Dear soon-to-be introverted freshman,

Congratulations on your journey thus far. You persevered through 12 grades of homework, tests, extracurriculars and everything between and beyond. You survived the months of agonizing college tours, applications and responses. You walked across your high school stage and took a diploma in your hand. And, most importantly, you made the decision to continue your education at your chosen institution. That all in itself deserves to be commended. Congratulations on making it through by just being you!

You are about to open a new chapter in your life. You will be moving into college dorms and planning class schedules of your own choosing.

I remember being in your shoes. I remember the months that dwindle into weeks and days leading up to the start of school. To say that I was excited would be an understatement. I was over the moon to gain the independence that college life offered and to start taking classes that would teach me everything about the career I aspired to have. I was moving to New York, the place that so many people dream of seeing, and I was prepared to discover who I truly was.

Beneath all of my excitement, I was nervous. I was nervous about what was to come, finding out who I was and that I would not adjust to the college life I had idolized in my head. I knew that socializing and going out was never for me. I didn’t want to have to compromise my comforts to just to say I had friends and if I were to find real friends, I shouldn’t have to.

If you are like me, that could be your fear as well, but I'm here to tell you what is true. College is an exciting and unique experience for you to make what you want of it. It is important for you to know that it is okay to be introverted and nervous, but you should also know that no matter what you will be fine. If you made it through high school, college is just another step.

Take this opportunity as the first of many to try new things and stretch your personality, but in the end, stay true to yourself.

Lead Image: Unsplash