So, It’s been quite a while since I’ve written a blog post. About four months. This past summer got pretty busy and I just got caught up in the midst of things and didn’t really feel that compelled to write much of anything. I just didn’t have that much to say. Well, I just started my senior year of college and now I have quite a lot I want to say. This past week, as I moved back on campus and walked to classes and felt the newness of yet another year begin again, I did a lot of reflecting, and realized that quite a lot has happened the past three years. So I have decided to write a letter to my freshman year self, because this is what I would have told her if I could.
Dear 18-year-old Becca,
You just moved into your freshman dorm room, so excited, yet so afraid at what the next four years will bring you. Well, I will tell you this, the next four years will change you. You will come so far, grow so much, from the person that stepped onto campus on day 1. You will come to know the paralyzing feeling that is anxiety at it’s worst. You will have your first experience with the terror that is a panic attack. You will have dark bouts of depression. It will be hard, and at times you will feel that you can’t go on. But I am here to tell you that you made it through, and here you are, starting your senior year, stronger than ever. This day will seem so far away, so out of reach from where you are standing. You will learn so much, and not just from your classes. College will expand your worldview immensely. It will cause you to know what’s happening in the world and want to know why. More than anything, you will learn so much about yourself.
The next few years, you will face a lot of self-doubt. You will start to question your identity and start to ask the big questions. You will think a lot about the values and beliefs you came here with, and you will start to make them your own. But just like before, you will wrestle with those beliefs. You will try to fit in with everyone else, to blend in and fit into the box that the others place around you. Eventually you will come to realize that you simply do not fit into that box, and that it is not who you are, and later on you will learn to be more than okay with not fitting into that box. You will learn the meaning of finding your truth and living it without apologizing for being who you truly are. It will be one of the most liberating feelings you’ve ever felt, because for the first time, you will feel truly free.
You will realize soon after that you can begin to be the strong, brave person that you always have been, but it will take a while to get there. It won’t be easy to find that girl. It will seem like a long, winding journey of feeling incredibly lost and misunderstood to find her. But you will. That’s another thing you will come to discover- the right people will understand you anyway, the other ones don’t have to. Speaking of the right people, you will soon meet the sweetest, most understanding boy of all, and he will change your life forever. He will teach you that it’s okay to be yourself, and he will show you more love and acceptance than you ever knew possible. Though you will go through a lot the next few years, he will hold your hand through absolutely everything. So when you find him, please know that you have found the greatest, most kind, gentle soul, and please don’t take your love for granted. Cherish all the time you are able to spend with him, because you will need to spend quite a bit of time apart in the future and you will miss him like crazy when you can’t be together.
You will feel lonely at times, but if you just wait, you will become closer and closer to the girls. You will meet the girl that will become your best friend and, in the future, your roommate. She is also one of the right ones who make you feel understood. You will have many nights, late nights, talking and laughing and dancing and embracing life in the moment. Remember to make girls’ nights a priority, because you won’t have all of your girl friends all in one place like this after you graduate.
You will have this moment when you begin your senior year, when you see how far you’ve come, how strong you’ve gotten, and how blessed you truly are. You will look at your three beautiful housemates (just wait, because townhouse living is far better than those dorms) and your sweet boy, and your family. You will walk to class and look around at all the people. You will sit in class and feel lucky to be where you are, learning and growing. You will see that your time here is ending, and that it has gone by much faster than you thought it would. Embrace your time, embrace those moments at 2 a.m. laughing with your best friends. Be present and enjoy the moment. Just be a college student and, please, don’t take life so seriously. Don’t be so hard on yourself. You’re doing more than okay, and you’re gonna make it. You are okay.
Your 21 year-old, senior self