I've always had a baby face and haven't grown an inch since middle school, so if you were to look at comparison photos from my high school years to today, you probably wouldn't see as much of a difference as I do.
The girl who I was in high school feels like another identity compared to who I am today. Past the box-dyed red hair and thick black pencil eyeliner that I woke up an extra thirty minutes to apply *cringe*, I don't recognize the person who I was once. We have similar ambitions and values, but the way I see the world has drastically changed.
The way I view my looks, my faith and my worth have been shaped by my college years, and that's pretty rad.
Still, entering my senior year of college, I am starting to carry the same worries that I once did three years ago.
I believe as much as your habits and ideals may change, we still carry our same fears. We can shake them, replace them or try to erase them, but the things that truly make us who we are is often the things that we don't like about ourselves. The thing that I carry with me is: worry.
I remember being eighteen years old with pamphlets of schools in front of me for ideal colleges I would like to attend. I knew deep inside I didn't really know what I wanted, but I figured it would all work out in the end. And it did, of course, but not even close to the way I could expect it to play out. I ended up at a college I barely considered, studying a major I didn't know existed and in a career path I never knew I could thrive in.
Call it what you want, the universe or fate or God, whatever you choose to believe in, but there is a path lined up for you and it will be glorious. My senior year of high school I simply drastically struggled to find it. I thought I knew everything until I was brutally shaken by the fact that I knew nothing at all.
A senior year is the same for all of us, universally, and there's a beauty in that.
It means that we are closing a chapter in our lives and what lies on the next page can be one of the hardest pages to write. So, as I am preparing to enter my senior year of college, I can feel the worry of what may come next for me beginning to weigh on my shoulders.
I have experienced this abrupt change before, leaving high school with hopes and "we'll stay friends forever, right?" written in our yearbooks. I know the worry will end, the story will continue and I will continue to prosper in my endeavors. But the unknown of what is to happen to us, once we step out of the comfort zones we have painted for ourselves, is scary. And I am afraid.
I am humble in my accomplishments but anxious for more in my life.
And I hope that in another three years from now, I remember who I was in this moment and smile at myself. And also make fun of myself. It'll either be my velvet hair scrunchies or my cardigan collection. Most likely the cardigan collection.