A Letter To The Girl Who's Finding Herself

A Letter To The Girl Who's Finding Herself

How I Lost Myself In The Process Of Finding Myself.

College is a time for change. It’s a time for finding yourself, who you are, and who you want to be. And most of the ride is just that-finding yourself. And sometimes, that may just take the whole four years to do so. After just one year, I expected to know myself. I expected to know what I stand for, what I believe in, and how I see myself. But this is unrealistic. Here’s my journey.

All throughout my life, I was known as small. Standing just above 5’ 2”, I weighed just 98 pounds all throughout my high school years. I was the designated “tiny” friend. I always got the middle seat in the back of the car and was often told to "eat a burger." I was also known for having long, beautiful blonde hair. When asked what my best feature was, all my friends responded with my golden locks. I was known for its length. I had always had long hair. Even my kindergarten photo showed it off; so long it was cut out of the frame at the bottom. In addition, I was smart. I graduated number 10 out of 160 students in my high school class. I was in three honor societies, over 10 clubs, held many leadership positions, got a 30 on my ACT, and had a 4.47 GPA. I was known for being smart. And lastly, I was the girl with the boyfriend. Starting in December of 2012, we were inseparable, deemed by our friends as “relationship goals,” and even won Homecoming King and Queen.

But then I graduated, and everything changed. It was June, and my boyfriend of two and a half years and I had suddenly split up. Within a few days, my rock had suddenly disappeared. We had planned on attending the same college, and now, I was going into college all alone. I was all for a drastic change, since that’s what had recently happened in my love life. And so it was decided. I chopped a whopping 13 inches off my hair. Just moments before, it had reached the waistband of my jeans. And just seconds after, it didn’t even reach the top of my undershirt. To top things off, I even picked up a nickname that I would go by at school. But it was a fresh start, and it was just what I needed. I felt like a different person.

Then I got to college, and I discovered my dorm’s delicious pepperoni pizza. And fries. And cheesecake. Cheesecake every day? I was in heaven. Why eat anything healthy when there’s a constant supply of all my favorite foods? For the first three days, I ate nothing but the food items above for dinner. And it showed. I gained 5 pounds right off the bat. This may seem like such a small amount, but on my 5’ 2” frame, there was a noticeable change. Clothes that I had had since freshman year of high school suddenly were too tight on me. I was no longer known for being the smallest or having the flattest stomach. To make matters worse, I had quickly gone from a stand-out student in high school to an average student in college. A 4.47 GPA and a 30 ACT were the norm now. I didn’t join many clubs, and I felt like a failure.

I felt like completely changed person.

Within a matter of months, I had gone from being the smart, small girl with the long hair AND a boyfriend, to being the single, average sized, average intelligent girl with the short hair. I was just like any other average person. I didn’t feel special. What made me stand out? I was a whole new me. I had lost myself in the process of finding myself. I had changed so much of what I knew to be familiar in the past couple months that I had nothing to remember my old self by. Nothing of me was permanent. Nothing was familiar. I felt like I didn’t even know myself anymore. And it showed. I was lost.

It took a very blunt wake-up call from one of my best friends from home for me to realize that I wasn’t myself anymore. He had come to visit one weekend, but instead of spending time with him, I spent all my time with my new, glamorous friends as he sit on the sidelines and watched. Needless to say, when he got home he had some not-so-nice words for me, saying that I “wasn’t who I used to be” and “where was the old me?” This made me reevaluate. Why had I lost myself? I had only become single, cut my hair, gained some curves, and changed my name, so why did I think I was so different? I quickly worked to be who I was before. I cut many toxic relationships out of my life. I tried to reconnect with many of my high-school friends to try to get a sense of familiarity and who I was before I had come to college. I talked more to my parents. I focused more heavily on school, having the work ethic of the student I had previously been. I picked up a couple clubs at the semester mark, even gaining a few leadership roles. I slowly but surely saw the old me start to come out again.

I didn’t write this article to seek out attention for putting on a few pounds, or complain about my new haircut, or even criticize my university for not choosing me as an Honors student. I’m not. I’m here, telling you my experience of trying to find myself and how it went awry. I’ll be the first to admit I’m not there yet. I’m still trying to figure everything out. But I’m excited to. I’m happy with the new me. I can’t wait to go home and chop a few inches off my hair and I feel much healthier now after I gained a couple of pounds (plus hello? New clothes!). But I also can’t wait to go home and reunite with all my high school friends and be known by my full name once again. I think the new, college version of yourself should be a happy medium between who you once were, and who you think you should be. Remember your roots. I’m still working on it. But I know I’ll get there. Because that smile you see below is completely genuine, happy, and eagerly awaiting the future.

Cover Image Credit: www.cynthiapasquella.com

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Prep These Snacks for Healthy On Campus Treats

Easy to Prep, Easy to Take With You

Eating healthy on a college campus can be a bit of a chore, especially when you’ve got fast food places every few feet, and the college meal plan doesn’t exactly offer the healthiest options. Snacks are normally limited to whatever you can get out of the vending machines, so chips and candy bars are a staple. If you want to eat a little healthier, here are some healthy snacks that you can prep easily to take with you to class, the dorm room, or wherever you need to go — even if you don’t have a kitchen to cook in.

