Dear Freshman Me,
Let me preface this letter with this: You are a whole different person than who you are today. You used to be a lot more cautious and careful. You never had baggage, and you thought things through before making decisions. On paper, you were a great student with a bright future, and people thought you were perfect because you were always on top of your shit.
Congrats for a solid first year.
Now where do I begin with sophomore year? It was a mess. I mean, you made a lot of mistakes. A lot.
You were reckless and made impulsive decisions and for the first time, you had a tiny suitcase of baggage that you had to carry around with you. But here is the thing. Freshman you had no edge whatsoever. And I’m not saying you should’ve been more reckless, but you definitely should’ve been more fearless when it came to making mistakes.
One of the many lessons you’re going to learn is that making mistakes is inevitable.
This year, you’re going to make a lot of mistakes, but for the first time, you’re not going to be afraid to make those mistakes.
You’re going to take a lot of risks.
You’re going to accept that teaching assistant position. You’re going to host your own radio show. You’re going to be an editor for the school paper, and you’re going to make more strides with your career than you ever imagined.
But with those positions, you’re going to struggle to learn how to teach others. You’re going to mess up on air, and you’re going to stay up until 4 a.m. writing two articles a week.
But in the end, you’re going to come out from all these struggles a stronger person because you were able to conquer them.
You’re going to make a lot of stupid decisions when it comes to relationships.
You’re going to fall for someone and end up hurt. A couple times actually. You’re going to chase someone who isn’t worth your time, and realize way too late that you’re better off without him. At the same time, you’re going to learn a valuable lesson. If someone is dumb enough to walk away from you, you have to smart enough to move the fuck on. That’s something you didn’t ever have to deal with as a freshman.
You’re going to lead guys on without even realizing it. It’s a two-way street. You’re going to get hurt and you’re also going to hurt others. You’re going to get creative with your excuses and realize that being straight up with people saves others a lot of their own time. Again, another lesson.
You’re going to party a lot more. You’re not always going to have your core group with you for protection. Instead, you’re going to get drunker than you’ve ever been and make mistakes upon mistakes with people you don’t really know.
At the same time, you’re going to meet a lot of new people. You’re going to become friends with a lot of different groups. There’s going to be the friends that you party with. The friends in your classes. Your friends on your floor. Your friends through the paper. Your radio friends. The random friends you make through interviewing – which is the best types of friends — the random ones you make through college. But then there are the friends that always have your back, no matter how stupid you are.
I think the reason you made so many more friends this year, is that you were more comfortable with who you are.
Something that hasn’t changed is your perspective on life. You live your life with this thought: If it makes a great story, then just do it. But this year, you actually did.
You have a lot more stories during your sophomore year. Your life actually felt a little like a sitcom. Think about it. Every great sitcom involves dynamic characters making mistake after mistake, but learning a lesson by the end. Your life felt more New Girl than Gossip Girl, but you always came back to your dorm with a funny story. Were they embarrassing? Hell, yeah.
Most of them involved you embarrassing yourself in more ways than one. You blew up 72 balloons drunk for my roommate’s birthday. Her birthday also involved a plant funeral and a proposal. Great stories for the future. You also won’t forget the time you ate a pound of wings in 15 minutes or the time you bought that piñata for the suite.
You won’t forget any of these stories because they’re embedded as wonderful messy memories.
You were rejected and had to reject more people than ever. You took on tougher courses and became a stronger person because of it. You became the type of person who was confident enough to tell others what to do and or how to handle situations.
You’re a different person for sure.
And if it weren’t for all those messy experiences and a couple of risks here and there, you wouldn’t be the person you are now. Trust me, this year is going to be the messiest semester of your life —but it’ll also be the best.