6 years ago, I was standing in your shoes and experiencing everything you're possibly feeling. I'm guessing that you're: excited, happy, nervous and scared. I want you to know that everyone from the upperclassmen to the graduated alumni have all felt those SAME emotions and I want you to know that it's going to be okay.
I really can't give you advice on how to survive college because your journey will be uniquely different than mine, however this is what I can tell you:
Pay attention to your grades. Pay attention to your assignments. Pay attention to your financial aid. Pay attention to your circle of friends. Pay attention to what's happening in the world. Essentially what I'm saying is STAY WOKE. In college, no one will be there to hold your hand to make sure you're making the best decisions in life. Yes, I'm sure mom and dad will be checking in on you, but it's essentially YOUR responsibility to stay on top of things. You're a mini-adult now so stay on top of your stuff.
Get out there and try new things! Take an elective that you find interesting. Join the basketball team. Go to the cafe and try the "special" of the day. Go the art exhibit in the library. Do something out the norm that you would never do, you may find that you like it, or you may find that you hate it. There no better place than college to experiment and learn about new things, and the plus side: most of it is "free" (free meaning it was included in your tuition). Get out of your box and learn about new things and meet new people. You're paying for this stuff anyways so take advantage of the resources around you and utilize them.
Live in the Moment
Above anything else: live in the moment. I know it seems like a long time from now but your college years will fly by and you'll start to regret everything you didn't do. Don't worry about what's going to happen after graduation, live for today. Enjoy your time now and above all have fun.
The next 4 (or 5) years will be the most exciting, challenging and rewarding years of your life. You will walk away from your institution with lifelong friends and battle scars that show the world that you're maturing, growing and learning. You will experience the joy of getting an email from a professor telling you class is cancelled and the unnecessary stress of pulling an all-nighter. You will get rejected, played and talked about, but you'll survive and come out stronger. You will encounter unique people with incredible backgrounds that will shape the way you view the world for the rest of your life. You will have deliriously happy days and extremely frustrating days. You will experience all of this, and in the moment you'll hate it but I promise in 4 (or 5) years when you're walking across that stage, you'll look back and do it all over again.
So good luck to the class of 2019. It's a jungle out here in the real world, so enjoy these next years as much possible.
Wishing you all the best!