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Dear College Self...

It's been over a month since I've graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

However, there are days when I'm reminiscing back on the place I've called home for four years. Would I had done things differently? Probably. But if it wasn't for those hardships and struggles, I wouldn't be the person I am today. It's made me stronger and determined to never hold back on who I am.
So when I heard that the great folks at Earnest were encouraging others to write a letter to their college selves, I thought this would be an interesting blog post. As a recent college grad, I wanted to put my perspective through a letter and share advice for recent graduates or upcoming college students about what I wish I knew back then. 

Dear College Self,

where do I even begin?
Freshman year of college, you wanted to do everything. Literally. You contemplated joining a sorority, photography clubs, magazine clubs, club tennis, and any other club that suited your interest. You wanted to find your niche of friends so badly, so you friended the girls that simply showed too much interest in you. Friends that lived on your dorm hall. Friends that didn't particularly have the same interests as you, but hey, maybe they'd change. But as you went out with the girls, ate lunch with the girls, tailgated with the girls, you realized that they didn't really care. You felt like they only wanted 'happy, fun, good for pics Grace' and not the real you. They weren't there for you when you felt sad, stressed, or hurt. It was all about having an image for others, and you weren't truly happy. Sure you were meeting new guys, new friends, and having that external happiness, but you didn't really feel it on the inside. For months, you dreaded college. Is this what college is like? Hanging out with fake friends and pretending everything is alright? Did you do something wrong? For those several months, you questioned. Everything. You shifted the blame on yourself and figured that you were the problem. So you pushed anyone and everyone away because you felt like you were a burden and not good enough. Your self-esteem dropped because of something you felt from other people. I'm telling you right now, that you are worth it. Don't ever let people tell you who you are. You don't need a big group of friends to convince yourself that you're happy. You don't need other people's opinions to determine who you are.
Those were hard times, Grace. But you learned from it. You learned what kind of friends you don't need in your life and you learned to stay true to yourself, even if it meant losing people in the process. The ones that are meant to stay, will stay. Don't ever give up. On yourself, on others. It feels like it's you against the world, but in those moments, giving up is the last thing you should do.
Know that you will find the right people at the right time.
Be patient and never ever settle for less than you deserve. 


If you could write a letter to your college self, what would it be?
Thanks for reading!

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