Dear My Freshman Self,
Hey, it’s me, your third-year, hotter, older self. Right about now, you might be driving yourself crazy with nonrealistic expectations. I want to say it’s all going to work out in your favor. You miss that small town with your childhood friends–understandable. You want to transfer home to comfort and familiarity.
Plot twist: you don’t.
This period of your life will show you all your true friends. You will repair all the supposed hopeless family relationships. Things are going to change so fast which will make you scared. You will go to the end of the hall, cry to your grandma about it all. She’ll tell you to not work so hard, to take care of yourself. When the call ends, your favorite RA will take your mind off your worries and the day will reset. What keeps you going? It’s not the hot guy you go see at the end of the hall; shocker. You pull through on your own.
Let go of all the pressure that’s weighed you down.
Before fall semester ends, you will let go of the idea of being a nursing major to please your family. This change will wreck you, but the unrealistic expectations you keep trying to reach will slowly ebb away. You will start allowing yourself to enjoy life while not feeling guilty for doing so. You’ll see that your eloquent peers who you look up to, also look up to you. You’ll find your writing voice and even better, you’ll learn to work faster than anyone.
You’ll still make mistakes even though you calculated all your moves. Life changes the script more often than we like. You will cry in that coffee shop with the guy that plays the “most vibey” playlist while serving you the worst overpriced coffee. I won’t say that your friends save you or that anyone pulled you into the light to wipe your tears. No one did but you.
College moves fast, and you finally adjust to it when you start letting people in.
You reached out and went out to see your friends. Making terrible pizza accompanied by K-dramas and very bad movies. You texted your ex-boyfriend too. It didn’t go bad at all and soon enough it’s your two-year anniversary. You adopt a cat named Freddie. Warning, he lights up your life and can be very aggressive for a pet. Things in our world remain hectic—but you actually learn to enjoy the ride with dance parties and mochi ice cream. You go to bed, knowing what it means to be cared for.
You stopped internalizing all the trauma because by your third year you enrolled in therapy with a doctor that says “lol” way too much, but she comforts you and calls you out on all your unrealistic fears. You will learn that you were never dramatic like the people around you told you. You will learn the need to let go of perfectionism. All of this made you tougher and stopped you from buying 10 boxes of tissues every month.
Here’s your beginning of self-care.
You’ll see that you never cared enough about yourself to take time for self-care—not just because the time in the day slips by. With that being said, you start taking things off your list of responsibilities, and find that your parents always wanted you do that.
I promise that you work it all out, because little progress never satisfies us. Problems will still hit like a truck. In response, you will still make A-through-Z plans before making a decision. Some things never change, but you will slowly start accepting yourself. You get to be the person the elementary school version of us dreamed of. The bad times won’t even feel suffocating anymore because you’ll drown in all the love and support. The kind you never got before. Life works out in funny ways like that. Enjoy it. Cry some more, but also in the happy times when you find yourself surrounded by the people that love you.
All my love,
I don’t know if I should tell you this just in case of the butterfly effect, but there’s going to be a pandemic in March. Save your money now. Pack some of your things to take home when you visit. Leave all the books at home, you won’t read any of it.