TO THE COLLEGE FRESHMAN | BY RAINE RIVAS & KARMELLA TAPIA

Summer break is supposed to be just that: a break. As a senior high graduate, chances are you’ve been looking forward to this blissful vacation/reward for a very long time. Well then, you should be feeling relaxed, right? …At least until you notice the fast approaching first day of freshman orientations on your phone calendar. And then get hit by the realization that you’re going to be the new kid surrounded by strangers in an unfamiliar environment again. Oh, and that you’ll be handling a college-level workload complete with college-level expectations of independence. Plus a dozen more changes to your high school-set routines.

Are you anxious yet? Well, if you are, you’re in good company.
Hi. We’re Karmella and Raine, a dynamic duo of Talang Dalisay editors, and yes, we’re fresh high school graduates. Are we worried about entering college? Definitely.

K: I’m worried about having to get out of my comfortable social circles in awkward attempts to make friends. I’ve quite literally forgotten how to initiate conversations with strangers.
R: And I’m scared of becoming complacent. I’m terrified of waking up one morning and realizing that I’ve been letting college pass me by… I don’t want to just be cruising through college—I want to experience it fully and be satisfied with what I’ll be doing.

We all have our own sets of worries. So if thinking about the upcoming school year makes you feel queasy and stressed, you should know: Your worry is completely natural and valid. In fact, it’s not just you who’s freaking out. Major change is a widely-acknowledged reason to be scared and doubtful. Change is scary, and so are the uncertainty and instability that tend to follow in its wake! Chances are, your world’s gonna shift 180°, and we can all agree— that’s a big deal. So, the big, looming question is: what do we do with all that worry? (And how do we save our summer from that ominously encroaching cloud of fear?)

We find that widening one’s perspective of what’s to come can do wonders for transforming a negative mindset.

First off: we’re well aware of the fact that we’ll be surrounded by strangers and saying goodbye to our respective barkadas (“No!” an inner voice screams. “High school is forever!”). This sounds pretty terrifying, but we can’t ignore all the possibilities of meeting amazing new people. Strangers? More like a ton of future friends.

It’s possible that most of us have forgotten what it’s like to be the new kid—nervous, self-conscious, and brimming with the simple worry that you won’t have anyone to sit with. Remember this, though: Everyone else will probably be just as nervous as you. Every person you’ll see in that freshie orientation room will likely want to make friends too. Don’t sweat it too much. But in the event that friend-making doesn’t come as easily as you had hoped, you can always join an org to meet those with similar interests or advocacies as you!

Another big source of worry is failure, and how inevitable it seems. You’ll have no shortage of challenges when your college life begins, no doubt about it. But consider this: you definitely won’t be alone in the struggle. Having a hard time with acads? Adjusting to dorm or condo life? Realizing how hard it is to juggle everything? These can all be springboards for you to bond with someone going through them as well. You’ll find that growing in resilience together can do wonders for a budding friendship.

There’s also the fear that as college kids, we’ll still have that feeling of being lost. If you find yourself frustrated that you haven’t found your niche yet, find comfort in the fact that there really is no rush. It’s easy to forget this when some people are doing really specialized things and are seemingly set already in their respective fields. College is a time of exploration, and if we keep this mindset moving forward, it’ll save us a great deal of worry. (Raine here!) I chose AB Psych as my course, knowing that it might take some time for me to figure out what I really want to do. While it’s within my realm of interest, it’s still an extremely broad area. I plan to use it as a guide as I continue my attempts to get closer to my future profession. These attempts include: looking into how training and HR work, and writing about mental health awareness— something I’m extremely passionate about. (Shoutout to all our lovely friends over here at Talang Dalisay!)

Last, but not least: there’s the fear of falling behind our college peers. Maybe it was a long post by an honored university graduate, or the already dazzling work resume of a batchmate—something always manages to remind us that we’re miles away from matching the capabilities and prowess of others our age. There’s always the feeling that we have to. When that feeling comes, all our shortcomings come into focus, leaving many of us feeling much too mediocre to survive a year in college. The truth of the matter is that there will always be someone better than you in some facet of life. That need not be a bad thing, though! Not only can you gain help and learn from the abundance of talented people around you in college, you can also look to their example as inspiration to hone your own strengths.

So yes, fresh high school graduates! Should you be worried about college? To be honest… probably. However, that worry need not consume nor overshadow your dwindling days of vacation. Things will be changing for you, undoubtedly, but, hey, as we’ve illustrated, change isn’t all that bad. The unknown can be scary at first or second or even third glance—but it can also be an exciting, promising time of great things to come! With so many opportunities around the corner, let’s enjoy and experience the openness of life in our own places and at our own pace!

Once again, that emotional torrent of fear, doubt, and anxiety is totally valid! We’re with you. You got this. AND GOOD LUCK, CLASS OF 2019!

From the bottom of our shared article,
Karmella and Raine

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