To The Younger Me

To The Younger Me

The six things I wish I could go back and tell my old self.
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During my past 19 years of life I had always felt rather lonely. That is, until I got here: college. However, these are things you simply cannot express to other people in your high school. In high school, you cannot risk seeming weak, because the vultures will prey on it. No one can ever know the real you, because you cannot risk your reputation. Well... to hell with your so called reputation. If I could go back, I know there are several things I would tell my old self.

1. Not all girls are mean like they are in high school.

Hold the phone! This is not a joke. Not all girls are not mean like they are in high school. Growing up, I was always that girl that was one of the guys, because the guys were just less drama. The sad thing is that it starts young. If you did not own an Aeropostale shirt in 5th grade, you might as well have been the kid that ate dirt. During high school, you try to do things, say things, wear things, and be something that you're not to impress people that you don't even like!

I'm here to let you know that college isn't like that... at all. Your best friends are girls that are exactly like you, yet they're their own person. You've only known these people for six weeks, yet you've shared more of who you truly are with them than you ever did with people from back home. And to be quite honest, you could probably be wearing a onesie and they would genuinely believe you are the fabulous person that you are.

2. People don't always thrive off your failures.

Growing up in a small town isn't the easiest thing in the world. Don't get me wrong, I will never forget where I came from. Marshall, Illinois gave me more scholarships and memories than I can ever repay it for. But the problem with small towns is that everyone knows everyone. We all know who has money, who goes to church on Sunday, and we even know the name of the crazy old man that rides his bike across town. While some of these things are convenient, everyone is waiting for you to fail. If you're in the lead for valedictorian and you get a B, your "friends" will be there for you, but they'll secretly be thriving off your loss. If you get a boyfriend, you better watch out cause next thing you know you're pregnant. You haven't noticed any symptoms, but man the town sure does know more about your life than you do.

However, true friends do not wish the worst for you. Good people are out there, you just have to find them. When you did bad on you first calculus test, your friend showed up to the dorms and surprised you with your favorite ice cream. When you go to college, you are surrounded by good vibes and constant happiness. There is no longer that sense of competition. All you want is for your best friends to be happy and successful, and I am sure they wish the same for you.

3. It's OK to ask for help.

I wish someone would have told you that it is OK to ask for help. I wish I could explain to eight-year-old-me that it wasn't your fault when you had melt downs. You are not your anxiety. You are not your depression. You are not your panic attacks. You are beautiful in every way. Finally, at 18 years old you admitted that prescription medicine might be the best way to go. This is nothing to be ashamed of; you know that now. Your only regret is that you did not reach out and ask for help sooner.

4. Money was tight, but it wasn't that tight.

You didn't have to eat a 30 cent doughnut for lunch every day in junior high. Mom wouldn't have been mad if you would have asked her to send the school money. I have talked to her myself, and you should have talked to her back then. Money was tight, but not tight enough you had to go hungry all day.

5. It will all work out in the end.

I remember being laughed at for being a "tryhard." Everyone teased that my math book was my bible and I should go study some more flashcards. All I wanted to do was explain my story to them. Maybe if they knew that in third grade my mom told me "I don't have a college fund for you," they would understand. Just to be clear, my mom was not saying this, because she did not want to help me. My parents would give me everything in the world if they could, but unfortunately some of us are dealt on the lower hand in life.

You didn't have to have to work as much as you did. You didn't need to work holidays and every weekend. You probably shouldn't have agreed to work until 12 a.m. on school nights. You should not have worried yourself sick about how you were going to pay for school. If only back then you would have known that you would pay off a 2011 Kia Soul and your first year of college without taking out loans, you would have saved yourself a lot of stress. But, life is beautiful and a crazy ride. There are ups and downs, so just enjoy the present and have hope for the future.

6. You are going to be someone.

There will be times when people will try to bring you down. There will be people that try and tell you that you are going nowhere in your life. There will be bullies that make excuses and say that you get handed everything. They’ll try to say you don’t deserve homecoming queen or team captain. But, do not, under any circumstances, give in to these people. Don’t let someone else’s envy make you doubt yourself; because, you are going to be someone.

I know this because you already are.

You were important then, and you are important now.

I wish I could go back and tell the old me where I would end up. But, I bet she wouldn't believe me. I'm OK with that though, because she was in for the best surprise of her life. The biggest piece of advice I can give is don't blink. One day you're struggling and stressing, and the next day you're walking to class on a beautiful campus, crying tears of joy because you did it. And you really did.

You made it.

