The Humanities Major | Letter to My Freshman Self

Dear Freshman Paul,

I’m sure you have many questions and while I want to answer them all, I can’t. But there are a few things that I can tell you.

First, everything will be all right. When things seem dark and when you think that you are alone, things will turn out fine. God cares for you and will help you through it. I know how you feel insecure and like you don’t fit in with any particular group, but I’m going to let you in on a secret. You don’t fit in with just one group because you can get along and fit in with most of the groups on campus.

However, the only way that you can find the relationships that you want is if you put the work into forming them. Don’t assume that anyone will work hard to be your friend if you aren’t willing to do so for them. Don’t waste your time keeping to yourself and only trying to get good grades. Yes, work diligently on your homework, but don’t let it get in the way of you trying to form connections, because the way you will survive the next four years is through the friends that you make.

That fear that you have right now to go and talk to certain people is silly and ill-placed because they will gladly talk to you if you try. You are going to find friendships in places and with people that you won’t expect, but they are going to help you grow spiritually and socially.

Also, you know how you are terrified of speaking in front of people? Well, that gets better. You’re going to be a society president, on the student body council, in school plays, and short theatrical scenes for friends. In fact, you will write, memorize, and perform a speech in order to graduate.

You can overcome your insecurities, but not of your own volition. God will give you the strength to accomplish the next 4 years of your life. Never forget that, and always lean on Him because when you do it alone you make things worse.

Overall, never believe that you have life figured out because I’ll tell you now, you don’t, and you probably never will. Just trust God, love others, and put one foot in front of the other. If you do that, you’ll make it just fine.


Paul Bare graduated in May 2021 with a BA in Humanities and a minor in History.