Hi, you don’t know me and probably never will, but one year ago I stood in your shoes. I was a freshman at this big school with no idea where I was going. I walked into this empty dorm with my parents by my side and cried as they left. I had no idea what my freshman year would bring, and for the first time in a long time I was completely and utterly alone. My high school friends were 1600 miles away, my parents just left, and I had yet to talk to anyone including my roommates. I would be lying if I told you the transition was painless, but believe me, it will be far easier than you think. One day you will wake up and you’ll go to the dining hall to get breakfast with your new friends and everything will be okay, you won’t give any thought to your parents or those friends back home, you will slowly begin to feel at home here. You will fill this now quiet dorm with music, laughter, and love. Those roommates whose last names you can’t remember will become like sisters to you. You’ll spend countless nights sitting around sharing your life stories and talking about your hopes and dreams. They will become your best friends and soon enough you won’t be able to imagine your life without them. You will create countless memories in this dorm, even when you think you’re just procrastinating writing that essay, the short conversations you have will lead to hour long rants and stories. You’ll hear all about their friends from home, and they’ll hear all about yours. When you facetime or call your parents you’ll spend hours describing all the plans and jokes you have with your friends. I know it might seem hard to believe as you are just beginning your days here, but this empty room will become your oasis. Soon your pictures and memories will cover these walls just as mine used to. Your laughter will fill this room and your friendships will blossom just as mine did. And while all of your early morning lectures, tests, and assignments may seem to drag on forever, believe me, time will fly. Pretty soon you’ll find yourself right where I am, wondering where your freshman year could possibly have gone. Soon again your parents will by your side, but this time they won’t be unpacking your newly purchased dorm essentials; they’ll be packing all the memories you made during your first year here. You’ll walk out of this room leaving it just as empty as when you walked in. All of those moments and memories you made will forever be carried with you, but except for a few marks on the wall, this room will remain the same, just as it did when I left. As you leave for the summer excited for three months without essays and exams, a part of you will wish you could stay in this room with your new friends and just as you cried when your parents left, you’ll cry again as you leave your new family for the summer. While it feels like your freshman year will drag on right now, promise me you’ll make those late night memories just like I did. Fill this room with as much laughter and love as possible, forget about your essays and tests (at least for a night) and enjoy yourself and your new friends. You only get one freshman year, make the most of it.