Cover Image Credit: Mackenzie Rogers

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To The Girl Who Had A Plan

A letter to the girl whose life is not going according to her plan.
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“I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” - William Ernest Henley

Since we were little girls we have been asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” We responded with astronauts, teachers, presidents, nurses, etc. Then we start growing up, and our plans change.

In middle school, our plans were molded based on our friends and whatever was cool at the time. Eventually, we went to high school and this question became serious, along with some others: “What are your plans for college?” “What are you going to major in?” “When do you think you’ll get married?” “Are you going to stay friends with your friends?” We are bombarded with these questions we are supposed to have answers to, so we start making plans.

Plans, like going to college with our best friends and getting a degree we’ve been dreaming about. Plans, to get married as soon as we can. We make plans for how to lose weight and get healthy. We make plans for our weddings and children.

SEE ALSO: 19 Pieces Of Advice From A Soon-To-Be 20-Year-Old

We fill our Pinterest boards with these dreams and hopes that we have, which are really great things to do, but what happens when you don’t get into that college? What happens when your best friend chooses to go somewhere else? Or, what if you don’t get the scholarship you need or the awards you thought you deserved. Maybe, the guy you thought you would marry breaks your heart. You might gain a few pounds instead of losing them. Your parents get divorced. Someone you love gets cancer. You don’t get the grades you need. You don’t make that collegiate sports team. The sorority you’re a legacy to, drops you. You didn’t get the job or internship you applied for. What happens to you when this plan doesn’t go your way?

I’ve been there.

The answer for that is “I have this hope that is an anchor for my soul.” Soon we all realize we are not the captain of our fate. We don’t have everything under control nor will we ever have control of every situation in our lives. But, there is someone who is working all things together for the good of those who love him, who has a plan and a purpose for the lives of his children. His name is Jesus. When life takes a turn you aren’t expecting, those are the times you have to cling to Him the tightest, trusting that His plan is what is best. That is easier said than done, but keep pursuing Him. I have found in my life that His plans were always better than mine, and slowly He’s revealing that to me.

The end of your plan isn’t the end of your life. There is more out there. You may not be the captain of your fate, but you can be the master of your soul. You can choose to be happy despite your circumstances. You can change directions at any point and go a different way. You can take the bad and make something beautiful out of it, if you allow God to work in your heart.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Patiently Waiting With An Impatient Heart

So, make the best of that school you did get in to. Own it. Make new friends- you may find they are better than the old ones. Apply for more scholarships, or get a job. Move on from the guy that broke your heart; he does not deserve you. God has a guy lined up for you who will love you completely. Spend all the time you can with the loved one with cancer. Pray, pray hard for healing. Study more. Apply for more jobs, or try to spend your summer serving others instead. Join a different club or get involved in other organizations on campus. Find your delight first in God and then pursue other activities that make you happy; He will give you the desires of your heart.

My friend, it is going to be OK.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Beavers Photography

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10 Reasons Why Fall Is The Superior Season

Who doesn't love the spooks?

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As we settle into October and the weather begins to drop, I am feeling very rejuvenated from my summer funk. After months of sweltering heat in Oklahoma, Fall is finally swooping in and saving all of us from our misery. The walks across campus were becoming unbearable; I was drenched in sweat from head to toe, but the hero we needed is finally here. There are so many aspects that make Fall arguably the most loved season; there are only a few of them:

1. The leaves 

I don't know about you, but I prefer red, orange, and yellow leaves over green ones. Everything is so picturesque in Fall.

2. The weather

So long to the days of looking like I'm in pain after a brisk walk to class. Hello to cool breezes and cloudy days.

3. Halloween

Who doesn't love Halloween and all the spookiness it entails?

4. The outfits

Summer's clothing options are probably my least favorite thing about the season. In Fall, you can throw a cardigan over everything to tie your outfit together and look effortlessly cute. Layering is a godsend.

5. Thanksgiving

Fall has the best holidays. I mean we get Halloween AND Thanksgiving? This is too much.

6. The food

In addition to having Thanksgiving, Fall also comes with soup and chili weather. Sure you can eat soup in the summer, but it's SO MUCH BETTER in Fall.

7. NO MORE BUGS

The bug population begins to diminish when the cooler weather hits, and for that I am forever thankful.

8. The activities

Pumpkin patches, corn mazes, carving pumpkins, apple-picking, leave-collecting, simply enjoying the cooler weather—there are so many things to do in Fall.

9. Midterms are behind us (almost)

Where has the semester gone? After midterms the rest of the semester flies by.

10. It's just the best, okay?

Fall is beautiful and a great time to get out, enjoy, and explore the world around you—do it!

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