To celebrate, I thought I'd get personal with you all and write a letter to myself; specifically a letter to the 17-year-old me about to embark on her college journey! While I hope this is entertaining and insightful into why I post the things I do, for those of you struggling with your transition from high school to college or even from college to adult life, just remember you aren't alone!
First things first, choosing to attend Elmira was the best decision (and will be up to this point) you ever made. While I know that you are terrified of many different things, please know that you will survive and thrive through it all! You will laugh and cry more than you ever have, but you will spend weeks smiling because of the life you have created there for yourself. Take advantage of this opportunity to grow and become the independent self that you know you want to be.
When the opportunities come to get involved on campus, take them! It is perfectly acceptable for you to spend your first semester getting used to your classes and navigating campus. But by Winter, start attending those club meetings that you've always wanted to and for heaven's sake go to the dance studio once in a while. Just because one of your friends doesn't want to go, that doesn't mean you shouldn't pursue something you know you'd enjoy! This will not only help you take a break from studying and reading for that horrid Freshmen Writing Class, but it will help establish friendships that will span your four years and beyond!
Unfortunately Skylar, you will see who your true friends are while you're away at college. College is about learning who you are and what you want out of life, so don't let anyone make you feel like you can't do that. While it will be difficult when friendships end, don't be bitter towards them ... they have their own issues to work on for themselves, as do you. Use this freedom to become introspective on what you want out of your college experience and on what you want out of life in general. The newly found independence in your sophomore year will work wonders for your future career!
I know you don't want to teach and you want to do something more than stand in a classroom all day and talk to kids, but your student teachings and all of those sample lesson plans you write will be worth it. Each experience will connect you home in its own weird way and give you the background you need to be successful at the next level, so take advantage of that! These and the leadership opportunities you gain as an upperclassmen set the stage for something that you will love doing every day. (I won't tell you what it is because I don't want to spoil your "ah-ha" moment.)
Now, for the part I know you want to know ... the boy. While you two just started dating - you two are the only ones you will ever have to explain your relationship to. Hands down, the hardest part about your college experience will be nurturing and supporting this relationship, but Skylar, it will be worth it. Your feelings are your feelings and they will never change, but remember you have to stick up for yourself too! There will be heartbreak at times as you both attempt to grow and experience college, but follow your heart because it will lead you right where you want to be ... and yes, you will get the ring!
Finally, if there is one thing I, your 23-year-old self, wants you to know, it is this: Stay true to who you are and what you believe. Your faith and your personal convictions will be both tested and strengthened during college and even grad school (yes, you will get in to grad school so don't worry about that B in History of Recent America). Take the time to make decisions, friendships, interviews, jobs, memories, and everything else in life exactly how you want them to be. These next six years will be a crazy ride, but your parents, sister, and the boy, as well as, all of the amazing friends you have yet to meet will help make it every ounce of the perfection you always strive for! Much love!
enjoy the chase,