Dear Future Me,
I see you sitting there in your bed, in your apartment, looking stressed. But it’s time to take a deep breath and smile because you’ve made it. You’ve made it out of the Swamp alive. They said college would be the best four years of your life, and it was, but they never said it would be easy. In just a short time, you’ll depart Gainesville and start writing a new chapter in your life—but first I think we should remember what it took to get you here.
It was your first day of class, 9 a.m—you sat up in your twin-size bed, with a mean mug on your face. You were never a morning person so you instantly regretted every choice to let that Preview staffer, now your mentor, talk you into taking MAC1105 on an early summer semester morning. Fast forward to your first quiz. You completely failed it. You snuck off to the bathroom and shed a few tears because you were a 4.6 GPA magna cum laude high school graduate. This first quiz humbled you, but it wasn’t a bad thing.
You would be humbled many times again during your time at UF.
You were the confused freshman you hoped you wouldn’t be, walking around with your orientation lanyard around your neck, not knowing what to do and just going to lecture every day. You realized that college was nothing like Legally Blonde, but you knew it was going to be a crazy ride. To say the least, your first year was tough, but you made it through.
Who knew your second year would be the hardest, but that you would discover so much about yourself? To no surprise, you were still confused and had no idea what you wanted to major in… health education and behavior, marketing, public relations, applied physiology and kinesiology… you were all over the place. Barely slipping through the cracks, like your grades. Surprisingly, endless opportunities, like Gator Football Ambassadors, were thrown at you, allowing you to figure out your passions and interests. After the umpteenth major change, you realized you were happiest with public relations. Finally, clarity.
And so I ask myself, are you still overly obsessed with makeup and anything beauty or was that just a phase? Do you still want to be a woman working in a male’s world, football? Maybe you should just settle for the beauty industry, where you belong…
I needed to send a message to future me about my passions from the moment that I was most passionate about them. I wanted my 20-year-old self to give my 22-year-old self a good slap in the face. We are trained from grade school to our first days as undergraduates that we can be anything and everything and that the possibilities are endless. But when we finally are in the position where being anything and everything is only four short years and one piece of paper away, we realize the insanity of it all.
“Maybe you should just settle for the beauty industry, where you belong….”
No. Don’t settle because it’s easy, because it’s comfortable, because it’s practical. Just remember the moment you sat at the desk in the football office blocking out everyone, seeing nothing, but imagining the many possibilities of your future, working in football operations. Remind yourself of your 20-year-old passions, priorities and moments of inspiration.
Now after drenching this paper with tears (you were always a water bag) and simply being slapped in the face, I want you to highlight this: Never lose sight of where you came from and the lessons you learned along this long road called college.
You, two years ago
Kaylin Purvis, UF 20′