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  • Lucy Barrow

An Ode to Freshman Year

When we are young, we are unafraid of the uncertainties in life and not confined to the social norms of the world. As we grow, we are told to color inside the lines and that barns, in fact, are not allowed to be blue[1] (see reference at the bottom). Therefore, by the time we reach our teen years, many are too afraid to be their unfiltered, fabulous selves—rather sad if you ask me.

As I sit in my bed at 3:59 AM, post watching not one, but two movies tonight, I am at a loss for words for the amazing year that I have just had. I feel as if you are probably wondering how this ties into my interesting intro about blue barns, the point I am trying to make is that freshman year of college is about a whole lot more than just being able to experience new things. Freshman year is about being able to experience and explore that unfiltered version of yourself that you were taught to hide away. It is about breaking away from what everyone tells you is right or cool. I have never felt so much genuine love for the person that I truly am in my whole life. Nor have I ever met so many people that are confident in the person that they are- unique and different in every way.

I thought of the idea to write this “ode” when I was texting a senior in high school that I have grown up with. She said that she was so excited to leave our tiny town of Gulf Breeze, FL and experience so many greater things. And that is when it hit me, she had no idea as to what she was getting herself into. Looking back a year ago, I was in her exact place. I expected nothing more than to struggle a little bit with making new friends, but I was anxious to see that adventures that awaited me. Nothing could have prepared me for what has happened this year. Through the highs and lows, I have found people that loved me from the moment that I met them. I found people that love me for that unfiltered person inside of me. They love the person that is hidden under my curly disguise.

As I sit here, I realize that these are the days I am going to look back on in ten years thinking about how I had it all. For the most part, life is easy going, I have amazing friends that care about me and the person I am going to become, AND, not to mention, I have the next three years of amazing opportunities ahead of me. Right now, the world is my bright shiny oyster and I have literally endless opportunities to do whatever I want to do with my future.

At the same time, I realize that freshman year flew by in a New York minute and that just proves everyone right that told me this dream would be over in one blink of my 19-year old eyes. That is exactly what terrifies me: freshman year is filled with all these amazing people and places, but nothing can every prepare you for all of that to be gone as soon as it appeared. I know I am being very melodramatic at the moment, but come on, if everything you had ever dreamed for fell in your lap in one year, you would never want it to change. But that is also the beautiful thing about it all, we are all going to leave this magical place and find ourselves in our own fairytale. Everyone that I have met here will be moving on to bigger and better things; spreading their wings and jumping out of this big ole nest- whether ready or not.

If freshman year has taught me anything other than to be myself, it is to not take everything so damn seriously. There are times to be serious and 19 years old is not that time. School is important, but it is equally pressing that we only have a short amount of time on this big green plant so we might as well make the most of it. Just because life might not be going the way you want it to, does not mean that it is wrong. So, if I have any advice for you sweet people reading this it would be to fully grasp everything that life throws at you; say yes, especially when you don’t want to; and never ever forgot the person that you are inside.

Last, but definitely not least, I have decided I want to end all of my blog posts in rock and roll fashion. Therefore, to close out this entry I will leave you with the lyrics from Supertramp as an ode to the person we have all been pretending to be: Goodbye stranger.

[1] When my grandpa, the great Papa Baer, was in elementary school, he tried to color a barn blue. Much to his surprise, his teacher rudely told him that barns were absolutely, positively ONLY allowed to be red. In my opinion, says who?

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