To my boyfriend in the class of 2020,
To start off, I want to say that I am so excited for you. Out of everything I am going to talk to you about, the most important thing you will realize about college is that it is a place where you become yourself, and fall in love with the person you are. There’s a lot going on, but the main point of college is that it’s completely about you; every choice you make is for yourself and how you grow from all of them.
I know that we’re going to different schools, so I don’t want to be too specific because every university or college is different and a lot of your experience isn't going to be anything like mine. I’m sad that you’re moving across the country from me, but you are going to have your own amazing adventures and I can’t wait to hear about all of them. Here is what I hope for you in college.
I hope that you open your heart to everyone around you. When someone wants to go out at 3 a.m. for ice cream, go with them. If you don’t know anyone in a class, talk to as many new people as possible. You get to choose the kind of people you hang around and which people influence you. Everyone is a potential friend for you to pick from.
I hope that you learn to love the little things: like a fantastic smoothie in the dining hall, or the intense color of the trees when it rains. I hope that you realize that the big things aren’t really that big at all, and to not stress out if you get a B in a class, or if you miss an important meeting.
I hope that you love your classes with a passion you didn’t realize you had. Some classes will be so boring that you might want to fall asleep. But, what I want for you is to have at least one class that you’re excited to go to every week. One that you get there early for and think about long after its ended. A class with a professor that you admire and want to learn more from.
I hope you have crazy, childish fun with your friends every day. Skip parties sometimes and go rollerblading through the park or go to a movie. Take a weekend trip to a big city or go swimming in a lake. When you’re out of college, the random fun times you had with people will be your best memories, not the late nights out that you couldn’t even remember the morning after.
I hope you learn about the world. Vote in the elections because you care about what happens to the country, study abroad because you are fascinated with other cultures, ask people about their stories and really listen because they are so unique.
I’m not going to tell you that college won’t be busy, or stressful, or hard. You’ll have moments when you question whether you can handle everything and when you realize how difficult it is to be independent. Sometimes you’ll be sad and miss easier days and people back home, and sometimes you’ll be lonely. All of that happens in college, even though that’s never the part that students talk about.
The only thing I can tell you about handling the bad days is that they are so small in comparison to the wonderful ones. I hope that you learn to love your messy dorm room and hilarious new friends. I hope that you grow as a person, find what you’re passionate about, and follow it with all of your heart, everyday. I hope that you realize that there’s going to be a lot of uncertainty about your future and that you embrace it because it makes everyday an adventure. Most of all, I hope that one day, when you’re just walking down the street, back from class or the library, you look around you and realize that you are home.
Lead Image Credit: Isabella Barricklow