This is the year that all people have to make big choices. This is the year that you finally get to take off your virtual pull-ups and slap on your big-girl (or boy) underpants. This is the year that you will make many, many mistakes.
As I reflected on the mistakes that I made as an eighteen year-old woman, I thought about how I wished I could’ve had a letter written to me from my future-self. Although I was never actually given this letter at eighteen, I decided to write it anyways.
To my fellow pull-ups wearers, read this letter before you put on your big-girl (or boy) underpants.
Make a plan.
Whether you plan to attend college, vocational school, or jump straight into a career field, make sure that you have a plan. Making a plan at a younger age will help you get to where you want to be sooner. If you’re unsure of where you want to be in five years, take online quizzes, do personality inventories, and reflect like crazy.
As a freshman in college, I was Undeclared. Five majors later, I finally figured out what I wanted to do with my life. Trust me when I say that my life would have been much easier, and I would have gotten a lot more sleep, if I had a plan upon entering college.
Change can be scary. You’re in a new place, creating a new life, and meeting new people. You are going to face many anxiety-provoking situations, but remember to just breathe.
During that first college presentation, you’re going to want to run out of the room. When you get a D on your first math test, you are going to think you’re too dumb.
Things may be scary, but remember that you can make it. Remember to take a deep breath.
Put Yourself Out There.
As a freshman in college, I was incredibly shy. I was shy for most of my college career – and life – actually. My shyness held me back a lot.
Sure, I had made friends my freshman year of college. But you only get one chance to make a first impression! By my junior year of college, I was still known as a shy person; nothing else.
So, put yourself out there. You may be scared, but have the confidence in yourself to speak up for yourself, to make plans for a group of people, and to become the life of the party.
Find Your Tribe.
In college, I spent years stuck in an organization that only hurt me. Sure, I had moments of fun and I made some great friends, but that organization caused me a lot of emotional pain that lingers to this day.
Do not join a club or organization that is popular. Don’t join something just because all of your friends are doing it. Find the group of people that are right for you. Find the people that inspire you and encourage you to become a better version of yourself.
Stay True To Yourself.
When you’re eighteen and suddenly out on your own, you will want to become like other people to fit in – it’s instinctual. But always stay true to yourself. Remember who you are, why you came to this place, and never sell yourself short.
Do Not Waste Money.
Eating frozen meals will become disgusting, but do not waste all of your money on eating out – interestingly enough, I still need to hear this advice today. Don’t go out to the bar (when you’re 21, wink wink) and spend a bunch of money on shots and sugary drinks that are going to be bad for your wallet and your health.
Oh, you need that T-shirt from that fraternity that you cannot even name a single member of? Forget it. Trust me, you have enough T-shirts!
You’re young, but be wise about how you spend your money.
You’re young, and you’re still finding out who you are. But never lose confidence in yourself! No matter what failures or disappointments you may face, remember that you are still young and that God has a plan for your life. Stay confident that you will achieve what you are destined to achieve.
You are smart enough.
You are pretty enough.
You are funny enough.
You are enough.
I hope this helps!
Fun note: The people who told you that high school will be the greatest time of your life lied to you; college is the best.