Survive freshman year

Sarah Knuth graduated from the University of Southern California with a BA in psychology, minor in business law. She was a spring admit who graduated early, balancing her sorority, college athletics, as well as a job with college life.

Acceptance Letters. We hope. Sometimes rejection. It wouldn’t have been my first of either. My mom had sent me out to get the mail that day, and being the naïve teenager I was, I didn’t suspect a thing. I reached the mailbox and there it was- a large envelope with my name on it (obviously implying acceptance). But actually, it turns out it was my half-acceptance letter. Spring admittance: the “we-want-you-but-not-in-the-fall” letter.

So what does it mean? Going to college in the spring, a semester after all my other incoming freshman classmates? First, let’s make sure we THOROUGHLY understand what it doesn’t mean. It doesn’t mean they don’t want you- they most definitely do, otherwise you would have been outright rejected. It doesn’t mean you won’t have as meaningful or as full of a college experience- you will. And it most certainly doesn’t mean you will miss out on all friend-making opportunities and won’t make any friends.

When I first got my spring admittance acceptance letter, I was confused and conflicted as to what I should do. Even though it wasn’t a full out rejection, it did feel a bit like being rejected still. Should I wait while all my other friends went off to their respective schools making new friends and sit at home waiting for January to roll around so I could do the same? Should I hope that this will pan out ok and I won’t be completely alone and alienated once I get to school after everyone else has had a chance to form friendships? Should I settle for watching football games on TV or take the occasional weekend trip to see one in person? Should I take classes at a local community college to still get the college experience and keep myself in a “learning” mindset so I would be ready once I did get to go? Personally- yes, yes, yes, and most definitely yes.

Being a spring admit gives you a unique opportunity to have an entire semester to decide what you want to do. Perhaps you need more time to really consider what you want to major in. Maybe you want to study or work abroad in this time, pick up a new hobby, knock out a handful of the general education requirements for your school at nearly a quarter of the price, or whatever else you can think of.

I realized I wouldn’t be alone- there were hundreds of spring admits going through the exact situation, and they were all going to need friends too. I would have plenty of other opportunities to go to football games in the others years I would be at school. Taking classes turned out to be a great option for me and literally helped me save around $50,000 in tuition. Ultimately, it is a personal decision, but it was a good one for me. Only you can decide if you are willing to wait, and if it’s what you really want. If it’s at a school you think is perfect for you, it shouldn’t be that difficult. My name is Sarah Knuth, and I was a spring admit who still had a normal, successful, fulfilling college experience regardless of not attending my college for the first semester.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterPin on Pinterest