I hope you are all basking in the summer sun (or the winter one if you’re one of southern hemisphere friends). With school lurking right around the corner, I wanted to spend a hot minute talking about how to #crush freshman year*.

Now you’ve probably read countless articles about how you should join all the clubs that interest you and to not gain the fabled Freshman 15, and while that is all very important and worthwhile advice that you should 100% incorporate into your #crushing of freshman year, I wanted to talk about something a little different. And what is that something??

I am so glad you asked! Let’s talk about self doubt! How exciting, right?

In all honesty, though, this is something I (and friends) struggled with a fair bit our first year. Sometimes if gets a bit difficult to maintain that steadfast belief in yourself that you know you deserve, especially when you’re overwhelmed with new people and classes and dorms. So I wanted to give you guys a couple pointers that really helped my friends and me not lose sight of who we are.

  1. You are good enough for this school. I am going to repeat that once more for my peers in the back: YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH FOR THIS SCHOOL. Many a time I have heard my friends (and myself) joking that they got into this school by accident. I can honestly tell you that if any university accidentally let people in, they would probably get sued just way too many times (I think, I’m not a lawyer). Therefore, universities meticulously select students to admit, and make sure they send the right letters to everyone. So you did not get into this school by accident! You know how you’re just completely blown away by how amazing the people you meet at school are? Well, simply by the fact that you are at the same school as them, you are just as amazing! That’s a nice thought, isn’t it? Don’t forget it.

    me, hanging out with my friends who are all amazing

  2. Related to that, focus on what you’re passionate about. One of my biggest fears is waking up one morning when I am 30 and realizing that I lived my life to fulfill other people’s dreams. Discovering my passion for all things sustainability really helped me make sure I don’t do that. Whenever I felt lost, like I was following a goal that I didn’t really know if I still wanted, I would remember what I was doing it all for. I want to become an engineer so I can help less fortunate people deal with the problems caused by climate change. Once I remember that, I ask myself if what I am studying and working with right now will help attain that goal. As long as the answer is yes, I’ll be fine.

    me, doing something i am passionate about even though engineering and boots-on-the-ground environmental activism don’t really go hand-in-hand

  3. College changes you.¬†You’re going to be introduced to so many new people and ideas and fashion and food and everything, and you won’t be the exact same person after a bit.
    This is a good thing! Sometimes people who have wanted to become a lawyer from the day they first saw Suits go to college and soon want to make movies about lawyers instead. That is completely fine. Just do what you want, even if that is different from what your friends want. And stepping off the beaten path to boogie to the sound of your own kazoo is considered the best way to be an innovator, so you’re on the right path. Or rather, the right kazoo.

    me, sitting with my friends in an ENO, which i had never done before

I am really unsure if any of this was helpful. These are just things I like reminding myself whenever I feel a bit lost. I hope they help you, too! If they don’t, though, please take this song rec as my consolation.

*note: there is no correct way to “#crush freshman year”. it’s different for everyone. if you get through freshman year, you have by all accounts “#crushed it.