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Twitter is telling college freshmen what they're doing now, and it's almost too real.

Thousands of young adults around the world are starting their college careers right now. These tweets nail that first-year experience.

Remember your first semester at college?


Or maybe you don't.


Well, so does comedian Jenny Jaffe. She recently noticed the hordes of New York University freshman clogging the sidewalks. In an email exchange, Jaffe told Upworthy: "I found myself giggling thinking about all of the awkward ways I tried to fit in and how I was just this completely different, totally lost person."

So she started the hashtag #RightNowAFreshman to highlight some of the best and worst of those times.

"[R]ight now, freshmen all over the country and world are having experiences that they'll remember, laugh, and shake their heads in embarrassment at forever. It just started being a fun game I was playing by myself, tweeting on the train." — Jenny Jaffe

Because who doesn't love an occasion to sigh with relief at how far they've come?


Imagine how much better it could've been if you got some real talk about college.

Maybe fewer nights like this. GIF from "Looney Tunes."

Jaffe's hashtag took off, and now tons of older-and-wiser grads are using #RightNowAFreshman on Twitter to talk about the awkward ins and outs of being a college newbie.

The result was a series of tweets that sum up the trials and tribulations college freshman face — almost too perfectly.

Like the struggles of creating new relationships.


Or fearing (or embracing) the freshman 15.

And learning new things — and excitedly showing off your new knowledge.

Thank goodness for spell check. Image via Twitter/zzzzaaaacccchhh.

And just like college life, the hashtag reflects it ain't all fun and games.

Some folks talked about colleges' struggle to address sexual assault.

A recent survey showed that college presidents thought that rape is a widespread problem — just not on their college campuses. Typical.

And the struggle of feeling homesick when being away from friends and family.

But people took the time to remind students that despite all the hurdles of college life, everything will work out.


I mean, we all are here to tell our tales, right?

GIF by xborntofly/Tumblr.

What freshman year moments do you not miss? Hop on Twitter to share in the fun.

All images provided by Prudential Emerging Visionaries

Collins after being selected by Prudential Emerging Visionaries

True

A changemaker is anyone who takes creative action to solve an ongoing problem—be it in one’s own community or throughout the world.

And when it comes to creating positive change, enthusiasm and a fresh perspective can hold just as much power as years of experience. That’s why, every year, Prudential Emerging Visionaries celebrates young people for their innovative solutions to financial and societal challenges in their communities.

This national program awards 25 young leaders (ages 14-18) up to $15,000 to devote to their passion projects. Additionally, winners receive a trip to Prudential’s headquarters in Newark, New Jersey, where they receive coaching, skills development, and networking opportunities with mentors to help take their innovative solutions to the next level.

For 18-year-old Sydnie Collins, one of the 2023 winners, this meant being able to take her podcast, “Perfect Timing,” to the next level.

Since 2020, the Maryland-based teen has provided a safe platform that promotes youth positivity by giving young people the space to celebrate their achievements and combat mental health stigmas. The idea came during the height of Covid-19, when Collins recalled social media “becoming a dark space flooded with news,” which greatly affected her own anxiety and depression.

Knowing that she couldn’t be the only one feeling this way, “Perfect Timing” seemed like a valuable way to give back to her community. Over the course of 109 episodes, Collins has interviewed a wide range of guests—from other young influencers to celebrities, from innovators to nonprofit leaders—all to remind Gen Z that “their dreams are tangible.”

That mission statement has since evolved beyond creating inspiring content and has expanded to hosting events and speaking publicly at summits and workshops. One of Collins’ favorite moments so far has been raising $7,000 to take 200 underserved girls to see “The Little Mermaid” on its opening weekend, to “let them know they are enough” and that there’s an “older sister” in their corner.

Of course, as with most new projects, funding for “Perfect Timing” has come entirely out of Collins’ pocket. Thankfully, the funding she earned from being selected as a Prudential Emerging Visionary is going toward upgraded recording equipment, the support of expert producers, and skill-building classes to help her become a better host and public speaker. She’ll even be able to lease an office space that allows for a live audience.

Plus, after meeting with the 24 other Prudential Emerging Visionaries and her Prudential employee coach, who is helping her develop specific action steps to connect with her target audience, Collins has more confidence in a “grander path” for her work.

“I learned that my network could extend to multiple spaces beyond my realm of podcasting and journalism when industry leaders are willing to share their expertise, time, and financial support,” she told Upworthy. “It only takes one person to change, and two people to expand that change.”

Prudential Emerging Visionaries is currently seeking applicants for 2024. Winners may receive up to $15,000 in awards and an all-expenses-paid trip to Prudential’s headquarters with a parent or guardian, as well as ongoing coaching and skills development to grow their projects.

If you or someone you know between the ages of 14 -18 not only displays a bold vision for the future but is taking action to bring that vision to life, click here to learn more. Applications are due by Nov. 2, 2023.
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