Welcome to CU Boulder, everyone. Hopefully everyone is adjusting to their new lives nicely, and for those of you out-of-staters that just recently flew out to Colorado, welcome your lungs to the wonderfully punishing Rocky Mountain Atmosphere! Ready for the next four years of your life to take you places you never imagined? Need some helpful tips along the way? Keep reading for 8 things I learned as a freshman at CU Boulder!
So… you’re finally a freshman at CU Boulder. Congratulations!
Are you ready, likely even for the first time in your life, to really question what you’d like to do with the rest of your life? You better be, and I implore you to never settle until you’re satisfied with your answer, because your safety net just drove away in their Subaru Impreza crying about their babies going to college. Now you’re all alone in Colorado. (Unless you’re from in-state, but even then you’re still alone… in Colorado.) Any help you receive from here on out has one and only regulator- yourself.
1. This University was designed with students in mind, and as such they are here to help you in every way they can.
Take advantage of the psychological assistance, the medical resources, and the guiding lights provided in the CU teachers and staff. The help you need may not always be the help you want, so never be afraid to push yourself to the limits. Take every opportunity presented to you as a learning endeavor; the more painful the endurance- the greater the reward. You’re achieving future will thank you for smashing through your ceiling.
2. Most importantly though, this school is here to show you what you’re made of.
So rest easy assured that anything you achieve from here on out wasn’t given- it was earned. Invest your energy into equal parts striving for success and accepting your mistakes. Bask in the joy of freedom, but remain ready to compose yourself in order to handle the next obstacle. Wear your failure like a badge on your chest, to show how much you’ve grown and learned from your shortcomings. There’s a reason the most grisly war veterans are able to tell such valiant stories; in that line of work you’re stuck with your mistakes, and your very survival is your success.
3. The only unforgivable mistake you can make is not trying.
However, this isn’t war and you aren’t a soldier. You’ve made the (rather intelligent) decision to make a living with your brain not your brawn, and you’re in a safe place for failure. That’s why your education, and the ideals this university strives to promote, allow you to grow and to learn. The forgivable mistakes you make here are setting you up to know better in the future, and the only unforgivable mistake you can make is not trying. So let the road to your future of success be paved by the ignorance of your past, and not blocked by the pot-holes of self-doubt. (It may be time to get off the street analogy…)
4. Inevitably, not everyone going to university will believe in your success as much as you do.
How much of an asshole you are will determine how much you attract assholes; but your college experience will be littered with them around every turn anyway so just get used to shrugging it off. Wisdom beyond my years tells me the majority of adults, not just at Boulder but across the country, simply always remain in the high school drama mindset for the rest of their lives.
5. People have congregated from across the nation and across the world to form the University of Colorado Boulder freshman class.
We are from every walk of life, and every type of thinking. Making friends on campus is a variable experience though, no matter what anyone else tells you. People who you’ve never met before will come up to you and start talking like you’re old buds, asking your major and where you’re from, which can make it exceedingly easy to start a friendship on only the most basic of similarities. You came up to me so you think I’m approachable, we’re both from Will-Vill, and you have the same water bottle as me? That’s three for three– you and I are hanging out later.
6. Be outgoing, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes sometimes.
I’m sure by now you’ve seen at least a few upper classmen riding around campus blaring music and having a great time. Do you think it matters to them how other people view them? Have you yourself quietly thought ‘there’s where I want to be in 2 years’ as they passed by just teeming with confidence?
7. Strive to be anything you want to be, the only one who can hold you back is yourself.
If you’re like me and you’ve had this seemingly unattainable image you have of yourself in the back of your head for years, this is now the time to make that person happen. That person is a multitude of personality and possibility. You can be whoever you want to be because you are only held back by the fear of becoming that thing. Really puts the whole ‘the only thing there is to fear is fear itself’ into practice when you believe in your own strength.
8. What you’re doing, rather than what others think of you, is all that matters.
No more walking around the halls like you’re all that, because people are mostly just doing their own thing and won’t notice your swag. Which is good because it’s so much more comfortable to dress, exercise facial expressions, and talk to yourself in public at will. Most importantly though, drop the act; you’ll find that focusing on what you’re doing, rather than what others are thinking of you will be a much easier and better use your time.
Take this moment as a starting point and wipe everything from your before life clean. All the really matters, and all that will really ever mater, is your future. Have fun.