Quintessential Kenyon: Student Life, Uncut

7 Things I Would Tell My Freshman Self

Mia Barnett
September 9, 2014

You came to Kenyon very excited, a little scared, and pretty confused. You’re trying to play it off cool, but I can see straight through you, Freshman Mia. You need some advice.

Top right photo: Young, impressionable Freshman Mia (left) at a ballroom competition in 2011

Center photo: Older, wiser Senior Mia (second from top) with her housemates

1. Don’t complain about Peirce. You are lucky to have a fantastic dining hall compared to most colleges, but if the monotony is getting to you as a first-year, you’ve got a long way to go. Also, stop being scared of using the panini press. That’s a weird fear, and the sooner you get over it, the better.

2. Use your planner diligently. Yes, yes, you’re organized. And you’re good at writing things down. But seriously, write it ALL down. Use it like a second brain, and your first brain won’t get so worn out.

3. Stop worrying about real (post-graduation) life. Yes, finding a job is a real problem that I’m sure you will face soon enough. But you have four years between now and then. That’s actually a really, really long time.

4. Redefine yourself. You don’t have to be the same person you were in high school. You can pick up a fun, new activity you’ve never tried before. (Like ballroom dance. Good job on that one. You still love it four years later!)

5. Listen and loosen up. You’ve always been a “my way or the highway” kind of kid. Let’s just get that straight. But come on. You’re not always right. I would not even say you’re right most of the time.

6. Don't just build your resume. Do things you enjoy. You’ll get so much more out of it than if you try to do things that just “look good.” This will result in an eclectic resume, to put it lightly. But it’s totally fine.

7. Things will work out or they won’t, and that’s OK. As much as you probably want to hear that everything will turn out fine, that just isn’t the case. Sometimes things turn out to be crappy. Which is OK. Some things turn out great, and it all balances out. And in the end, you’ll think of things being pretty great overall.