As graduation approaches, I’ve been thinking about my college experience and what it’s meant to me. It’s honestly a weird feeling knowing that in a few short weeks I’m going to be done with school forever. I never have to go back. Ever.
So if I could go back and have a do-over, would I do it the same? Absolutely. The events and moments I’ve had up until this point in my life have made me into the person I am today. The mistakes I’ve made, the stupid decisions and the smart ones, the sad and happy moments. These all have helped shape me as a person. Would it have been nice to have a future me sitting on my shoulder to tell me, “Hey girl, trust me when I say, I know that punch is sooooo tasty, but maybe you shouldn’t drink a third cup.” Totally. A future me preparing my younger self for the four years to come sounds pretty nice.
So with that, I decided to write a letter to my younger self.
Dear younger, 18-year-old Allie,
Congratulations on graduating high school! I know you’re pretty pumped about graduating – it means you don’t have to go back to high school. I’m elated you decided to attend OSU. It was a wonderful decision because people are just as nice as they were on your tour. Seriously though, you rock. You picked a college where only two other people from your high school are going. You’re being brave and trying something new. I know you won’t admit it, but it’s ok to be nervous about this. You’re going to question your decision time and time again, and that’s ok.
It’s ok if you cry the first hour of the drive down to Stillwater. Just try not to cry more tears for your boyfriend than you do for you family. Disclaimer: y’all don’t last as long as you think you will and that’s also ok.
Don’t worry too much about the outfits you picked out for recruitment. You’re going to get to school and realize that girls in Oklahoma dress differently for recruitment than they do in Kansas anyway. And don’t cry when you don’t get the chapter you think you want. The one you have on bid day is the perfect fit for you – you just can’t see that yet. You’ll actually receive one of the most important positions you can get in a sorority. Just wait.
Buy a lot of allergy medicine, and take it when mom tells you to. She knows what she’s talking about and you’ll discover this as you get older. Like, she really knows what she’s talking about. Eventually, you’ll also start to see things from her point of view…and agree. Scary right?
Stop being stubborn and dramatic about classes. Duh they’re going to be hard – it’s college. Get the help you need the first time. Seriously, it’s not beneath you and you’re actually not good at everything. *Cough Chem 1314 cough* Ask for help when you need it and you’ll be thankful you did.
Don’t be embarrassed by your family. Yeah, sometimes they’re totally weird and they do embarrassing things, but remember the saying, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree? They’re different but just roll with it. You won’t be comfortable with this initially, but eventually you’ll realize that it’s stupid not to accept the people who always have been and will be supporting you no matter the decisions you make. Yes, this includes changing your major 12393423874 (ok 4) times. It also includes your lofty goals and triumphs. This does not include your taste in boys or desire to have a puppy in college.
Be yourself. You won’t be 100 percent comfortable doing this initially but you’ll get there. When you do, you’ll never go back. What’s the point in life if you can’t be true to who you are? This will also help you form friendships with the right people because they will like you for who you really are.
Cherish these friendships. You’re going to meet some of the best people and some of the worst people – that’s life. But you’re going to make lifelong friendships and that’s truly amazing.
At the end of all this, you still won’t know exactly what you’re doing or who you are and that’s all ok. Regardless of the decisions you make you’re still going to have the best four years of your life.
With all my love,
The slightly wiser, 22-year-old Allie