Fresh Fruit

Most fresh fruit needs to be refrigerated, but you do have some options if you don’t want to haul around a portable cooler or lunchbox to your classes.

  • Apples are awesome sources of fiber and can be stored in a bag or backpack without refrigeration. Other tree fruits — pears, peaches, nectarines, etc — can also work, though you might need to be a bit more careful with someone of these. They’re soft enough that they might squish in your bag if they end up under a textbook.
  • Bananas — A potassium powerhouse, these little self-wrapped fruits are perfect if you need a quick pick me up during the day.
  • Citrus Fruits — Oranges, Tangelos and Mandarins are great little snacks, as long as you have somewhere to dispose of the peel when you’re done.


This might seem messy, but apple sauce packets designed for small children can be a great way to carry a healthy snack with you without the need for a spoon. If you’re handy though, you can turn the foil lid of a regular applesauce cup into a spoon with a few twists! As an added bonus, many of these packets contain other fruits and some even contain vegetables.

Green Bean Chips

These sound a little odd but hear us out — dried green beans have the consistency of potato chips while giving you all the nutritional benefits of regular green beans. You can buy them pre-packaged (check your local farmers market if you don’t see them at the grocery store) or you can make them yourself, just by drying them for a few hours in a cool oven.

Fresh Vegetables

These might require some refrigeration, but you won’t need anything more than a cutting board and a good knife to prepare them. Some good vegetable options might include:

  • Carrots — alone or with hummus or dip, these snacks keep for quite a while in your bag, making them ideal for between class snacks.
  • Celery — while it doesn’t have a lot of nutritional value, it’s super tasty when paired with peanut butter or other nut butters.
  • Sugar Snap Peas — a tasty treat with a hint of sweetness, these can be eaten raw and whole or dried into chips.

Any fresh vegetable you can chop up and stick in a container can potentially be a good snack. Some of the softer vegetables, like tomatoes or cucumbers, should be stored with a cold pack though to keep them fresh.


Most nuts, like almonds, cashews, peanuts, and walnuts, are packed full of good protein and fiber to keep you going throughout the day. They also don’t need any refrigeration, so you can stash them in your bag and forget about them until you need them. If you get bored of one type, it’s easy to mix them up. They’re also a great addition to any trail mix.

Just be careful to enjoy them in moderation. While nuts are good for you, they can also be high in calories.

Nut Butters

If crunching on nuts in a quiet lecture hall doesn’t appeal to you, try switching to nut butters instead. They have all the nutritional benefits of the nuts themselves, come in a variety of types, and can be spread on just about anything. Make a nut butter and jelly sandwich, eat celery with nut butter, or spread it on crackers — the sky is the limit. Stick to natural or organic nut butters though — these usually don’t have any additives, which makes for a healthier snack.


Don’t start loading up the butter. Without all the extra toppings, popcorn can be one the healthiest snacks in your arsenal. Invest in a cheap air popper — they’re about $20 at Wal-Mart and take up very little counter space — and pop your own. It’s okay to add a little bit of butter, but you don’t want to make it equal the stuff you can get at the movie theater.

Protein Bars

These aren’t always the healthiest option, depending on the brand you choose, but they can do in a pinch and many are flavored with chocolate or other sweet options, making it easier to pick up a protein bar instead of a chocolate candy bar. Look for brands that are low in processed sugars and made with all natural ingredients.


This savory spread is made from chickpeas, which are high in protein, and can be paired with just about anything. Dip carrots or pretzels in it, spread it on crackers, or use it as a replacement for mayo on your turkey sandwich. Hummus can be high in salt, depending on the flavors that are added to it, so enjoy it in moderation. It does also need to be refrigerated, so stash your hummus in with your fresh vegetables or other cold snacks.

Snacking on campus doesn’t need to be entirely unhealthy, even if you do enjoy your chips and candy bars. Supplement your snack regimen with a few of these healthy alternatives to help you lower your sugar intake and keep you energized so you can get to all those early morning classes!

Cover Image Credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/citrus-fruit-food-fruit-oranges-207085/

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To My Beloved Starbucks, Thank You

I could not do it without you.

Dear Starbucks,

I cannot thank you enough.

You have truly helped me survive school, work, and just life in general. I truly enjoy the whole Starbucks brand.

Since I have been in college, you have always given me a good place to study. There are two Starbucks on my campus and each has just the right amount of noise, the smell of coffee, and always enough sunshine or lighting to read or write.

I have never met anyone who works at Starbucks who I have not liked. I am sure being a barista is a stressful job, and the things I have seen people order and ask for are absurd. However, I have never seen a Starbucks employee not fulfill these needs with a smile.

If only your drinks were always 50% off, I think you would truly fulfill my greatest dreams.

Respectfully Yours,

A Coffee Lover

Cover Image Credit: Max Pixel

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