I am proud of you.
I'm sorry if you think that is corny but it needed to be said. It's hard to be your own person when someone is always comparing your actions to someone else, but you did it. And I'm proud.
You never ask for my advice, but I give it to you anyway. Just one of the many blessings of having an older sister. But really, I want to help you through this intimidating unknown that is the transition to college.
Let me start by saying: I love you, but don't come home. I mean it. I don't care how homesick you are, you stick it out that first month on campus. That first month is critical to you making new friends, adjusting to class and finding clubs and organizations that are of interest to you. I promise, you may even be so busy in the first month that you forget about us back home. But just in case your mind wanders back to Yaya's cooking, don't.
My favorite piece of advice I was given before going to college was: "make mistakes." Seriously, this is the time in your life when you can choose who you want to be. Don't be afraid to switch majors if it isn't what you want, don't be afraid to ask for help, don't be so concerned about what others think that you forget to be happy.
For me, college was the time where I found my voice. You have an insane amount of freedom in college. Dude, you can pick your class schedule. No 8 a.m.s ever again. But no even just that, no one is forcing you to go to class, to go to the doctor's if you aren't feeling right, or worse yet, no one is making you dinner. You learn to be independent, mostly out of necessity, but even still, it is a quality that will stick with you for the rest of your life. I hope you not only become independent in your actions but also in your thoughts. I hope you will learn what you stand for and what is important to you; not because you've been told your whole life that it matters, but because you have decided for yourself that it does.
And there are many more things that I hope for you. I hope you will have nights that you don't remember and that your cheeks will hurt from laughing with your friends. I hope you buy pizza out of the back of a van, because everyone needs to experience that at least once. I hope you have nights where you drink an excess of coffee and ask for my help editing a paper that is due the next day, just so I know you didn't totally forget about me. But most importantly, I hope you remember who you are and where you came from, and know that we are all rooting for you.