An Open Letter to my Freshman Self


This is the letter I wish someone would’ve written to my freshman self.

Dear Gaby,

College can be challenging. Somedays you will love it, others you just want to quit, go home and become a hot-dog seller. As an international student, coming to a new country, interacting with new people, and sharing a bathroom with three strangers will be absolutely terrifying. It’s not meant to be easy; but trust me, it will better. You will be tempted to stay in your room and refrain from socializing with others. Don’t do it. Sometimes having just one foot outside your comfort zone can be extremely liberating. As you start this next phase in your life, I want to encourage you to remain open and give yourself the permission to explore, experience and reinvent yourself. College is where you find yourself. You get to be who you want to be, no strings attached. The past is behind you and what lies ahead are four years packed with endless opportunities. Forget about the high school labels and the irrational fear of not fitting in. Also, ditch that mistaken conception that you are better off alone. You will find your fit, just give yourself time. It’s okay not to know what career path to follow. If everyone knew with certainty what field to major in, universities wouldn’t be as profitable.  Lastly, do yourself a favor and cultivate some personal kindness. Treating yourself with respect and patience can make any difficult situation better. Despite any fear or uncertainty you will experience; learn to live in the moment and cherish your four years in college because they go by very fast. Explore, go out, try new things, meet new people, make friends, and, most importantly, enjoy yourself. It sounds cliché, but you only live once.

Love, Gaby.