Dear Freshman Me,
You are about to embark on the best and most challenging four years of your life.
I know how you might be feeling right now: nervous to build a life for yourself so far from your family, nervous that you won’t find people who have your same humor, morals or outlook on life. Sitting at my kitchen counter next to my best friends in our senior year of college, I’m here to tell you that you don’t need to worry. Your life is better than you imagined it would be. Your friends? Better than you imagined. You don’t look at your future with fear or hesitancy anymore, but anticipation and confidence. You experience times where you feel alone, where the overwhelming idea of creating a life from scratch inhibits you from pushing your boundaries and diving in.
Your confidence is tested time and time again as you work to find a place where you belong.
Looking back from where you are now, you will learn that in these moments, this is how you grew as an individual, this is how you became the person you are in your senior year. In your loneliness and moments of weakness, you found how strong you could really be. While loneliness lingers, you need to remember there’s so much to look forward to. Those who experienced it, envy this period you find yourself living in, a time where there’s not a care in the world, no responsibility, a time where you truly feel invincible. Part of that invincibility comes from who you chose to surround yourself with.
I know what important true friendships mean to you. You put them above everything else because life is meaningless without love and companionship and wow—did you get lucky. You will find the people that will impact you for the entirety of your college experience. Finding the people that stay in your life afterwards as you venture into the real world. You are about to find the people that truly make you feel like the luckiest girl in the world.
Because of these people you will be able to persevere through one of the darkest moments in your life.
You will face something that no 22-year-old should face—the loss of one of your best friends and roommates. The fear of losing yourself, losing your friends and losing your way constricts your happiness and kills your joy. Struggling with a concept as abstract as death eats away at your well-being, forcing you to decide to let the struggle take control or to persevere through the pain. As a young-adult, ready to spread your wings, you battle with the guilt of moving forward. You feel as though you are a shell, your soul lost in who you were before. But you suddenly remember, just like freshman year in your moments of loneliness and weakness, you found how strong you are.
You will make it through.
The grueling path of grief leads to a beautiful world of healing and gratefulness. If there’s anything I can tell you knowing what I do now, it’s that you MUST take every opportunity to appreciate the love you have for your friends. Hug them a second longer and tell them you love them the next time you just think about it. Through death, a new gratefulness for life is born. You are forever changed, but for the better.
You will live bigger, love harder and become the strongest version of yourself. Coming into college, you are still just a kid, you don’t know what you want to do with your life or who you want to become and that’s okay. Challenges will throw themselves at you, but with time you find that you can handle anything. So, don’t fear for the future, anticipate the now because the beauty lies in these little moments.