A Letter To My Future Self Before College Graduation

A Letter To My Future Self Before College Graduation

From my current, freshman year self.
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To the older (and hopefully more mature) me:

It's crazy to think that as I sit here writing this I'm almost done my first year of college. When I was little, people who were in college always seemed incredibly old to me, and now here you are about to graduate.

I think I have it all figured out right now - majors, minors, what I want to do with my life. Yet, I'm also pretty confident that whatever you're pursuing after graduation is probably completely different from what I expect. Whatever it is, I hope you love it.

I've had a pretty memorable freshman year - complete with a break trip to Costa Rica and a national championship - so I have no doubt that you've made even more incredible memories in your time here.

Just a few months ago, I was still nervous I hadn't made the right choice. I had high hopes, but I also knew it was hard to tell what a school is really like before even getting there. However, I don't think I ever could've predicted how much I love it here. I hope you still love it just as much as I do (and probably even more). I know you're probably sad to see it go, but I'm excited for you to move on to even bigger and better things.

I hope you got to try everything you wanted to do. I think I've gotten a good start on it - I've gotten involved in things I didn't expect to, taken classes I never thought I would, and met people I never would've met otherwise - and I hope that continued throughout your time in college. Once you're gone there's no going back, although I'm pretty sure you're more than aware of that.

I have some exciting travel plans in the near future, like a trip to NYC with my family and a trip to Galway with my best friends. I hope they both ended up being amazing trips you still look back on fondly. I hope you've gotten even more opportunities to travel to amazing places that I never thought I would see.

It's crazy to think that Sarah graduates in a few weeks, and as you're rereading this you're the same age your older sister is currently. She seems so old and mature, and now you're (hopefully) in a similar place.

Good luck in the real world!

Love,

Your freshman self

Cover Image Credit: Emily Scheuring

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50 One-Liners College Girls Swap With Their Roomies As Much As They Swap Clothes

"What would I do without you guys???"
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1. "Can I wear your shirt out tonight?"

2. "Does my hair look greasy?"

3. "We should probably clean tomorrow..."

4. "What should I caption this??"

5. "Is it bad if I text ____ first??"

6. "Should we order pizza?"

7. *Roommate tells an entire story* "Wait, what?"

8. "How is it already 3 AM?"

9. "I need a drink."

10. "McDonalds? McDonalds."

11. "GUESS WHAT JUST HAPPENED."

12. "Okay like, for real, I need to study."

13. "Why is there so much hair on our floor?"

14. "I think I'm broke."

15. "What do I respond to this?"

16. "Let's have a movie night."

17. "Why are we so weird?"

18. "Do you think people will notice if I wear this 2 days in a row?"

19. "That guy is so stupid."

20. "Do I look fat in this?"

21. "Can I borrow your phone charger?

22. "Wanna go to the lib tonight?"

23. "OK, we really need to go to the gym soon."

24. "I kinda want some taco bell."

25. "Let's go out tonight."

26. "I wonder what other people on this floor think of us."

27. "Let's go to the mall."

28. "Can I use your straightener?"

29. "I need coffee."

30. "I'm bored, come back to the room."

31. "Should we go home this weekend?"

32. "We should probably do laundry soon."

33. "Can you see through these pants?"

34. "Sometimes I feel like our room is a frat house..."

35. "Guys I swear I don't like him anymore."

36."Can I borrow a pencil?"

37. "I need to get my life together...."

38. "So who's buying the Uber tonight?"

39. "Let's walk to class together."

40. "Are we really pulling an all-nighter tonight?"

41. "Who's taking out the trash?"

42. "What happened last night?"

43. "Can you help me do my hair?"

44. "What should I wear tonight?"

45. "You're not allowed to talk to him tonight."

46. "OMG, my phone is at 1 percent."

47. "Should we skip class?"

48. "What should we be for Halloween?"

49. "I love our room."

50. "What would I do without you guys???"

Cover Image Credit: Hannah Gabaldon

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You Should Be Angry By Your Senior Year Of College

Your friends should have taught you about unjust experience by now.

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In grade school, where you go to school is often controlled by where you live or the alternative options available to you (like charter schools, private school, a home school co-op, etc.), so most likely you're with people with similar socioeconomic status who have similar backgrounds and experiences. I grew up in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia and most of my friends were like me: middle-class people whose dads worked salaried jobs, whose moms maybe worked, who had plans for college and their own salaried careers and would most likely end up in the suburbs like their parents.

There were outliers of course: my Mexican-American friend whose parents were immigrants, the girl with a single mom who had moved down from Detroit for financial reasons, the foreign-exchange student from Germany. But even their unique stories still worked in our school, since they could afford to live in our school district.

College is when you're really surrounded by people who can be extremely different from you. Your roommates and classmates can come from all over the United States and even all over the world. Some could be from the poorest inner city slum, stacking on scholarships and loans to be the first in their family with a college degree. Some could be so rich that they fly to Las Vegas once a month to see their family. Most will be somewhere in between those extremes, but they will still have had different experiences than you.

Being friends with these new, different people should teach you a lot. First, you'll probably learn positive things, like how a missionary kid from Ukraine learned multiple languages and had adventures in Germany on vacation. But eventually, if you're really friends with someone, you'll learn about the negative experiences too. Like how your friend who grew up in another state with a seemingly great family was sexually abused by an older brother.

The negative experiences should affect you. You should grieve with your friends that they have experienced something painful. And you should get angry about the injustice that they have experienced.

My first day of my freshman year of college, I knew no one who have experienced any form of sexual assault or misconduct (or at least no one who had shared such an experience with me). Now I'm about to finish the first semester of my senior year of college and I know seven people. Six women and one man. Some of those people are adults who survived a traumatic experience over ten years ago. One of them was assaulted this semester.

The more people who share their experiences with me, the angrier I become. I've heard from people who never reported, who reported and were helped, and who reported and were never helped. I'm thankful for the times that our justice has worked well and I am angry about the times it has failed. I better understand both why people report and why they don't. I'm angry that such an awful decision even has to be made, that we live in a world where assault happens.

I'm angry about these issues because while in college I've met new people who in some ways are extremely different than me. They trusted me with their negative experiences and awakened in me a new sense of justice for survivors of sexual abuse and misconduct.

Sexual assault doesn't have to be the issue you get angry about. But you should be meeting people who are different than you and have experienced something you can learn about: immigration, refugees, racial injustice, gender discrimination, etc. We live in a fallen world, so I guarantee that your friends have experienced some type of injustice. If you really care about them, you'll get angry about it.

Don't just stay angry, of course. Stewing in anger doesn't help anyone. Use that anger to propel you forward. I'm researching organizations that help survivors of sexual assault and I hope to volunteer with one. What can you do to help the immigrants you know, the refugees you know, the discriminated that you know? If there's no organization, make one. If no one at your school is speaking out, be the first. If you love your friends and truly want no one to experience what they did, you'll do something. Silence is complacency, after all.

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