Congratulations! You have finally arrived at this new stage of life called college. You made it! Ha, just kidding, you are just now starting. You may think you know a lot, have experienced a lot, and even know yourself quite well but I will have to break the news to you that none of that is true. You don't know yourself. You don't really know what exactly you want in life, what your strengths are, and in what way other people cherish you. But don't worry, because when you are done here you will know all of these things and more. Or at least that is what we are all hoping for.
Before you are starting into this new, important episode of your life, there are a few things you should know. Life is unpredictable and so is college. Countless things are going to cross your path and certainly not all of them are going to be positive. But what I can tell you is that all of those are going to be worth it in some kind of way even though it may not seem like it in that particular moment. You are going to live with roommates that drive you crazy but you love to death at the same time, take classes that will bring you to the verge of dispair and boredom, fall in and out of love, have life talks at 4 am with your besties, run countless of suicide sprints in basketball practice, meet new friends, lose old ones, and eat too much junk food after late nights out. You will embrace lobster-red skin for at least a week because you once again have forgotten to apply sunscreen at the beach, you are going to have to choose between an extra two hours of studying or that much needed afternoon nap, and you will definitely not always make the right decision especially when a group of friends and certain liquids are involved. Even though you are going to stay away from the latter until you're 21 anyways, am I right?!
One thing I can tell you with certainty about all situations that will come your way and that you will have to deal with is that everything is going to be okay. Things are going to work out. You will pass your classes despite the extra nap, you will figure out who the people are that are worth spending your time with, you will decide what you want to do with your degree, and, most importantly, you will have the time of your life doing all those things, no matter if positive or negative. All experiences that you make in the next 4 years, will shape you into the person that you will become in the most beautiful and exciting way. Nothing teaches you more about life and yourself than making mistakes and doing it better the next time.
Last, but not least: enjoy every moment! Meet new people, be open, talk to people that have been to different places in the world than you have, go to the events offered on- and off-campus, be engaged in student activities, show school spirit by going to different athletic events, skip class, do things that you like, and do things that you don't like. Find time for yourself every once in a while, jam to old school songs with your best friends in the car, go on roadtrips, fall in love, fall out of love, make mistakes, build relationships with faculty, staff, and other students, volunteer for your community, celebrate your free time, and be ambitious in your goal-setting and future planning. College is going to fly by so make sure that you are enjoying every moment while you can. If I could go back in time, there is nothing I would change. Because everything has and will happen for a reason. You will leave this place as a better person and it will be a beautiful journey.
Enjoy the ride,
Your Senior self.