I’M GRADUATING COLLEGE IN 41 DAYS. I write this in ALL CAPS but honestly I have no idea how to quantify the emotions I’m feeling. Churning around in my belly is a powerful concoction of excietment, sadness, elation and sentimentality. It’s all goopy and sloshy and unprocessed, but it’s there. And it demands to be felt.
Over the last month or so I’ve done some significant reflecting about my past and dreaming about my future. In fact, I wrote a whole blog post about it.
The fact is, I know a hell of a lot more now than I did that hot, sticky August day I moved into Sharp-Davis Hall. I wish so badly I could reach back in time and deliver a letter to that girl warning her about all the stupid things she thinks are true and all the stupid boys she’ll waste her time on. But I can’t. And I shouldn’t. She didn’t learn that way, but she learned. I learned. And now I am writing a commemorative blog post that will hopefully land in the lap of another well-intentioned, bright, sweet, lamb-like young lady.
Here are the top five things I wish I would’ve known then, but I do know now.
1.You’re not always right and your opinon about virutally EVERYTHING will change at least once.
I like being right, and most of the time I (think I) am. I educate myself, make a choice and commit to that decision fiercely. This is a great quality in relation to friendships, faith, etc. The same principle does not apply so well when it comes to things like social issues, politics and just generally having empathy for other human beings.
I wish I could just go back and tell that girl to be more open-minded. Lean in and LISTEN. I’d tell myself to stop looking through my thick, dusty rule book and see people as who they are.
Now about changing that voter registration….
2. Your parents aren’t right about everything.
WHAT??????!!!!!!!! It’s true. They’re human beings and it’s okay to disagree with them but it’s not okay to not try and understand them. You are your own person. Think like it.
3. Choose your friends with wisdom and then fight for them with all you have.
In college, your friends become family and your family become your friends. It’s weird. I found those miracle people who have loved me through thick and thin. I almost lost them more than once along the road, but we fought through our circumstances because of love.
I can say with absolute certainty I couldn’t have made it through college without them. I love you guys. Find your people and FIGHT FOR THEM.
4. Boys are a w a s t e o f t i m e.
Self explanatory. Powerful girl, you have far more important things to do than fall for boys who will never see how valuable you are. Fall in love with yourself and
(maybe) someday a man will see your unbelieveable magic. Ya no- I’m still pretty skepitcal about romantic love to be completely honest. Check back in four more years?
5. The tension is good.
Hands down, I’ve grown the most in the past four years during the crappiest times. I’m talking no money in the bank account, no sleep all week, heartbroken, lonely, failed a test and have nothing to hold on to kind of crappy.
Observe the pain and grow from it. How? You’ll figure it out. And when you do you’ll be even stronger the next time.
Now I prepare to end the chapter but not without starting a new one. This summer I’ll begin a new season in a new city with new friends and new food and new hardships and probably new heartache.
I promise I’ll drink up the sunny, smiley days just as much and I soak in the gloomy rainy ones. I’m taking what I’ve learned and I’m standing on it. Watch out, world. I’m brave. I’m beautiful. I’m brawny. I’m brainy. And in no particular order. Here’s to the next chapter!