Open Letter to My Freshman Year of College Self

(The title is a mouthful in itself, isn’t it?)

It’s completely ridiculous how 8 months ago feels forever ago, but then again, just like it was yesterday. The only real reason I know this much time has passed is because I am a completely different person than I was when I first came to college. This is a letter to myself-to remind me where I’ve been and where I want to go, but also to you, whether you are headed to, in, or out of college. This is a reminder of what happens as you grow up, and all that you have to look forward to. Freshman year has ended and with it, I cannot help but feel like a major chapter in my story has been cut into bittersweet pieces of fruit I have to indulge you with.

So here it goes: You will grow so much and that means that the uncomfortable times that come along with growing are to arrive on your sunrise soon enough. You will lose one of your friendships that you would not have ever thought of losing simply because, well you got too comfortable. You are not at fault for this friendship ending but of course, it takes two to tango.

It makes you smile when you see your senior high school friends post prom pictures and when you see those tweets about how excited they are to graduate and “Live their life once they leave this city!” Living in another city than your home town is something I am so grateful for now because you strip away the known and you start anew. You find your favorite coffee shops, brunch hotspots that you will later name “Babe Cave” or discover spots of San Diego where you hope your future significant other will take you on a date. I am still holding out on perhaps finding someone to make me happy in that way but alas, for now, I am that person for myself. You hope that those soon-to-be graduates know what they are getting themselves into because you wish that someone would have grabbed your shoulders and told you straight in the eye: “If you are going to claim to try all things new and clean: start with whom  you are choosing to live with.” OR perhaps that was something that was essential to my story and needed to happen. Only God knows.

You might feel like you are 3 years older after your experiences but glance at that mirror and remind yourself that you have so much time. You have been granted the best gift of all- time. You serve as a reminder for your close friends and family that hard work is and perhaps will always be, the one facet of your personality that keeps you strong and different. Others may not understand or may refuse to understand (& that it their right) that you are not willing to adjust your standards for whatever is accepted and in at this generation’s flavor of the month. This also means that you have the freedom to try new things and it won’t be until you shed off the extra side glances and judgement of those who are not truly out to lift you up that you are able to be free. There will be friends you are friends with because you have classes with, people you just party with and people you can genuinely have a heart to heart with and having all the above are okay, just as long as you are able to differentiate between them all. Let people learn who they are as you learn who you are, and let that be enough.

With that being said, you can try and try and try and practice a bit more and still fail. That goes with friendships, diets, relationships of all kinds really and most of all, academically. Business Calculus was something that I did not think would get me down so much and just keep me on the mat. When you are down though, that is when I learned the most. I learned that with me, my fallibility is attached to math and that just means that I have to throw more punches and start practicing the day I learn the material. Seems easy enough, but the chaos of having 4 other classes does get in the way. However, I am going to take these lessons and apply them to the fall and well, kick Business Calc in the ass.

You will forever be grateful that you ditched the shower sandals as soon as you were cleaning out your freshman dorm. I had originally thought that cleaning my dorm would give me some euphoric moment but in all reality, yes it made me sad because I learned to love that old building (#TNastyFam4Lyfe) for all its ugliness curated a significant culture but it also made me question where the time went. The amount of times the elevators would not work and you resorted to climbing 8 floors to the penthouse, or when you were physically in the elevator when it decided to just stop working.. all parts of its charm.

Spring semester basically exists to have that water bucket thrown in your face effect. Everything happened this semester and without it, you wouldn’t be the same person. You will remember the nights you went out partying and actually *gasp* enjoyed yourself. DU will forever have a part of my heart even though I can no longer think of consuming JJ. It was good while it lasted my friend.

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College has also taught me that I can identify the smell of weed a mile away, now that is a talent.. I wonder if that would be appropriate to add to my resume? I am still confused how I could have never met some of the people I met this year without college. My neighbors across the way were the hidden gift that I did not know that was given to me. Those guys made me smile and laugh at the roughest parts of my days and knowing that they found me to be the funniest person and somehow saw that I was genuine, that just made my heart soar for their friendship. It still baffles me how I have been able to make friends with people from literally around the world (I have no idea how they even deal with homesickness) my friend Haejoo is from Korea and she ended up being one of the girls that I meant at a rush event and remained close with throughout the year and I am so blessed for her companionship. I learned that I genuinely love Communication 101 and with that, giving speeches to an audience. My Comm 101 small lecture was my favorite course I have taken at State and that was due to my amazing teacher Nikki Truscelli and my classmates that ended up becoming my small family and gave me Elaine (for I am pretty sure will be my sidekick for years to come.)

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So, as I whine down this long open letter, I will leave you with a quote from Master Rapp because well, it applies to everything.

“Be vulnerable. Allow yourself that much, without vulnerability, you will not allow love into your life and that is the biggest inconvenience you could do to yourself.”

Be vulnerable, cultivate positivity and enjoy all the moments- even the bad ones because it is in those times that the genuine people you have in your life will come out of the woodwork.

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