A Letter To My College Freshman Self, You Crazy Bastard

A Letter To My College Freshman Self, You Crazy Bastard

It's almost closing time here at college for me, so try to not regret much.

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To Jake Prest, Future Black Bear:

First thing's first: how'd you make it into college? Your grades in high school had a Cinderella story, dude, honestly. Going from straight F's to A's and B's (including Math, your life-long nemesis) was seriously impressive. Mom, Dad, Sis, even Gram were so glad you went 0 to 100 real quick, and I'm so damn proud their prodigal son/brother/grandson made it to here and now academically.

College will be hard, as the saying goes, but it goes by quick if you don't lose your confidence and have as much fun as you can. Friends come and go, but best friends will watch Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania with you every year no matter what. Dylan will be the first friend you ever make at UMaine, and he will remain a loyal friend no matter how crazy your life will get in Orono. Bottom line: don't ever lose faith in your friends, they're the closest thing to you since your family is five hours away.

The low point of your college life will be late night music sessions regretting that one mistake.

Chet Baker's "The Thrill Is Gone" or Childish Gambino's "Flight of the Navigator" will be on repeat as you regret something that won't be a big deal after a few months sophomore year. Sure, you might see her every day, but don't let her actions ruin your future. You made the simple mistake of overthinking her feelings for you, but in the end, you'll see the brighter side of life. She's just another face in the crowd, now, that's all.


Oh yeah, you'll also be an RA for two years and you'll have the best time ever.

Enforcing policies, hosting programs, duty shifts on the weekends till 2 am, all that and more will be attached to your life for two years. You will have the best time of your life developing into the professional, caretaking, sane person you will become. The friends you'll make as an RA will be awesome, too, especially the supervisors who will let you 'cut promos' on your every day struggles as a student and an RA.

All in all, your early years of college will have some ups and downs, but don't let that go to your head now. Keep. Being. Your. Goddamn. Self. No one or nothing will stop you from being the crazy, pro wrestling fanatic you are.

Never forget your true passion at college: singing.

You've been singing since forever, man, ever since dad played "My Girl" by the Temptations all those years ago. Sure, you had a tough time being in the high school acapella group, but don't let those egotistical guys get to you. You've got a great voice, man, everyone knows that. Don't be ignorant about it: just be confident. Know that nothing, not even college, can stop what you want to do with your life after graduation.

However, just know that four years will go by quick. I just found that out.

Have as much fun as you can, don't second-guess any opportunity to have fun. Make a ton of friends, try some new clubs, study harder but not super hard (eat, sleep, study, repeat basically). Don't let the assholes beat you down, and don't forget the people that brought you to the dance. Entertain others but entertain yourself, because at the end of the day: you live life for yourself. You don't live for your friends, not even for your family.

You live for yourself because you're the first person you see in the mirror every morning.

And, lastly, from personal experience, watch this EVERY morning. EVERY...morning.

Signed,

Jake Prest '19

P.S. Be sure to thank mom and dad when you get home the first winter back from college. You'll know what I mean when that time comes.

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To The Teacher Who Was So Much More

Thank you for everything
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I think it's fair to say that most people remember at least one teacher who had a lasting impact on them. I have been incredibly lucky to have several teachers who I will never forget, but one individual takes the cake. So here's to you: thank you for all you have done.

Thank you for teaching me lessons not just in the textbook.

Although you taught a great lecture, class was never just limited to the contents of the course. Debates and somewhat heated conversations would arise between classmates over politics and course material, and you always encouraged open discussion. You embraced the idea of always having an opinion, and always making it be heard, because why waste your voice? You taught me to fight for things I believed in, and to hold my ground in an argument. You taught me to always think of others before doing and speaking. You showed me the power of kindness. Thank you for all the important lessons that may not have been included in the curriculum.

Thank you for believing in me.

Especially in my senior year, you believed in me when other teachers didn't. You showed me just what I could accomplish with a positive and strong attitude. Your unwavering support kept me going, especially when I melted into a puddle of tears weekly in your office. You listened to my stupid complaints, understood my overwhelming stress-induced breakdowns, and told me it was going to be okay. Thank you for always being there for me.

Thank you for inspiring me.

You are the epitome of a role model. Not only are you intelligent and respected, but you have a heart of gold and emit beautiful light where ever you go. You showed me that service to others should not be looked at as a chore, but something to enjoy and find yourself in. And I have found myself in giving back to people, thanks to your spark. Thank you for showing me, and so many students, just how incredible one person can be.

Thank you for changing my life.

Without you, I truly would not be where I am today. As cliche as it sounds, you had such a remarkable impact on me and my outlook on life. Just about a year has passed since my graduation, and I'm grateful to still keep in touch. I hope you understand the impact you have made on me, and on so many other students. You are amazing, and I thank you for all you have done.

Cover Image Credit: Amy Aroune

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An Open Letter To Myself At 15

This is an open letter to myself about things I wish I had known at 15.

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Dear Hailey,

You are so loved. I know times might be hard, but it will all be okay. It's okay to ride the fence and be unsure of what you want to do with your life. You're going to change your mind 10 more times before graduation anyways. Also, don't worry about all of the things that you can't change. You can't make someone fall in love with you or make her treat you like a better friend. It's okay for people not to fit in your life. Stop bending over backward for people and live for yourself. In a few years, you will go through so much, but you come out on the better side. You are going to be successful and driven. Also, learn what the meaning of "self-care" is. You need to do a lot of that in the upcoming years. Mental health is more important than anything. Also, quit cutting your baby hairs. They will never get longer so you need to embrace and love them early on. Figure out what you can change, and what you cannot. Most importantly, accept what you cannot change. When you decide that you are ready to face the things that you can change, do it with your whole heart. That doesn't mean complete perfection. It's important to know the difference. Start by making a plan for the future. Write it down, memorize it, do whatever makes it the easiest for you. Think through your plan logically, take into consideration your strengths and weaknesses. Remember to do the hard things first once in a while, the relief is sweet in the end.

You are ready.

You are young.

You are smart.

You are beautiful.

If you ever feel that you are at your lowest point, just remember the only place that you can go is up. Find reassurance in the weakness. The best is yet to come. Don't take pity on yourself. Instead, work harder to make your situation better. Be happy. There are so many things to be thankful for. Ask when you need help. No one can read your mind. Time won't stop for you. Worrying and stressing is simply a waste of time. Be strong and know that you are in God's hands. Everything will work out. It may not be today or tomorrow, but eventually, the pieces will fall into place and you will understand why things had to happen that way.

Love,

Me

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