A few weeks ago, I heard about an interesting project the folks over at Earnest were working on: They are encouraging bloggers to write letters to their college selves. Not necessarily about what’s to come, but about what we wish we knew then and to spend some time reflecting on our college years. I had a fantastic time in college. It wasn’t always rainbows and unicorns, it was a lot of hard work. I was very involved on campus, I worked nearly full-time for 2 of my college years (outside of my year as a co-op at Northeastern, so I suppose…3 years), and I was extremely hard on myself when I got anything but As. I transferred schools half way through to a new city (hey, Boston!) where I knew only one person and was placed in a single with freshmen (I was a third-year). To say the transition wasn’t easy wouldn’t suffice. I’m so thankful for my college experience and am SO thrilled to share some of it today. Here goes nothing, y’all.
I’m writing to you from 2017 – the future, in your case. I know you probably think that if you were to receive a letter from the future, it most likely wouldn’t be on a blog (what even is that in 2008, right?) and that it would probably be about something awesome, like that we’re all eating gourmet astronaut food or that we have one of those s w e e t microwaves that those darn Spy Kids had that could cook up a double cheeseburger from what was essentially a two-pack of Pop-Tarts. Alas, we STILL don’t have one of those microwaves, but I have picked up some insight on the whole college thing and thought it was high time I shared it with you.
You’re a first-generation college student and that’s pretty significant. You’re navigating unchartered waters (at least….for your family), and doing it blindly. It’s scary, because right now everything is so uncertain. You don’t know what lies ahead…but I do. You’re going to do some things right, while royally messing up a few times along the way. That’s all part of the experience. It wouldn’t be college if everything was perfect, right? I know you don’t think like that in 2008, don’t fret, it’s STILL hard for me to think that way now.
A few tips:
Overall, you’re going to have highs and lows in college just like everyone else. But work hard, don’t give up, and find your differentiator. Find what sets you apart. Don’t worry, it’s not impossible, I promise.
If you could write a letter to your college self, what would it say? What would your BIGGEST tip be?