The Student News Site of University of Nebraska at Kearney

The Antelope

The Antelope

The Antelope

Reflecting on 4.5 years: What I would tell myself as a freshman




As I get ready to graduate in 16 days, I can’t help but look back on the last four and a half years and think to myself “how did I end up here?” 

I remember when I talked to adults at my graduation party there were plenty of conversations along the lines of “enjoy it, time flies by.” In the moment, it was just the start of my next chapter so there was no worrying about it ending. Yet, here I am typing this and holding on to what little is left of my college chapter. 

In true fashion, I end my time writing for the newspaper with this reflective column. Here are some things I wish I could go back and tell my freshman-year self so I didn’t have to learn somethings the hard way.

Take care of yourself.

I think it’s so easy in college to get FOMO (fear of missing out) and say yes to all the hangouts, late nights, new things, etc., but you need to remember to take care of yourself — whatever that means in the moment. Please look out for yourself as much as you look out for others. You’re the one person you are with every day of your life. 

Food is fuel. 

I know everyone’s eating habits are different but personally, I cannot tell you how many times I have skipped meals to study longer or to go hang out with friends. I have learned the hard way that we need fuel in our bodies to have energy to do the things we want to do. Something is better than nothing, and if nothing then drink water. Trust me, your body will thank you.

Live in the now.

Soak it in and enjoy the present moment. As an anxious body, it’s very easy to have your thoughts consumed by the unknown future or what-ifs, but that does nothing besides add stress. 

Of course, some stress is normal, healthy and good but excess overthinking is a silent killer. Something that helps me is to remember all the little things that have happened for the moment I am in to be created. I remember a time when right now is a place I used to dream of. This keeps me from forgetting to enjoy it. 

We’re on a floating rock.

I know right now it’s almost trendy to have a ‘floating rock’ mentality but it has helped me tremendously, especially with the anxiety I’ve gained from the pandemic. I am literally a spec in this giant universe with seven billion people. 

Not everyone is staring at the pimple on my face, not everyone is judging the outfit I wear to class. They are all too worried about their own things, so just keep on keeping on and dance when you want to. 

I feel like I’ve grown a lot over the past four and a half years. I also know that there is always room for improvement, but I feel better knowing I have these newfound mentalities and life mantras as I enter my adult life. 

So to the nervous freshman getting ready to finish their first semester: it’s okay. 

It will be okay. 

You’re doing great. That one test or slightly embarrassing moment will be over before you know it. Regardless of the outcome, the sun will rise again tomorrow. Soak it all in — the good, the bad, the new and everything in between. And in case you haven’t heard it today: you have so much to be proud of. Give yourself a pat on the back, you deserve it. 

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Antelope

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Nebraska at Kearney . Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Antelope

Comments (0)

All The Antelope Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *