As I write this, I don't pretend to know everything because I'm still learning as I go, so don't take my word for absolute truth. But I will be honest with you, so be prepared for that.
I don't recognize you. I don't. Is that a bad thing? A good thing? That isn't what's important. As you will realize and understand throughout your years at UNI, change is hard for us. We like routine and structure and predictability. When something doesn't add up right, it bothers us and we dwell on it for longer than necessary. But change isn't always a bad thing. Change is just change; it can be anything: good, bad, a blessing in disguise, hard, frustrating. Change forces us to grow, adapt, learn. It forces out our much loved routine to try something that we might not have before. And that, my friend, is lesson number one.
I recognize parts of you. I see that grades are still important to you. They are a reflection of your hard work, dedication, sacrifice, intelligence level. Grades give you physical proof you matter and are important. Grades give you a sense of accomplishment. Grades give you...but what do grades take from you? They take moments that could become great memories. They take away chances of meeting new people and having new experiences. The point I'm trying to make is that grades are important, yes, but they are not everything. While you might think you know this, you don't right now. Sometimes I don't know it even now. You and your mental and social health matters more than a bunch of letters that future employers are probably not going to even take a second glance at. That is lesson number two.
As for lesson number three, this one is a bit more personal. You're going to grow in ways you won't think possible. You're going to learn more about yourself. After awhile, you will realize the some of the lessons you learned as a child don't have to stay true to how you learned it. It can change to fit your life. Or you can can choose to ignore it. You need to live your own life, not anyone else's. There's times when you need to choose you and your mental health over something that will make you extremely uncomfortable.
To sign off, be not afraid of taking risks and trying new things.
See you in the mirror,
Almost graduating me