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Dear freshman(self)

February 3rd, 2016

After a series of unfortunate events and an immense amount of emotional thoughts, I finally found myself settled on my couch with a steady heartbeat of 62 beats per minute (thanks Fitbit),wondering what to write for this week’s column.

I soon received a text from someone very close to my heart that read, “Just graduate and have fun the remaining semester!” We were discussing future plans and endeavors, but he brought me back down to earth and forced me to recall that this is it. I’m on the homestretch, and I have to welcome every moment of the day with open arms.

Although the past few weeks have been down and up and down again, I found myself reflecting on how small those anxieties truly are in the grand scheme of things.

To my freshman self, worrying about the little things is a complete waste of time.

I remember calling my sister, two weeks into freshman year, crying over something as simple as thinking my roommate was angry with me. Well, she was, but I survived, and so did she.

In the end, it isn’t going to be about the small fights and clashing emotions; it’s going to be about the resolutions.

My freshman roommate is a strong and beautiful individual, and through our adversities we became two people who trust one another. Although we do not see each other as much as our days living in the original Murphy Hall, I truly believe that her and I will maintain a relationship after graduation.

I decided to expand this conversation to my housemates and others who were in our home at the time. I asked, “If you had a chance to speak to your freshman self, what would you say?” The answers were both lighthearted and funny while maintaining a certain sincerity we could all relate to.

Luke Baird, a student at Kent State University and a good friend of mine, said he would tell his freshman self, “Don’t be an idiot.” I laughed in response, but it is so true! I was written up, not once, but FOUR times freshman year. I was such an idiot! My decisions as a new student immersed in the most independent and fun environment I had ever been a part of lead to repetitive sessions of Alcohol EDU and meetings with disciplinary figures. It was quite the first semester, but everything worked out in the end. And, no, I am not an alcoholic.

The conversation continued to move forward, and Sarah Milli, senior, responded with a cliché but entirely true remark. “Get more involved,” she said. “If you’re lonely in your dorm with no friends (giggles), get out and be a part of something.” Freshmen, listen to her! There is no point in wasting any time. Grab life by the horns and get out of your comfort zone. You won’t regret it.

Raechel Boyko, senior, embodies the idea of living for the moment. “You’ll never get the opportunity to be surrounded by your best friends morning, noon and night again,” she said. “Take it all in ­– every minute, of every semester, of every year, because four years come and go way too fast before it’s time to part ways!”

I guess everyone has their own advice they wish they would have known.

For the freshmen actually reading this, I hope you are enjoying all that this year has to offer. It’s important to learn from every event that hits you, even if it catches you off guard.

Embrace the uncertainties and live for the moment. When someone tells you time flies, they aren’t kidding.

As I approach the last few months of my senior year, I try not to look back on the small things that bombarded and attacked my conscience. Instead, I remember how I strove through adversity, took obstacles head on and built the best friendships I have ever had.

It’s been a ride, and as I coast downward toward the exit sign, know that that my experiences at John Carroll have been, and continue to be, worth every single thing I did not know as a freshman.