With May as the month of college decisions coming out and college commitments being made, my Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook feeds have been filled with posts featuring pictures of beaming high school seniors wearing college t-shirts captioned something along the lines of: “Incredibly excited to announce that I will be attending (insert university) to study (insert area of study)!”
For some reason, whenever I see one of these posts, I find myself envious of the high school senior. Especially during Admit Weekend here at Stanford, seeing all of the prospective freshmen bustling around campus with their Admit Weekend lanyards and bright cardinal Stanford folders evoked a sense of jealousy in me. It was odd. I had gotten into Stanford just like them, and moreover, I was at Stanford already, which was where these students were headed. I was in their position, if not ahead — so why was I so jealous of them?
My freshman year has been great. There have been ups and downs, tears of joy and tears of stress, but overall, I had an extremely positive experience, and I really mean that. I distinctly remember an instance back in the fall when a senior told me, “You’re so cute. You’re so excited.” She did not mean this in a sardonic way — I think she genuinely found my enthusiasm refreshing, as she was a self-proclaimed “jaded senior” ready to graduate. Though I’ll admit the giddy, over-the-moon excited feeling that I entered campus with in the fall has faded, I consider myself so blessed to have found what I truly think is the right fit for me in terms of college.
I wondered, perhaps, if my jealousy of the incoming freshmen stemmed from a desire of mine to repeat freshman year since I had such a positive experience overall. However, I quickly ruled this speculation out. I believe I have developed a lot as a student, a friend and a human during this past year, trying new things, failing at them sometimes, succeeding at them other times and dealing with “adult situations” (I spent an hour on the phone with a bank one day and had to go through the experience of firing someone — so “adult,” I know). I’ve made it past the awkward small-talk stages of freshman year and now have people on campus I can call my best friends. I would never want to undo or re-do these developments. I’m ready to move on, push further, and grow more here at Stanford.
Yet I’m sad I won’t be a freshman anymore. I like being excited. I like the newness of everything about college, of discovering places on campus, of asking upperclassmen “Hi, I know this is such a freshman thing to ask, but where is (insert obvious location)?” I like the fact that, at least at our school, we do not have to be tied down to a major our freshman year and have many opportunities to explore classes. I like the freshman dorm family, the freshman class pride and the freshman experience bond. I just like being a freshman. And I guess I’m jealous of the incoming freshman, no matter what college they will be attending, because they get to go through these experiences next.
So to the incoming freshmen, I know this is cliché, but get excited, because you really do have so much ahead of you. As for me, I’ll be working on making my sophomore year just as great and full of developments, so that around this time next year, I can write a piece on why I’m jealous of the incoming sophomores.
Contact Angie Lee at angielee ‘at’ stanford.edu.