Dear College Grad Me

As I get closer to starting my senior year of college (that came fast) I wanted to write a letter to my future self about some things she needs to do as she prepares to enter the “real world”. Using I’ll actually get this letter emailed to me on the day of my graduation. It’ll also be here so I can look at it on that day as well but I don’t know if I’ll remember. I recommend all my fellow rising seniors do this too. It’s cool all the things that I found myself writing to myself and these all things I hope to start doing from now. Feel free to add your own letters to your future selves in the comments below.

Dear College Grad,
Congratulations, you made it. After four years of hard work, friendships, drama, and some heartache you’ve survived all the way to the end and I couldn’t be more proud. You’ll thank everyone who helped you get here but don’t forget to thank yourself. It wasn’t easy but you did it.

As you leave Georgetown and head on to do big things there’s some things we have to discuss. I have some hopes for us and not just the usual stuff of making it big and reaching our dreams. I mean the other stuff like being a good person and loving you for you. There’s some things I need to make sure you do as you go out into the real world (or grad school).

First, love yourself. I’m not saying be self-absorbed I’m saying love yourself. Love you for you. Stop comparing yourself to everyone around you and thinking you’re not good enough or pretty enough or even smart enough. Know that you are beautiful and wonderful just the way you are. It’s great when someone else says it but make sure you tell yourself how much you love you. It’s important.

Second, forgive people. I mean really forgive people. Not the fake, “Haha, yeah, we’re all good, no worries.” I mean really forgive them. Don’t dwell on how someone hurt you. Don’t let someone’s hateful words alter who you are. Let it go. Hating someone or resenting them for the rest of your life only hurts you and does nothing to them. Also forgive yourself. Don’t keep reminding yourself of your own mistakes and mess ups. It’ll happen but you just have to learn from it and push on. You have other things to worry about then obsessing over something in the past.

Third, always be open to trying new things. Try doing something you’ve never done before. Go wind surfing or scuba diving. Or audition for something. Don’t close yourself off to things. You can do anything you want to do. Just try it.

Four, let people in. I know this is easier said then done but we’ve never been the most open person. Talking about our favorite TV show or the newest Demi Lovato album, that’s easy. Talking about things that really matter like when we lose someone close to us or when we just feel upset about something or even being honest about how we feel about someone? That’s a bit harder. Truth is we have this tendency to hold in the big stuff. We hate asking for help when we need it and we run from the big stuff. That’s got to change. We can’t just keep writing it all down in our journal. Open up a little bit. I’m sure it won’t kill you. It might even make you better.

Five, never give up on your dreams. We have a lot of dreams. From wanting to be a best selling author to having a family and living in the house with the white picket fence our dreams are big and small. And they vary on a day to day basis. It doesn’t matter what your dreams are just don’t give up on them. Don’t settle for the easy thing and don’t let anyone ever tell you you can’t do it. Not even yourself. Dream big, aim high, and don’t let one “no” stop you from picking yourself up and trying again. Whatever you want to do, do it.

Six, treat others the way you want to be treated. This one is an oldie but it still holds true. Treat people with kindness. Help people when they need help. Don’t turn a blind eye when someone asks for help. Better yet volunteer to help out before someone even asks. Be kind. Be caring. Listen to people. Actually listen to them, not passively but actively. Be there for people the way you might one day need them to be there for you. Just treat them the way you’d want to be treated and you’ll do fine.

Seven, love hard. And tell the people you love, that you love them everyday. We’ve learned the hard way how fast someone can just be gone. Don’t let days or even weeks go by without talking to the people who matter. Let them know how much they mean to you and spend time with them while you can. Whether it’s family, friends, a boyfriend, or whoever. Don’t hide from how much they mean to you. Embrace it. Loved ones are good. Cherish them.

Lastly, be happy. Be really happy. Smile whenever you can. Laugh whenever you’re able. Do whatever makes you happy. Surround yourself with people who make you happy but also know how to be happy by yourself. Obviously you’re not always going to be happy but I challenge you to find a way to smile even through the hard times, the sad times, and the worst times. If you can do that then I know we’ll be okay.

Good luck and conGRADulations.  We did it!


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