Holding up a mirror to my almost graduated self.

Going to college feels like opening a door into a big world that doesn’t yet make since to you, but is filled with opportunities and questions that await. It also feels like you’re leaving a lot behind in your hometown, while moving everything you need in a few small boxes to the next living space. College is full of life-changing circumstances that you can’t be prepared for by a textbook or buzzfeed article.

Four years later, these are still very relevant circumstances.

In three days, I’m graduating college, and with that comes a lot of big realizations and questions. So I’m writing this because writing is the only way I know how to express myself without being limited by my rambling or non-sense.

If I could give any advice to someone in college, or about to embark on their post-high-school adventure, it would be this: Just give it time. 

Give yourself time to laugh, cry, and anxiously await what is next. Lean into the discomfort that surrounds you, and don’t forget to let yourself breath when you feel like there are a million un-answered questions. The answers are coming, but you can’t be too rushed to see them when they appear.

Give yourself time to grow, and to love the awkward moments that are a big part of the growth. Run into people you don’t want to see and laugh it off. Stay in when you don’t feel like being social, and rock those PJ’s. Be unapologetic about who you are. The world needs what you are, even when it feels like you don’t belong.

Live with people who make you stronger, ask questions, and make you laugh harder than you could ever imagine. 

 I had the luxury of living with eight of my best friends throughout the course of my college career, and I wouldn’t have asked for better circumstances. Choosing to live with people who understand you and love you for the 2 a.m. panic ball that you are, is worth the extensive process of finding a place that matches your budget and needs.

So thank you to Brenna–my best friend–for living with me while I endured the first year of college with all sorts of laughter, late night food, chili-runs, ballet outfits, and netflix marathons. Thank you for showing me that you can live with your best friend and make it work; thank you for showing me that staying in instead of going out can be the best option, and for showing up when I needed you the most.

Thank you to Megan, Alexa, and Thoa, for seeing me through big life decisions, tests and classes that made me cry, weird fruit obsessions, and most of all, for making me laugh and embrace every small, goofy, part of who I am. I am better because I lived and loved all of you.

Thank you to Hannah, for proving all of our friends wrong, when they said we couldn’t and shouldn’t live together. Cooking eggs and talking life with you, is by far one of my favorite parts of the day. You are so strong and wise, and make me question my choices, embrace the darker parts of myself, and laugh at the bits of life that we cannot change or control. Leaving you will be one of the hardest parts of leaving Austin.

Thank you, Sarah, for rocking every kind of robe their is, for pulling it off, and reminding me that our roots (both the hair type and the family type) are important to recognize. You are such a funny, brilliant, woman.

Thank you, Julia, for being a rock for all of us, for showing me what patience, virtue, and love, look like. You may be quiet sometimes, but you are so understanding and strong, and I am inspired by everything that you are. You are a light to everyone around you.

Make big decisions, and experience even bigger gratitude. 

I changed my major after much deliberation, anxiety, and stress. I didn’t know that changing my major meant that my life would change forever.

Allow yourself to listen, and really discover where you belong, and don’t rush it. What is meant to happen, will happen. You just have to let it. This deserves it’s own post, so more about this later.

Don’t hold yourself to other people’s standards.

Don’t weigh yourself everyday. Don’t let the stereo-typical college lifestyle detour you from your own choices and paths. The only thing stereo-typical about college is that everyone really is doing their own thing; you might be the girl or guy that someone else wants to be like, without even knowing it.

Fall in love, and then let it go.

Be okay with knowing that college will bring you great loves, wether they be in the form of another person, or a lifestyle, or an experience. You will fall in love with the experiences, the classes, the buildings, the late nights, and the people. And yet…you will have to let them all go. College is a huge lesson in learning to let go. You will do it over, and over, and over, again. Trust it.

Most of all, I would say that you have to be patient with yourself. Be patient with the fears and vulnerability. Be patient with the idea that you are embarking on a journey that will take control of itself and is often times out of your hands, and that’s okay. If you hold a mirror to yourself after four years, I guarantee you’ll see someone you couldn’t have dreamed up; someone with all sorts of experience that is excited to see you. So for now, put down that mirror of expectations, and just start going. That path is leading you big places.

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