A year ago when I was about to be a freshman in college, I was very worried about going to college and decided to give myself some advice while documenting my thoughts and feelings of the time by writing a blog post to my future self. Now, a year later, I finally get to react to it!
Past me : Italics
Current me : Bold
“Dear me, this is a letter to the girl I’m going to be…
Dear me, there are some things I want to know..
I know that you can’t tell me what’s ahead and what to do, but I know you wish it was possible. So I’ll try…
(Oh, I wish it was possible alright…)
You’d probably tell me to not let my past stop me from reaching out in my future. I know you want me to open up my heart to love again. I know that no matter how many friends have given up on me, there are always more reasons than not to keep making them.
(True, all true…way to know past me! HOWEVER, I would urge you to be more cautious…not sure that’s the word I wanna use, but anyways be more selective in your friendships. Don’t just be friends with people because you’re a scared and alone little freshman the first month. Guess you couldn’t help it, huh? And that’s okay.)
You won’t get along with everyone. Not everyone will like you. You won’t like everyone. There will be people who love you for who you are and not for who they want you to be. There will be people you love. Don’t let the unkind ones stop you from finding the kind ones.
(Preach! Also, yes, you were right, there were definitely people who didn’t like you, but there were a lot who did. You’ll find them too, I promise.)
You won’t always pull all nighters, you won’t always cry, and you won’t always get bad grades. It’s hard to believe that, but I know you’re right.
(You won’t always pull all-nighters, you’re right. You’ll only pull about 5ish??? Let’s be honest, 5 out of over 200 nights isn’t that bad. They will be absolutely horrible. They will make you feel sick, weak, and just so unnatural, but those feelings won’t last forever. Don’t trust your emotions after pulling one though, okay? Pulling them just makes you so overly and easily upset. You won’t always get bad grades, in fact I know it’s hard to believe, but you’ll get really good ones!
You won’t always forget to do laundry or clean your room, but you know what? I know sometimes you will and I know it will be okay.
You will sometimes have a pretty bad looking room…ha, ya like very, very bad and the same with laundry, but it will be okay, you’re right again.)
You won’t enjoy every class or professor. You won’t do well on each assignment.
(Haha, yea, in fact you’ll basically bridge on hating computer science first semester simply because it’s 3 hours long and at night. You’ll want to cry the first half and sleep through the second half, but second semester will arrive and you will have finished that class. There will be papers that are so bad that you don’t want to read them over again and readings that just won’t get done, but these will not be the majority.)
I wonder if you’ll do well on finals? How many times you’ll feel like giving up?
(Well, you’ve put a question mark on these next few so you must want answers from future you and here I am to deliver. You will do well on finals just fyi. Finals actually aren’t that hard and I mean, of course they are hard, but midterms tend to be even harder because there is way more going on. I think people just talk about how stressful finals are going to be and that sets the mood which causes everyone to panic and do worse. Yes, that is my theory. The feeling of giving up forever will never hit you because you will always feel like you’ve come much too far to lose all that work. At points you will feel like giving up for a day or so though.)
How many times you’ll laugh? How many times will you be smiling without faking it?
(Short answer : a TON. Laughing is like one of the main signs that you are a college student in my opinion. We are all stressed out so our bodies are trying to relax us by laughing which releases endorphins.[oooh, science facts from Lizzy 😂] Everyone is super sleep deprived and very well caffeinated. College students get bored and adore pulling pranks in their free time so, yea, laughing is kind of an all day, every day affair pretty much. Slaphappy became a definition I understood fully while at college. Fake smiles when you live with the same people for 9 months are a real thing to be sure. The more you get to know people though and the closer you become, the easier it will be to say, “I’m actually not doing so well and here’s why.”)
Your roommate may not be close with you on the first day, but that doesn’t mean she won’t be on the last. You may not ever feel close to your roommate, but that doesn’t mean you won’t become close friends with someone else in college.
(You and your roommate were not super close on your first day there that’s for sure. You were both very shy introverts and you hardly said a word to each other the first few days, but then you started to talk and you built an incredible friendship you’ll have your whole life. So many laughs, vent sessions, tears, and complaining about homework happened in that room and was shared with one another. A unique bond was created that will forever be unbreakable. More in common now than the bond of being Christian homeschoolers who are introverted book lovers, you now hold in common the title : “Freshman Roomies”)
There may not be a guy who falls in love with you. You might not meet the love of your life. Guess what? That doesn’t mean that he isn’t out there and you won’t meet one day.
(Again, great advice past me! You haven’t met him yet, at least you don’t think you have. Honestly though, you prefer that for now. You’ve seen firsthand how bad some freshman relationships go and how much drama that can cause. It was so much better to focus on friendships and school this year and you would have lost out on so many adventures if you had been in one.)
Don’t be afraid of trying new things. Push yourself and leave your comfort zone. Don’t feel like you have to be teacher’s pet to each professor.
(Being afraid of trying new things was definitely something that you had to face, but God knew this and He sent the right amount of crazy and more wild people to push you out of your comfort zone and you did do a lot of new and crazy things. Some you didn’t like, but a lot you did and that’s all part of the learning process. I think you just naturally become teacher’s pet because you are kind, appreciative, and respectful so honestly, maybe that’s not a bad thing. You didn’t try to be though and you definitely were not all the teacher’s pets.)
I know that you hate failure and want to stay in your dorm and focus only on studying so you get perfect grades. Please do me a favor and don’t do that to yourself. Don’t miss out on the dances, the clubs, the nearby attractions, and the friends…you’ll just end up regretting it. It won’t kill you to get a bad grade or turn in one assignment late.
(First semester you did this to yourself and you spent countless hours in the library. Your Friday nights were study nights. You did miss things, but towards the end of first semester, you learn your lesson when one weekend you hardly study and you’re still completely fine. You could’ve of done better so you don’t make a habit of doing that little. It shows you, however, that you can have fun on Friday night. You can go to Walmart, get that coffee and doughnuts, or go roller skating. It doesn’t kill you to have more to your life than studying. Second semester you add balance and learn from your mistakes. You make so many more memories and school work still gets done.)
Adulthood is scary, yes, but you’ve gotten through scary things before and I’m sure now will be no different. Relationships are scary. Friendships are scary. Growth is scary. Life is scary. Those aren’t reasons not to love. Those aren’t reasons not to grow. Don’t be afraid to be you. I know that can be hard, but don’t put yourself in box for four years.
(Living on your own will be such a learning experience for you and you will be faced with challenges you never knew existed. Friendships are very scary and they come with so many risks, but they are worth it! You learned about and are still growing into your own identity that is both separate and connected to your family.)
Go do all the things that scare you!
Go love all the people you love!
Go make a difference!!
Go be you!
You’ve got this!
(And for the most part you really did and I am so very, very proud of you!! You really were such a good freshman and you really did try so hard to grow as a person and stretch yourself.)
❤ Younger Lizzy
(I love you, younger Lizzy!
Love always, older Lizzy)”