I recently watched Sarah Belle’s video called “Dear 18 Year Old Me” and it inspired me to write my own letter to 18 year old self because I feel like I’m a different person now then I was at 18. I wanted to share this with you in hopes that this letter can help at least one of you. Here it is:
Dear 18 year old Emily,
Right now, life probably feels pretty rough for you. It involves a lot of negativity: getting yelled at basically everyday, verbally fighting with people, feeling like you’re worthless (because you’ve been told that over and over), and a lot of tears. Luckily for you though, college is right around the corner where life is going to change for you and you are going to grow so much.
You are going to be so happy in college. As an extrovert, it’s amazing to meet so many people who work incredibly hard but also teach you how to have fun (since you basically don’t know how since you had no social life in high school). You will stay up until 4:30am talking to people, go to your first concert, and dance the night away with friends (even though you’re a bad dancer). You are going to meet so many admirable people that help push you to be the best version of yourself that you can be. You will finally stop feeling like such an outsider.
You are going to accomplish so much in the next five years (That’s right, you’re doing the long version of college). I bet you won’t believe me when I tell you that you switch from being a marketing major into industrial engineering. Surprisingly, you make it through calculus 2, linear and discrete math, and physics 2 even after losing confidence in your academic ability after struggling in AP calculus. But that’s one thing I’ve learned in college. Even though you’ve been told that you’re stupid countless times, you’re not. People say you can accomplish anything you put your mind to and it’s true! After being head chair of a conference as a sophomore (which was truly exhausting) and maintaining your scholarship, you learn to take a look at yourself and give yourself a pat on the back. This is the first time you see your worth and it feels great.
With your newfound confidence and your accomplishments, you think finding a job, will be easy. It’s not. Wow it’s not for you. After months of failed interviews, rejection hits you in the face and it hurts. You will see your best friend get her dream job on her second try and it hurts. But like they say never give up. You do end up getting a co-op and it’s an amazing experience. On the subject of jobs, don’t ever discard your dreams. Right now, your dream is to work for a makeup company and you say you’re going to go for it, but in the back of your head you think that it’s never going to happen, and you’re already thinking of jobs that you could settle for. Well, you know what, go for your dreams! NOTHING is out of your reach. After months of footwork and networking, you get accepted to work at your dream cosmetics company and you move to Baltimore for the summer and it’s insane. Hands down one of the most surreal moments in college. One of the great parts of getting your dream job as well is feeling the support of friends who are as genuinely excited for you as you feel.
You probably think right now that you know a lot about friendships but you pretty much know nothing. Lol You will have fights with your friends but instead of not talking about your problems (because that’s all you’ve ever known), you learn to communicate (thanks to one of your best friends). Confrontation is so hard at first; you’ll start shaking because it’s so hard to talk about your feelings, but it gets easier. You’ll find two friends who basically become your left and right hand. One of them will cry laughing at walrus memes with you, plan your imaginary wedding with you several times, and give you some of the best advice you’ve ever known. You’ll be thankful for your other best friend who teaches you that being weird or crazy is okay and you’ll love hanging out with her because it makes you feel alive. Your little brother will become one of your friends who understand you the most and he’s still your hero so keep in touch with him. Your friends help you figure out who you are, they even shape what music you listen to, and you’ll love the person you become. Your friends are your home away from home and you soon learn who’s important to you and who’s not. Don’t waste your time hanging out with people who don’t even care about how you’re doing because you’ll regret not spending time with the people who do. Don’t hang out with people who put you in uncomfortable situations and don’t ever do things you don’t want to do. At the end of the day, you’re the one who has to live with your decisions. Also, don’t talk behind someone’s back; people just end up getting hurt.
In college, you’re going to have your first kiss. You’re also going to learn that some guys are players and are not going to change. If a guy seems into you but then only talks to you on weekends or only asks if you’re going to any parties, then don’t be stupid and move on. You’ll also be in your first relationship. Right now because you’re ignorant, you think relationships are easy but they’re not. Your first relationship will be short but such an important learning experience. You’ll be thankful for your best friends and roommates who can relate to your fears and thoughts on dating. You will be surrounded by three couples who set an amazing example of what a functional, loving relationship looks like and it gives you hope for the future. Moving forward, you’ll know what kind of partner you’re looking for.
Somehow even with your class schedule, your extracurriculars, and your social life, you are able to still maintain your beauty and fashion blog. This blog gives you an outlet for your creativity since you study and live in a technical world. Your blog also helps make you feel beautiful. It challenges you to wear outfits you don’t usually put together, gives you confidence, and realize that you are more than a number on a scale. Blogging also connects you to opportunities and so many people all over the country. You develop a big passion for it so don’t stop blogging.
Lastly, college is short so live it day by day. Don’t wait for the weekend or Spring Break to get here because if you do, then college will fly by. Remember that you’re your first priority and no one else’s so make decisions that keep that in mind. You’re in your twenties so do things that make you feel alive whether it be going to music festivals, taking road trips with the windows down, or running down tenth street after drinking. You’ll learn that if you do your work and put in the time, then everything will work out (and that’s probably why you passed physics with a 70.03). You will learn how tough and incredible you are and you’ll love the person you become. College is a crazy ride and you’ll be thankful for every minute of it.