With the end of another school year, I keep seeing high school and college graduation pictures popping up all over my social media and can’t help but think about my own time in college. I graduated in 2010 with a BS in Marriage and Family Studies after changing my major a few times. It took me six years to graduate rather than four but then again, if it had only taken four, then I wouldn’t have met my husband. Funny how things work out, huh? So in remembrance of my college years (pre-marriage), I’m sharing with you a letter to my college self.
It’s me. Well, future you. How’s it going? School’s kind of crazy right now huh? Trust me, you will miss the studying and classes and walking to campus multiple times a day. So anyway, I wanted to just pop by and reminisce and give you a few bits of advice. You know, things I wish I’d known when I was actually going through college.
First off, you are totally going to regret not doing a study abroad program. Sure, it’s kind of pricey and yeah, you might have to find a different job when you get back, but hello? Getting to travel to a foreign country like France or Italy has kind of been on your bucket list since you took French in 7th grade. Trust me, anything you might miss during the time you’re gone won’t seem like that big of a deal compared to what you’ll be able to do during your study abroad. Your family will be fine and you’ll figure out the whole job thing when you get back. You always find a way to make things work.
Secondly, you did the right thing by moving to a new apartment complex the fall of your junior year. Although, if you had to do it again, it might have been a good idea to double check who your roommates were going to be or at least move in with one person you knew. Remember the girl who used to cook fish heads and then leave them in the fridge half eaten and stunk up the apartment for three days? Thank goodness she was only there for a semester! But besides the roommate situation the first couple of semesters, things turned out really well. You met some of your best friends, dated some great guys and got more comfortable with yourself as a person.
You probably already know this, but the major you chose is absolutely perfect for you. While some of the challenges you faced growing up were rough, ultimately, they led you to this major and it will help other people along the way. A few words of advice though: go to the labs for your Statistics class. Seriously, you know math is not your strong suit and not going to the classes because the are “optional” doesn’t mean they are optional for you. That D grade is going to bug you for years. (Especially when you meet your future husband and he gets and A in it. Lame.)
I want to congratulate you on working so hard to stay out of debt during college. The fact that you didn’t have to ask anyone for a loan during school is commendable. But for heaven’s sake girl, you really should have learned about pell grants sooner! It would have given you a little more cushion some of those months when money was tight. Thank goodness you had family nearby and could do laundry at home and have a decent meal on Sunday nights to save a little money. And that beat up little car you had? Cammie Rue? She’s gonna be a good car so it’s a good thing you didn’t sell her and get an SUV and a car payment. (Although the 4 wheel drive would have been nice in the winter…)
Something else you should be proud of is all the work you put into your schoolwork and end of semester projects. Those are the ones that you’ll remember and have a lot of satisfaction in. Especially the one where you stayed up all night to finish and only got 3 hours of sleep and ended up with an A and a personal congratulations on a job well done from one of the hardest professors in the school of Communications. Taking that class was a good way to rule out going into Public Relations, haha. But getting a perfect score on a 10 essay exam in one of the classes for your major was pretty amazing too. You definitely deserved to go out for ice cream that night.
Hmm…what else… Oh! Your friends! They are the best, aren’t they? Try your best to keep up with them even though they’re going to move far away at times. Social media is great and all but don’t forget to give them a call every once in a while too. And rooming with you sister in college is a whole heck of a lot easier than it was growing up. You keep each other real and in check and call each other out when you do dumb things or date dumb boys or break up with dumb boys. She will be there and your friends will be there when you fail exams, have a bad day or need to borrow some sugar.
California…Idaho…Arizona…bonfires up the canyon…eating raw cookie dough out of a shared container…playing Mario Cart and Guitar Hero…mingles…dances…football games…BBQs…double dates…study dates…midnight grocery store runs…random dance parties. You’ll remember all of these things because they made you happy (and also because you spent $300 on a nice digital camera and took pictures of e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.)
And lastly, not to spoil the surprise, but you’ll meet your future husband in college. The timing will be perfect and you’ll think it’s impossible that everything has fallen into place like it has. You’ll plan a wedding, be a full time student, part time employee and balance it all with a smile on your face because, gosh darn it, that’s what you do and who you are. You’re a hard worker, an optimist, a good and loyal friend, determined, persistent and a pretty good planner.
College is awesome and you will never, ever regret going. It will shape who you are and impact your future in ways you never expected.
You got this girl.
What do you wish you’d known in college? What would you go back and tell yourself?