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.


11 thoughts on “A Letter to me at 18”

  1. This is pretty much exactly like my thoughts! I can’t believe how much I’ve changed four years of college and I’ve taken risks and taken on things I thought I couldn’t accomplish. I may have lost touch with a lot of people but I have made some great friends that will last a lifetime. I’ve learned too that’s it’s perfectly okay for people not to like you because there will always be people that do like you. I don’t know I’m ready to take on the adult world. That sounds cliche. :)

    1. I think a lot of people go through a lot of the same challenges through college, which I didn’t really realize before! You grow and learn so much, but it’s not always easy and a lot of times it’s painful.

      It may sound cliche, but it’s true! College definitely prepared me in ways that I never thought it would. I’m just so glad it’s almost over, haha.

  2. I think this letter will speak to a lot of us. When we go into college, we’re definitely not the same person we were when we get out. I know my years after high school changed me, and I’m thankful for all the good and bad experiences I’ve gained from those years. That period proved to be a challenge, but it only served to shape me who I am today.

    I worked throughout my entire college career, and it was rough, but I’m glad I did it. I didn’t take out any loans, and by paying for my own courses, it motivated me to do my best and not to slack off. Same thing with grad school — working + school is a difficult mix, but hard work will help you pull through!

    1. I think I was just so blindsided when college wasn’t everything I was told it would be. I think that I thought I was the only one to whom college was a challenge, so thanks for sharing Tara because I’m learning that’s not the case at all.

      That’s awesome you didn’t have to take out any loans! You go girl!

  3. Ahhh, the piece of paper is just a total insult compared to all the hard work we’ve done, don’t you think? ? I think we deserve better than that!

    It’s sometimes crazy to think how far we’ve come over the years. I was such an idiot when I was 18. Maybe even more so at 21. It was rough. And your years sound just as rough as mine. I don’t know why, but college/university/that growing up stage just after high school is always a hard time. I’m glad you’re out of it now, you married your best friend and you’re close to graduating :) :) I am very happy for you and proud that you’ve come this far.

  4. Look at you, graduating in a few weeks! I got 6 weeks to go X’D.

    I’m glad to hear that you went through college in a sensible way without all of the crazy parties (not really worth it). Even though you and Andrew almost broke up, look at you now! You both are happily married :). Knowing the professors on a higher level outside the class is always helpful. A lot of professors actually want to help you succeed and if you ask them to step out of their boundaries for you, they would (or at least that’s from my experience).

    Working two jobs is crazy! I commend your hard work and dedication. Keep it up for the next few weeks and don’t let senioritis consume you!

  5. Aahh, I wish we could send letters back to our past selves, especially to prepare ourselves for big things like college and the “real life” afterwards. College definitely changes us, and everyone goes through it differently. I loved my four years in college, but it came with its own struggles too, ranging from relationship issues to being in a male-dominated major.

    I’m glad you had such a great roommate and that you and Andrew didn’t break up! I wish I had gotten to know some of my professors more. I feel like I didn’t go to office hours enough. Two jobs sound really stressful! I already thought school was busy without a job (my intership was only in the summer). Congrats on everything you’ve done so far and on graduating soon!

  6. Beautiful letter <3 I'm glad we are both leaving this semester behind, though I have a ways before I graduate, myself, but I'm glad you're leaving college and getting ready for the world at large. You'll do great in it! Congrats on everything so far and behind!

  7. This is such a wonderful letter and it’s great to see how things have changed in those years. I am sure there are many people out there who are in similar situations and it’s great to have some insight from someone who has been there. <3

  8. This is such a great post, being able to look back on it and rationalise all the experiences and lessons in this way is amazing. It’s a great way to sum up the last 4 years! The second paragraph were you talk about your friendly roommate, and Andrew is really touching.
    I worked throughout university, but I spent so much money of take out food for all my friends. I hadn’t really had many friends before, and thought this was the best way to show them I appreciated them. I know now that buying them things was the wrong way to go about it – and it would have saved me a fortune which I could have done with in my third year when I had to stop work!
    Good luck in the next three weeks, and good luck with whatever you do after the big final day! I’m sure you’ll be amazing =]

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