Now that I am almost 22 years old and approaching my senior year of college, I think it is time for me to do some reflecting and answer the age-old question: what I would tell the younger version of myself?

Well, one thing that comes to mind is never apologizing for who you are. You are going to meet people that may not like you for the dumbest reasons and sometimes it can affect, but the one thing that you will learn is that sticks and stones may break my bones. There are negative people in this world that will try to tear you down, but you will become stronger than you are before. You are going to go to places that you never thought you would end up for the semester, maybe Washington, DC. One thing you will learn from being there is that it is a fast-paced city with so many distractions, but that won't stop you at all. You learn to be quick on your feet and you will become the best version of yourself. You will continue to learn to become stronger than ever when people try to tear you down, and one thing that you should do is look at yourself in the mirror and say "you are a bad ass and you are strong." Sometimes you will struggle with your confidence, but the more you grow up and learn more about yourself then you will become more confidence in anything you set your mind too.

Another lesson that you will learn about yourself is the fact that your political views will not change and you will stick with your values.

You will have friends that are supportive, caring and strong just like you are and that was something that affected you when you were growing up. You will be one of the loudest people in the room even if you are not trying to talk really loud haha. Be more appreciative of your family even if they can be a pain in the butt, but they love you and they will be there to support you no matter what. Don't give yourself a hard time when you get a bad test grade, because in four or five years that test score won't matter as much. Be proud of your culture, because being Indian is awesome and it makes you stand out. Don't be embarrassed of your heritage, because that is something you should be proud of even when little kids make fun of you about your culture. Don't be bothered when people say you're "not Indian enough." Instead use that as fuel to lear more about your culture and correct them about the inaccuracies of that statement. Education is such a strong tool to combat anything, but also that statement is not okay. Please let them know that. Be proud of who you are whenever someone makes fun of you just play "Shake It Off" by Taylor Swift and that will be your theme song anywhere you go! You can come off a bit abrasive to some people so just be careful, it's okay, to be honest, but just be careful with how your statements come across because some people are just overly sensitive. You will learn to be a great friend to some of the best people in your life that will be supporting you on the sidelines when you go through good times and bad times. You will be scared when you go off to college and may shed a few tears in this next chapter, but you will realize that you will meet some of the best people ever and that college was on of the best things that ever happened to you, because you will finally get out of Appleton, WI. Even though you may hate being Appleton sometimes because it may seem small sometimes, appreciate where you come from, because it will always be your home no matter what.

My last point that I would tell you is that you will almost survive undergrad and you did a damn good job of it. Continue to be ambitious and be focused on your next goal which is to get into law school, because it has been your dream since you were a kid. Always stay true to yourself and continue to be the best version of yourself!

Love,

Sunitha Doraivelu