Yep, this is
Hey, Middle School Me,
Wow, has shit changed. Physically, emotionally, socially, everything has changed. The once boy-dressed, emo-looking, social-climber middle schooler has flourished into a thriving, loving, thoughtful college student that is paving the way for her future. As much as I hate thinking about how you looked and the way you acted, you were a huge part of making me who I am today. So, thank you.
Thank you for making me the loud, outgoing, passionate person I am today. Without your fearlessness to be who you are, I wouldn’t be here today.
Thank you for teaching me to always give it your all, regardless of the consequences of doing so. Without you, I wouldn’t have had the desire to want to be a member of the Executive Board of some of the most astute clubs on campus.
Thank you for being motivated and driven academically and in extracurriculars. Without you, I would constantly crumble to the pressures closely associated with college.
Thank you for finding your voice so young. Without you, I would struggle to be able to convey my beliefs and perspectives on so many controversial issues that plague the Rutgers community today.
Thank you for being fearless and passionate. Without you, I wouldn’t be able to find the heart or desire to want to pursue the degree that I am.
Thank you for always loving yourself at your worst. Without you, I would never be so confident in myself and my abilities.
Thank you for always caring about those closest to you and for always looking out for them. Without you, I wouldn’t be able to put those most important to me before myself.
Thank you for being you. Without you, I wouldn’t be who I am today.
Although so much has changed over the years and I cringe at the thought of my middle school existence, I am thankful for the person that you were during that life-changing, tumultuous time. You have helped to shape me into the person that I am today and taught me lessons that I will take with me for the rest of my life. For showing me how to love, how to be the best version of myself, and how to be me, thank you. I will always appreciate the person that you were. In ten years, I hope to look back at myself in college just as I did now with you.
The best advice I got before starting college was to say yes to everything. It's been almost three years since then.
You don't think about it much when you start school. You're so nervous about transitioning into that next stage of life that you let some things pass you by. That entire first semester is about figuring out classes, friends, and that newfound sense of independence.
It wasn't until I got out of the blur that was my freshman year that I realized I hadn't let myself have a chance to explore all these opportunities around me. I remember being in high school and just getting involved in everything that sounded interesting to me. I took every chance I got and was so much happier for it. So why did I spend a year letting so many things pass me by?
Something flipped when I got back to campus for my sophomore year. I decided to say why not. Why not start working for the wrestling team, or join a "Survivor"-based organization, or use university funds to go on a service trip to Oklahoma? I could do all these things that I would end up loving and there was no one to stop me.
As a freshman four years of college sounds long and daunting. I'm now nearing the end of my junior year and it keeps hitting me how short this all feels. We get a four year buffer between living with our parents and having to be a full-fledged adult. That's four years to take opportunities and do things I probably won't have the chance to do after I graduate.
I've gotten to continue working for a sport I love and be a part of a student organization which both have nothing to do with my future career plans. But these two things have brought me people that I know won't be out of my life anytime soon. I'm not going to get the chance to go learn about culture and build ramps in the Cherokee Nation again. I'm so lucky to have gotten to do it twice now.
Everything that I've ended up loving in college has come from just saying yes to that blind leap of faith. I've had all these amazing experiences and met some of my favorite people through this one simple word.
There's so many opportunities being thrown at you in four years. Stop giving yourself reasons to say no.
Just say yes.