An Open Letter to My Fellow College Freshmen Students

A brand new decade, a year of change, a fresh start—these are things we hoped for when we welcomed 2020. But for a college freshman like myself, 2020 has been nothing but a heartbreak. This year was supposed to be what most of us have been dreaming of—last week of classes, graduation, summer vacation, starting fresh in college—but of course, we all know what happened: the coronavirus outbreak struck and affected us all. In order to help flatten the COVID-19 curve, schools had to close their campuses, forcing students to finish the academic year online.

Starting a new school year is already nerve-wracking, but to have to do that during a pandemic puts it on a whole new level. The stress one gets from normal classes somehow invades my only comfort place, which is definitely a distressing introduction to the new school year. Now imagine being a college freshman, stepping into a whole new world of new blockmates, new subjects, and an entirely new educational lifestyle. One would expect a fun start, and perhaps a light workload to let us adjust. School organizations would be promoting themselves in the hallways, and you get to explore an entirely new campus, but that’s not the case. Instead, we are back in our own homes, eyes straining from hours of staring at the screen and you know what, the reality is reality. We accept and try to make the most out of the situation.

I know you’re scared, and I know you feel as if this is all just so unfair. But I’m here to tell you that it’s okay. You are allowed to feel this way, and most importantly, you are not alone—not me, not you, not anyone.

We may not have had the ideal start, but we have to make the most out of it, and we must all come together in solidarity to face this. WYA’s Solidarity Declaration reminds us that we, as young people from all regions of the world, commit to living and promoting solidarity in all human relationships. We need to be there for each other, because if anyone else knows how we are feeling, it is each of us. We’re all still adjusting to this so-called “new normal,” and we’re all still figuring it out. Let’s take it one day at a time; there’s no rush. Make sure that you reach out when you need help, because you don’t have to do this alone. We are not supposed to do this alone. In these times, I believe that it is so important to stay connected to the people you love. They will be the ones to keep you sane and keep you grounded. And most importantly, don’t forget to take a break. Even though we’re all working from home, we should be able to find a balance from work and leisure. Allow yourself to rest because you need it. You deserve it.

A brand new decade, a year of change, a fresh start—just not what we expected it to be. But we stay hopeful for what’s next, right?


Published: December 17, 2020

Written by: Rhicki Bermudez, current WYA Asia Pacific Intern