I hope you have continued to make yourself proud of all that you’ve done and all that you’ve learned along the way. I hope you are surrounded by people you would do anything for and who would do the same for you, and I hope that you still call mom and dad pretty often just to check in.
I hope you still overanalyze song lyrics and their relevance to your life, and I hope your book of inside jokes has grown immensely. I hope you still use your sassy, quick wit and I hope you still find so much joy in making others smile. I hope you still love movies and boy bands and graphic tees with high tops.
I never want you to forget what it felt like to experience certain things for the first time, especially the firsts that college brought to you. Those years are such a significant time of personal development and discovery. Don’t forget how it felt to get your first D on an exam, the time you fell in and out of a classic college love story, the day your opinion editor first emailed you saying you’d make a great addition to the desk, the night you were selected to take over as editor when he graduated in the spring before you, and when you finally got the chance to be with the love of your life, things like that, both really small and really big, are important to remember. They mattered when they happened and they made you feel all different kinds of “alive.” Don’t forget your triumphs and your challenges, no matter how fleeting they seem.
Don’t forget to someday show your kids all of your mom’s favorite rock and roll songs from the 80s, don’t forget to tell them all the stories that your dad told to you before bedtime when you were young, tell them about your brothers and what they taught you about punk rock and living a worthwhile life, and make sure they read a life-changing book every once in a while.
Just remember who you are right now, how excited, creative, optimistic and strong you are. Someday you might start to forget those feelings, someday when life seems a little harder because you have a few more years behind you and your golden years – 17, 18, 19 … all the way up through around 25 – have never seemed so far back. And yeah, maybe they will feel really far away eventually. But there are some days within those years that will always make you light up and smile whenever you think about them, no matter how far they seem. Those are good pieces of your past and who you were back then to hold on to.
There are a lot of things I could say to you – little words of caution or reminders that you were born to do something great – but I think it’s important to keep this short and simple, and let your life go where it drifts. You’ll find your way to the dreams that matter most, I just know it.
Take care of yourself<3