Dear freshman self,
Hi, how are ya?
How’s your first year of college going? Your life has become Pitch Perfect now. Living the dream in college, going to football games, having fun. Everything is awesome.
But actually…you’re not having a great time, are you?
This first semester has been hard. I know that with each passing day you find yourself struggling with some of your work and seeing if you truly fit in with the people that make up Pennsylvania State University. But I can assure you that sooner or later, you will find your people within the thousands of students here.
This second semester came as the tough one, right? If I remember correctly, that happened to be one of the worst times of my life. And because of that, this letter comes to you. To let you know that everything will work out. Starting with that broken left arm.
Let’s get down to business. Klutz happens to be your middle name. You broke your first arm as a child, and it’s almost ironic how it took you so long to break the other. The ice was everywhere, and all you wanted to do was get your boyfriend a cheesesteak, but you just had to slip. And I know this sucks.
You work out every day because of your insecurities and you can’t even do your hair because the pain overwhelms you. You cry, thinking you’re ugly because your own body won’t physically let you make yourself pretty. But just take a deep breath, because it’ll be over soon.
It’s a painful and long process. But you will get through it. And afterwards, you’ll have this awesome scar.
The next problem comes with the term “roommate.”
You’ve heard it everywhere: people usually always become “best friends” with their roommates after a year of living together. But those stories have never been your life. What could be wrong? You spend hours cleaning up your side of the room and stay quiet to be courteous to her. You laugh at her jokes and smile and be sweet, but nothing’s going your way. What is the issue?
But I can assure you, that’ll work out too. This girl has her own life and so do you, and just because you haven’t become friends doesn’t mean that you can’t get along. You’ll find that living with roommates can become a tough situation in the future as well, but you’ll get through it. You will survive.
Schoolwork sucks. I’ll break it to you, the spring semester always sucks. Always. Classes get harder and more teachers are willing to make your life a living hell. And the work will only get tougher with each passing year. But if just keep at it and keep persisting despite your fatigue or your annoyances, you’ll survive. Remember, there are only four years of college. You’ll make it through it.
Friends: A word we always had trouble trying to figure out. So many people exist at this school that finding that one person to chat with is nearly impossible. You sit at the HUB, alone, watching as people pass by without even a glance.
Girls with tight shirts and blonde hair who speak of last night’s party, or jocks with dimwit personalities and smelly, disgusting letterman jackets. Each Friday night, you stay in more than go out, because no one seems to want to party with you.
Even so, if your life seems a little lonely now, you’ll find some of the most awesome friends in the universe soon. You’ll find the nerdy people who read Harry Potter and play Pokemon even though they’re 20 years-old. You’ll spend ages staying up and watching The Office in a crammed door room even though you have a test the next day. Building friendships take time, but I can assure you that those friends you do make will come as the best friends you’ve been craving for. For a very long time.
Next, the boyfriend.
Dating him reminds you of any romantic movie you’ve seen: absolutely amazing. But sometimes you find that you and he fight, over stupid little things. Stupid things that really don’t mean anything at the end of the day. Sometimes it almost seems like sometimes you might break up over these little things.
But those little things that you think mean so much? They mean nothing to this relationship.
In fact, you two don’t even think about those things anymore. I’m not saying that everything will become some fairytale; I can’t think of a relationship without issues, big or small, that couples need to work through. And you will have those fights, small or big ones. But at the end of the day, you two will work everything out.
Both of you know that your love can make it through anything because it’s just that strong. And that nothing comes as something that you two can’t handle together. Growth becomes a central word in your relationship, but you two will learn to love and accept each other just as much as you work with each other. Because I can tell you from here, if you get to wake up with him, working through any issues will be worth everything.
Lastly, I’m going to talk about your body. Oh, your body.
You’ve been going through some issues with that, huh? Through a knife and a finger, you’ve tried so hard to accept yourself and nothing seems to be working. I know right now everything seems so bleak. You feel so depressed and sad all the time because you truly never do think you’ll accept yourself. You’ve thought about ways that you could end it, all of the depression in your life. You’ve even thought about a letter you could write to the people you love in your darkest moments.
But I can assure you…everything will work out.
You will grow, learn to take care of yourself and accept yourself. You will learn to take the time out of your day to make yourself feel good. Because guess what? You are beautiful and you are worth your own time to make yourself feel good. No one can take that away from you.
I know that right now, everything seems rough. But as time goes on, you will find that happiness that you crave and so much more. Just keep praying and keep smiling, because sooner or later, you’ll reach the end of the tunnel. And the grass there will look so much greener.
I’ll leave you with this last bit of advice. Remember your favorite quote from Harry Potter in times of peril. “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of places, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”
Take a breath. Everything will be okay because what comes after this year will make up for the drama you’ve gone through.
Besides, you don’t want to miss Saquon Barkley’s last year on the PSU football team. That’s worth all the roommate issues in the world, because he’s truly amazing.
Your junior-year self