You should approach the new year like a freshman

By Madalyn Watson | Print Managing Editor

Freshman year is so exciting. You are finally on your own, but you don’t really know what to do with this newly found freedom. You are in a new place with new people to meet and befriend. You are nervous and a little bit scared, but you know everything will be fine because this is your fresh start after high school.

And you can do anything with your fresh start, since no one knows what grades you had in school, or how you dressed or the friend group you had for the past four years. This way you can walk into the new year with a newly found (and possibly faked) unapologetic confidence in who you are.

A few weeks into my freshman year, I wanted that fresh start again. And if you’re like me, an upperclassman that looks at the incoming class of ‘23 with more jealousy and guilt, then you can use the new school year as an outlet for that fresh start.

As a freshman, I quickly found a small group of friends to stick with and closed myself off from any other friendships or relationships. This was my first mistake. Although I wouldn’t go back in time to 2017— there are many more important events in my life I would change if I had the ability to time travel — and tell myself to never stop making new friends, I would advise others against this.

By making that mistake of limiting myself to my free time to just a few people, I realized what I wanted to change about my attitude towards each new year. I talk to my classmates and ask them questions, I compliment the girls I see walking around campus with similar styles as me, and I find different ways to meet new people each year.

With the new school year just beginning, I do the same thing, being friendly to everyone I meet, while maintaining my ongoing friendships from the previous years.

Another way I view the new year with fresh eyes is trying out new hobbies and clubs. Although Late Night is generally targeted toward freshmen, it’s never too late to find that group that makes you feel at home or motivates you to be a better version of yourself.

I found that environment with the Baylor Lariat and I did not start working with student publications until my sophomore year. If I had stuck with the same people and the same routine as my freshman year, I would never had met some of my best friends, found what motivates me and what made me fall in love with Baylor.

Working at the Lariat, I realized that there was always something going on somewhere on campus, so there really was no excuse to stay in my dorm watching television and YouTube videos with the same people every night.

By approaching each year as if it was my first year at Baylor, I learned so much more about the university as well as myself. And if it still doesn’t work out the way you want it to, you still have a second, third and fourth chance to get your freshman year right.