An Open Letter To Myself As I Begin College

An Open Letter To Myself As I Begin College

Study hard, don’t party too much, and make sure to have a fun and fufilling freshman experience.

After 18 years, you’ve made it. Hundreds of essays, thousands of looseleaf paper, hours upon hours staying up to do homework, and almost two decades of listening to people tell you what you have to do, you’ve made it to the realm of adulthood and college. Ironically enough, people will still be telling you what to do and you’re probably going to have double the amount of work to complete, but there’s something freeing about heading off to college and being considered a legal adult for the first time.

It’s been a pretty wild ride so far, and it’s only been the first week of school. Do you remember when you first drove up to campus on that early Tuesday morning, car filled to the brim with suitcases, cardboard boxes, and packages? You were so focused on getting dorm supplies and clothes to make your room look nice that you forgot school supplies were actually a thing too, and you were actually going to school to learn. The entire summer involved working for some last-minute cash, spending time with your closest friends before you moved hundreds of miles away from them, and preparing for life at college. You didn’t really know necessarily what to feel. Free, because you could finally have fun without your parents wondering about your every move. Excited, because you could make so many different and new friends. Nostalgic, because you were leaving behind a life at home filled with your oldest friends and family. And nervous, because you were starting an entirely new chapter of your life that essentially defined the rest of your future.

But for some reason, all of the qualms and fears you had regarding college seem to dissipate as you reached campus and saw your new home for the next four years. Screaming upperclassmen were holding up signs with “Remember to wear your retainer (or not)” and “Give us your kids” and the most realistic, “Welcome to college.” Even with cheesy and uncomfortable icebreakers, awkward handshakes with strangers you never saw again, and the minutes you spent trying to find people you knew in a sea of hundred of people, you felt great. The people were welcoming, the atmosphere was comforting, and you knew that even though you may be homesick for a while, life at college was going to be okay.

But don’t forget why you came here: to get an education that millions of kids your age today (and even younger) don’t have the access to. To prepare yourself for the impending future that is adulthood, so when you leave home, you’ll be ready for a life of taxes and mortgage rates and a job that you’ll (hopefully) love. To make friends of a lifetime. To create relationships and bonds that matter to you. To have an experience filled with memories unlike any other. And one of the most important ones: to make your parents proud.

College has been pretty awesome so far, but there probably will be bumps along the way that will bring you back to this letter wondering how things have changed. Study hard, don’t party too much, and make sure to have a fun and fufilling freshman experience. You may be nervous about the next four years, but who isn’t? Just try to be the happiest person you can be, and hopefully, I won't see you again for another four years.

With love,


Cover Image Credit: College Culture

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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The 7 Best Pieces Of Advice I Have Been Given About Life

Some of the best advice I have been given over the years...


There isn't a central theme among these pieces of advice or sayings. They are all just random things I have been told over the course of my life–especially in the last week. I find these 7 to be particularly helpful in various situations, and try to keep them in mind when I am in over my head.

1. "Don't be afraid to advocate for yourself because there is nobody who is going to help you more than you."

You are the #1 person who can help your own case. No one knows you as you do, therefore no one will be able to help you more than you can help yourself. A lot of things are mental, so once you can convince yourself that you deserve something (whatever it may be) you can convince anyone. Another saying goes along with this, on the flip side: "No one can diminish you but yourself." You are in control of your own self-perception, and you are very much capable of being your own worst enemy.

2. "Stand behind your reputation because you can never get it back."

My mom sent this to me the other day. Be who you are, and do it proudly. Especially with meeting people for the first time, you can never have a second chance at a first impression. That being said, if people view you in a bad light, figure out why that is and fix it. You may not be able to change someones initial thoughts of you, but you can change the way they view you after that.

3. "The best things in life happen unexpectedly."

"Life is what happens when you're busy making plans," also goes along with this. Trying to plan out every little detail of your life is only going to lead to disappointment. Sometimes you find the best things/what you're looking for when you're not actually looking. Just go through the motions and things will work out the way they are supposed to.

4. "Be proud of your accomplishments, no matter how small."

It's important to celebrate the little things. Did you go to class today? Good for you. Did you decide to drink water instead of a soda? That's awesome. How are you going to work up to doing bigger and better things if you don't have anywhere to start?

5. "Whatever you're stressing about now probably won't matter in five years."

As someone who is often eaten away by their own worry and anxiety, this is a mantra that I try to constantly remind myself. While it may seem like a big deal now, you need to keep in mind the bigger picture. Will it matter in 5 hours? 5 days? 5 months? And so on. If the answer is no to ANY of these questions, it's probably not worth beating yourself up over.

6. "Stop being the 'go to' person for someone you can't go to."

Someone tweeted that their pastor said this to them and the tweet went viral. A friend of mine sent it to me, and it really made me think. Something I have struggled with over the years is making excuses for people who don't show up for me when I am constantly there for them. This is a helpful reminder that if they aren't contributing to you and your life, you shouldn't have to bend over backward to help them out and be in their lives.

7. "Two wrongs don't make a right."

While this is often a saying that parents use on their young children, it is applicable to pretty much any stage of life. My parents, especially my dad, have constantly said this, whether it was in reference to fighting with my siblings or dealing with people at school. Even as a 20-year-old, I find myself saying this when I hear about arguments and problems people are having. Everyone wants to get even, to best those who hurt them. While it's important to stick up for yourself, it is also important to be the bigger person and not stoop to their level (and whatever else your parents told you in these situations).

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