Nathanial Garrod

A Letter to Freshman Me

I’ve had a lot on my mind lately about college. Especially considering the whole “I’m studying student development” thing. So I decided to write a letter to my past self to stop him from making a few key mistakes, and help guide his way. Maybe some of these thoughts will be useful to you too, dear reader.

Dear Past Nathan,

Congratulations! You just moved into your first Residential Hall room! That’s exciting. Yes, it’s a Residential Hall. Not a dorm. Never say the d-word. It’s gross and inaccurate.

First off, get rid of those gross pants. The ones that are too long to be shorts and too short to be pants? Yeah, no one takes you seriously when you’re wearing them. You know this. You can’t even take yourself seriously, can you? Go buy another pair of pants or shorts or both to replace them. If you go to Ross it’ll only cost you like, $15.

Go to church. Yes, it’s imperfect. It’s a bunch of imperfect humans gathering in the name of a perfect God. It’s going to be imperfect. But fellowship and service are more important than your self-righteous protest of “hypocrisy.” I don’t care if no one greets you. Greet them.

Speaking of which, have more self confidence. You are unique and awesome. People will love you for who you are. Just be that person.

Stop worrying about girls. I’ll tell you what happens; four years later, you’re still single. It’s not worth the drama, the pressure, the frustrations, the friends you’ll lose and the people you’ll upset. So stop caring about it. Instead, focus on making yourself more awesome. Remember that when you’re dating a girl, it’s important to you that her friends and family like you. The relationship is going to suck if they don’t.

Find some time to do something physically active. Don’t be intimidated by the rec center or athletic people. Be consistent. Work out like it’s your job. You may not need it now, but you will in the next four years, and it’s never too early to get ahead.

Get involved. You know this, and you’re going to do this no matter what I say. The friends you’ll make are some of the most amazing, incredible, talented, passionate people at Sonoma State.

You’re going to graduate with a 3.7 or something like that. Which is awesome. Maybe if you open a book or two every now and then and actually try in your GE classes you can get a 3.85 or above. Which would be cool. And will help you when you get to grad school.

Oh yeah, you’re going to grad school. It’s a thing. It’s happening. This is your chance to prepare for it. It’s going to be a lot of work. If you don’t prepare your study skills now, your first semester is going to suck. Going along with that, learn how to use your planner. Make it your best friend. You have a free one in that bag over there. Use it, please. For both of us. Don’t embarrass yourself later this year by scheduling 3 things at the same time regularly.

Just relax. It’ll be okay. Don’t try to make things happen. Follow your heart, and do the things you believe in. You have a tendency to be right. Don’t get too caught up in your feelings. There’s a difference between following your heart and getting caught up in your feelings. And the drama you always complain about? Just step back. Let people be people. Drama is part of the human experience. You’ll never escape it, you just need to stop worrying about it.

A few last things: Go to bed before 2am. Midnight is okay. But make sure it’s before 2am. Wake up before 10am. I don’t care if it’s 9am. As long as it’s before 10. Life is short and so are the days. Sunlight is good for you. The cafeteria isn’t is bad as everyone says it is. Neither is eating alone. Don’t spend as much money going out to meals. You’ll need it for other things later.

Finally: going to see Beowulf in IMAX 3D isn’t going to be as cool or notable as you think it is. It’s a terrible film, IMAX is overwhelming and 3D is not the way of the future.

Okay, that’s all I can think of for now.

Good Luck!

Future Nathanial

One Comment on “A Letter to Freshman Me

  1. Paul
    February 5, 2012

    I’m in my final year at Uni and losing my way a little. This is a great idea, I think I may give it a go.

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This entry was posted on February 5, 2012 by in Events, Memories, Thoughts.
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