A Letter to me at 18

I will be graduating college in three weeks, and it’s all starting to really hit me. I look back and think of how far I have come and wish I could have given myself some advice. So this is a letter to eighteen-year-old me as I’m entering as a young naive college freshman.

Dear Becca,

These next four years are not going to be the best four years of your life, like everyone is going to say they will. You won’t instantly bond with your suite mates and become BFFs with every girl in your dorm hall. You aren’t going to go to any crazy parties full of debauchery. You’re going to wear your heart on your sleeve and people who say they will do things for you and be there for you are going to turn right around and throw your heart on the ground without even realizing what they’ve done. Andrew and you will get into the biggest fight and almost break up. (You’ll work it out though, don’t worry). For the next four years, you are going to struggle with depression. The first two years will be the worst.

But you are going to grow in ways you’ve never thought possible. You are going to start breaking out of the little comfort zone you’ve carefully built around you the last eighteen years. Your roommate is going to be the best answer to any prayer that you’ve every prayed. She will laugh hysterically with you and love you and serve you and cry with you. You will stay up all night eating chocolate and watching movies. You will fall more in love with Andrew every single day and he will never grow out of wearing shorts in December, even though you think someday he will. It’s okay, it only will make you love him more.

You are going to rock a business suit and give such a killer presentation that CEOs from around Kansas City don’t have any advice on how to improve. (Don’t even bother with the notes.)

Speak up in class and get to know your professors. You are so quiet, and that’s okay, but don’t be quiet just because you are afraid of what other people think of you. You will get some great advice from a professor your senior year, even though you aren’t going to like hearing it and it’s not going to be easy to take. But listen and be bold. People aren’t always going to like you, so don’t try to please them. Just speak.

Don’t eat the cafeteria food pizza. Just don’t.

Also don’t work two jobs. No amount of money is worth the stress that you will put on yourself between two jobs and school. It all works out financially in the end. So take a bigger loan (this is the only time you will ever hear me say this) and stop being so hard on yourself. You’re going to have a heart attack at 25 if you keep on this way. God always provides.

Lastly, relish the present. You are going to say “I can’t wait til I graduate!” as your own personal mantra, but enjoy where you are. You’ve got a good group of friends who you are going to leave behind when you graduate. This is the only time you will have when you are all still together. You are going to grow to love the city and all the people around you. Hold on to that for as long as you can.

So no, these are not the best four years of your life. But at the end, you will know where you started and appreciate all the more how far you have come. That’s what makes it worth it, not the piece of paper they give you. So take a deep breath because you are so much more than you think.

Always,
Becca

Colorado Springs | Day Five & Six

Garden of the Gods

Our last stop on our spring break trip was Colorado Springs. We drove in during the morning, but the weather was really rough and I wish we would have left the night before. It started out as a rain and snow mixture, which just made visibility awful, but then it just turned to snow and the roads started to cover. If you can imagine an anxious mother who is teaching her kid to drive, that was me constantly telling Andrew to slow down or be careful. :P

We didn’t do much the first day because it was so cold and wet outside, so we just hung out and watched TV in the hotel room. I had packed a ton of chips and snacks for while we were in the car, but we hadn’t really touched them yet, so we chowed down on those. It was wonderful just being able to lazy around.

Because we didn’t do anything the first day, we wanted to pack everything in to the second day. We started with Garden of the Gods, a national landmark known for its odd red rock formations. It was an absolutely gorgeous day, perfect for walking around. We stopped at the visitor center first for a map.

View between two rocks

The trails were paved and there were signs everywhere discouraging visitors from straying from the paths to preserve the park and reduce injuries. I was a bit disappointed by that because I really enjoy going off the trail and exploring on my own – and after visiting Rocky Mountain National Park where exploring is encouraged, it was a bit of a letdown.

That being said, all of the rocks were really pretty, and there was one spot where you were allowed to climb up on one of the rocks, so that was fun! We got in a good amount of exercise, too!

Me in the garden

The biggest attraction at Garden of the Gods is Balanced Rock, but I honestly was not that impressed. I don’t know if it was the angle or I was just expecting something way crazier, but it just looked like a rock sitting on a rock. XD

Balanced Rock
Balanced Rock

We had a little bit of time to kill before lunch, so we went to Red Rock Canyon Open Space, which had a ton of trails for hiking. It almost seemed like a continuation of Garden of the Gods because the rocks were that same pretty red color, but it was a different location and you were allowed to go off the trails which was great.

For lunch, we went to a local Italian Bistro called Paravicini’s. It was the cutest little corner restaurant and everything was so good. Andrew and I both ordered a chicken parmesan, and for dessert we ordered an ice cream parfait that had caramel and nuts and some kind of butterscotch liqueur and it was like I died and went to heaven. Unfortunately, we devoured it before I could take a picture. XD

Andrew had a phone interview at 1:00 for a hospital he applied to work at, so we went back to the hotel so he could prepare for that. (Side note: he was just offered the job last Friday!! I am super proud of him! :D )

View from about halfway up Pike's Peak
View from about halfway up Pike’s Peak

Pike’s Peak was next on our list, the highest summit of the North Range of the Rocky Mountains. Unfortunately since it was still considered winter there, we couldn’t drive all the way to the summit. We were still able to do 13 of the 19 miles, and got to see some pretty cool views! Honestly though, after the views in Rocky Mountain National Park, I wasn’t super impressed.

The farthest we could go up.
The farthest we could go up.

Overall, Colorado Springs was fun and I’m glad we visited, but I honestly wasn’t that impressed. I think if we were to visit Colorado again, and if I were to give advice to others, I’d recommend staying longer in Rocky Mountain National Park and just skip Colorado Springs.

© Copyright Rebecca Smith | 2011-2019