Letter from the Editor: Don’t let fear rule you. Embrace change.

Ashlee Woods | @ashleemwoods, Editor-in-chief

I remember when I first set foot in Tuscaloosa back in August of 2018. I was 16 hours away from everyone and everything I knew. I took a step out of the small world of Delaware and into the large, complex world of Alabama. On the outside, I had a big smile.  

But on the inside, I was terrified.  

This was the first time in my life I wasn’t near my family or friends. Nothing in Tuscaloosa was familiar to me. Everyone already had their groups, leaving me to find mine. 

I remember when I was forced to take a yearlong break from school back in 2020. I felt like a failure. Most of my friends were cruising to their junior year of school, while I was struggling in so many aspects of my life. Again, I found myself afraid of the new chapter of my life that I was beginning. 

I remember when I first submitted an article to The Crimson White. I was scared that my work was going to get ripped to shreds. I was scared to put an aspect of myself — my love for writing and sports — on full display for people to see.  

That feeling of fear some of you may feel is a very real emotion. It’s also OK to feel scared. Many of you are leaving your home state behind. Some of you have never lived in the South. Most of you don’t know what to expect from your four years here at the Capstone.  

The University of Alabama is a large campus with stories around every corner. Some of your classmates may have everything figured out and you may feel behind. Remember that everyone’s collegiate journey isn’t the same. That’s not how it’s supposed to be.  

If I could go back in time, I would tell myself to embrace change. College is designed to challenge you in ways you would’ve never thought possible. Yes, there are highs, but there are also lows. Never feel ashamed for struggling and never feel ashamed for asking for help.  

Freshman year is a time for discovery. It’s a time to find out your likes and dislikes, goals and aspirations. Find our community, but also spend time reflecting on who you want to be. So much of the world around you is created to fit a certain aesthetic or vibe. Make sure the people around you match the energy you want to have in your life.  

There are so many things I wish I could tell you about my freshman year, but I’ll leave you with this. Don’t let fear rule your first year at the Capstone. Embrace the change. You might just like the person you’ll become.