Dear Freshman Emily:

Congratulations! You lived to see another day. I know how hard that can be at the moment, but if I can tell you one thing, it's that you will be okay.

Right now, you are the girl who cries herself to sleep at night because she hates college so much. At the current moment, you want to die. Actually, scratch that. You have become so obsessed with dying that you think about it constantly. I know that it can be a struggle to be the outsider, but pretty soon, that will all change.

You are about to apply for something that is so beyond amazing you will do it for the next three years. SGA will change your life. The people you meet just from sitting in the office will have a profound impact on you for a very long time. No matter what you may think at the current moment, you will find people who love you. For you, though, it just might take a bit longer than the average Joe.

This year, even though it will not be looked back upon with the fondest memories, will change your life. You will meet people who will become your life line in so many different situations. At the moment, it is easy to feel alone. Hoewever, give it some time, and things will work out the way they are supposed to.

You will fall in love with politics. So much so that your fiery passion will shine through. Do not, under any circumstances, let anyone put that fire out. Since you are different in the South, it will be hard. However, the Emily Rasch that I know would not let that passion die. A lot of things are worth fighting for, and there needs to be a voice like you to stand for those who cannot.

You will love Southern Miss. Yes, really. It will take time, but there will come a day when you realize that Southern Miss was, and will always be, the school for you. A lot will depend on what you decide to do with that. If I could offer you any advice, though, please do not wear anything not USM related in the SGA office. Unless you want a verbal buttocks whipping, I highly advise against doing that.

You will become comfortable with the idea of change. It seems strange now, but some of life's greatest treasures come from it. Frankly, nobody likes change and what comes from it. You are not any different from the next person in terms of that. You have to be the catcher of whatever life throws your way. I promise, girl, you've got this.

My last word of advice for you is to embrace the struggles. It will be a long time before you will hit your breaking point and finally ask for help. But you've got this. No matter what people think of you, you will be that ray of sunshine needed in this heavily overcast world.

And if that's not something to celebrate, what is?

All the best,

The Junior you