A Letter To Myself In Approximately One Year

A Letter To Myself In Approximately One Year

Things will be alright.

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Dear Me,

It's the beginning of January. You're writing this right now because you are experiencing anxiety over almost every aspect in your life right now: "where exactly will I be in a year?" "I don't know what I'm doing right now and I'm about to graduate." "Why isn't that stupid guy from Kappa Apple Pi not talking to me?" "How on earth will I pay off my student loans?" "Can I fail a class so I can stay an extra semester?" "Why can't I be in the shape I want to be?"

Girl. Homie. Honey. Breathe in. Breathe out.

Future you will be just fine. Wanna know how I know? Because it's obvious that you care and when you care, you will have the drive to pursue your goals and dreams. Also, I'm future you so I know these things since I'm living it. So listen up!

Don't worry that that one friend is already getting a job. There are so many companies and you've barely scratched the surface. What you think might be your dream job can end up not being what you want to do. Plus, that particular friend has a 4.0 GPA and doesn't go out on Thursdays. You have a 3.4 cum, have made the Dean's list in past semesters and still have time to be a part of three organizations and go out on Thursdays while making it to your Friday 9 am class. So who's really thriving?

Who cares that 17 people have gotten engaged over the holiday season? You're all under the age of 23. You have so much more life to live. Who cares if that guy stopped talking to you? You're a catch and you know you are. Not to mention that you're too stubborn to admit that there are three other guys who'd drop everything for you. Just be happy for the newly engaged couples and keep doing you. Mr. Right will stumble into you when the time's right. As for now, enjoy being single and all the perks that come with it.

You're not alone. Thousands of people your age are in the exact same boat as you. In fact, there are more people in your boat than the "I have a decent job right out of college" boat and the "look at my shiny engagement ring" boat.

You have no reason to worry. I know your anxiety is through the roof. Paint your nails, do a facemask, light a Yankee, and just continue to breathe. Keep reminding yourself that what you're doing has a purpose in this world. Keep in mind everything that you've already accomplished. You have done so much. You have traveled, pursued dreams, dated boys, and cried true tears. You have danced in the rain, drank on a school night, fought with a friend, and then made up and moved on. You're in school and you stayed in school through all the tough times and the tears and thoughts of dropping out. You're about the graduate with a degree. You are doing everything right.

Keep going, girlfriend. We got this.


Love,

Future you.

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Why Getting Away From Where You Grew Up Is Important

College is the perfect time to get away from home and go out into the real world.
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As you get older, life sometimes makes it hard for you to take control and go to the places you've only dreamed of. There's always a work meeting, ballet recital, or something to hold you back from taking that trip planned four summers ago. College is the perfect time to get away from home and go out into the real world.

It's important to get away from everything you know at one point in your life. There is a whole world full of risk, chance, and experience. The security you have in your hometown can be traded in for adventure and change. There's a time to try something new, learn something that blows your mind, or go somewhere that takes your breath away. That time is now, to feel like you are actually doing something worthwhile with your life.

It is important to get away from where you have grown up for some of your life. You need to grow on your own, without anyone there to tell you you're wrong or out of line being a certain way. The transition from high school to college is the gift of independence. You choose who you get to be without anyone holding your past against you. It's a do-over, a second chance after the mistakes and regrets you lived through in high school. Yet, being away from home has its drawbacks as you lose familiar faces, a steady schedule, and many creature comforts. But, all of these can be found in a new place with time. Leaving the place you grew up gives you another chance to grow again, without boundaries. Travel whenever you get an opportunity because it may not come again. Test your limits while living your actual dreams. Go out and explore the world—you're only here once and don't have time to take it for granted. Leaving everything you know sounds scary, but there are great memories to be made out there.

Whether this new place for you is two hours from home, or 20, it's different, it's exciting and it's change. It is important to get away from where you grew up and learn from the adventures you embark on. It is the best way to find yourself and who you want to be. It's what you'll remember when you look back on everything you've done.

Cover Image Credit: Madison Burns

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For Camille, With Love

To my godmother, my second mom, my rooted confidence, my support

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First grade, March. It was my first birthday without my mom. You through a huge party for me, a sleepover with friends from school. It included dress up games and making pizza and Disney trivia. You, along with help from my grandma, threw me the best birthday party a 7-year-old could possibly want.

During elementary school, I carpooled with you and a few of the neighborhood kids. I was always the last one to be dropped off, sometimes you would sneak a donut for me. Living next door to you was a blessing. You helped me with everything. In second grade, you helped me rehearse lines for history day so I could get extra credit. In 4th grade, you helped me build my California mission.

You and your sister came out to my 6th grade "graduation". You bought me balloons and made me feel as if moving onto middle school was the coolest thing in the entire world.

While you moved away from next door, you were a constant in my life. Going to Ruby's Diner for my birthday, seeing movies at the Irvine Spectrum and just hanging out, I saw you all the time. During these times, you told me about all of the silly things you did with my mom and dad, how my mom was your best friend. I couldn't have had a greater godmother.

In middle school, you pushed me to do my best and to enroll in honors. You helped me through puberty and the awkward stages of being a woman.

Every single time I saw you, it would light up my entire day, my week. You were more than my godmother, you were my second mom. You understood things that my grandma didn't.

When you married John, you included me in your wedding. I still have that picture of you, Jessica, Aaron and myself on my wall at college. I was so happy for you.

Freshmen year of high school, you told me to do my best. I did my best because of you. When my grandma passed away that year, your shoulder was the one I wanted to cry on.

You were there when I needed to escape home. You understood me when I thought no one would. You helped me learn to drive, letting me drive all the way from San Clemente to Orange.

When I was applying to colleges, you encouraged me to spread my wings and fly. You told me I should explore, get out of California. I wanted to study in London, you told me to do it. That's why, when I study abroad this Spring in London, I will do it for you.

When I had gotten into UWT, you told me to go there. I did and here I am, succeeding and living my best in Tacoma. I do it for you, because of you.

When I graduated high school and I was able to deliver a speech during our baccalaureate, you cheered me on. You recorded it for me, so I could show people who weren't able to make it to the ceremony. You were one of the few people able to come to my actual graduation. You helped me celebrate the accomplishments and awards from my hard work.

When your cancer came back, I was so worried. I was afraid for you, I was afraid of what I would do without the support you had always given me. When I was in Rome, I went to the Vatican and had gotten a Cross with a purple gem in the middle blessed by the Pope to help you with your treatments. It was something from me and a little bit of my mom in the necklace, the gem.

Now, sitting so far from you away at college just like you wanted me to. I miss you. I wish I was there to say goodbye.

I'll travel the world for you, write lots of stories and books for you, I will live life to the fullest for you.

You are another angel taken too early in life. Please say hello to my parents and grandma in Heaven for me.

Lots of love,

Haiden

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