Lara’s Declassified Freshman Survival Guide: My End of Year Reflections As My Freshman Fall Closes

Lara Coby ’26

Staff Writer

I am one of the very few people on this Earth that really loves to look within and write. I love telling people my stories when I know they can relate to them, and as my freshman fall semester is beginning to close, I am wrapping up and putting a bow on the year 2022 and all of the things it taught me. 

I found out Holy Cross decisions were coming out in the living room of my sister’s London apartment. I traveled there as a graduation gift and was expecting a relaxing, adventurous time, until I screamed bloody murder which caused her to panic. The minute I got into Holy Cross a few days later, I truly will never forget the tears that I shed, the jumping up and down with my mom in the kitchen, and the certainty that I had knowing I was going to be a Crusader. I looked back at getting rejected from my dream school during the Early Decision round and all the decisions leading up knowing that everything had worked out the way it was supposed to. After that day, I could not wait to go to college. I remember sitting in my room after my long school days just thinking about being in Worcester. I did all the cheesy post High School essentials. I went to prom with my best friend, I graduated in my cap and gown, spent my last few moments with my closest friends just trying to cherish what little time we had together, and shared tears of excitement with my family. My transition in Worcester has not been an easy one, but what I have learned is something I will carry with me for the rest of my life, and they go as follows:

  1. It is okay to be scared.

Three days leading up to my arrival in Worcester, I had come down with a “stomach bug.” My mom kept asking me if it was nerves, but how could I be nervous? I was so excited to go to college, there was no reason for me to be. The truth is that my mom was right and I was petrified. I only realized this when it was time to move in and all I wanted to do was crawl into a shell. I was terrified of the unknown that came with moving away. Would I make friends? Would people like me? These were all questions that were attached to me being insecure of myself and afraid of failure. To people struggling with this, my advice is that freshman year is all about trial and error. We make mistakes because we have never done this before. We are meeting new people and trying new things, we will not be perfect at everything. Your feelings are completely valid. Give yourself some grace and some time to adjust to your new lifestyle.

  1. Good friends come in time.

I have struggled with the anxiety of making friends my entire life. I am a more introverted person, but coming to Holy Cross I realized how much I love meeting new people and especially connecting with ones who are just like me. The friends that you make now will probably not be the friends you have when you graduate. Being a freshman means putting yourself out there, and if you are trying your best and still have found yourself without a “friend group,” know that there is nothing wrong with you. Good people take time to come into your life. Remember this: you don’t want decent friends, you want the people that will watch you get married and will be called “aunt” or “uncle” by your kids. Additionally, know that you are in the same boat as everyone else. This is continuously something I struggle with as a freshman, thinking I am all alone and that nobody relates. In reality, so many people do and they just aren’t saying anything. They just post their highlights on social media and pretend that everything is okay.

  1. Adjusting to a new lifestyle can be hard, but it is not impossible.

The premise of college is being thrown into a world where you have to care for yourself when your parents have been doing so your whole life. We are still teenagers and we will continue to make mistakes, but the key to finding harmony in these unknown times is to find parts of your day that you can schedule. Make time for resting (whether that is going on your phone or even taking a nap) or for doing things that you love. You can set time to go to the gym, eat a meal with friends, or call your parents just to see how everything is going. Having a daily routine, whether it is complete or not, is vital to creating normalcy in a setting where it seems impossible to find. 

  1. It is okay to not be okay and what is meant to be will always be.

If you don’t read any of my points, at least read this one. This is a trying time for everyone, and if you find yourself struggling with mental health and becoming unhappy, know that everything will work out with time. I know it is easier said than done and this is still an idea that I am trying to learn, but whatever is meant for you will never pass you by. College is a time for figuring out who we are and what we want to do. We are still learning things about ourselves every single day, so give yourself some grace if you find yourself struggling. This is not an easy adjustment, but I promise you that everything will work out. With that being said, do not be afraid to reach out for help if you truly need it and prioritize self care while all of these new changes are coming. My most favorite song ever is Vienna by Billy Joel, so in the words of the legend himself, Vienna waits for you.

Photo courtesy of IBDb

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