An Open Letter To My Favorite Soon-To-Be-Graduate

You cried when I was accepted to the University of Florida – I was overjoyed, but I didn’t even have that kind of reaction. I knew in that moment that our relationship as sisters was about to take a turn for the better and evolve into something I’d be forever thankful for.

I have always looked up to you more than you know. Even when we were little, I remember copying everything you did because you just seemed like you had it all figured out. This endlessly pissed you off, but I didn’t care because I wanted to be just like my big sis. I even followed you to UF.

Fast-forward to today, and the two years we had to look forward to together has suddenly turned into two months. You’re about to graduate, and I’m still just trying to make it through each day without my life falling apart.

Watching you attempt to figure out what you are going to do with your life after graduation has been hard for me; I have never seen you not have it all figured out before. I hated seeing you stressed and upset when you didn’t get certain jobs you applied for. You were lost, and I wish I could have helped, but I was always the one that looked to you for guidance.

It came as no surprise to me when you did start to figure it out. Four years of college wasn’t enough for you, so it seemed that graduate school was your calling. I nearly had the same reaction to you getting into graduate school at Boston College that you had when I got into undergraduate at UF.

When you returned home from Boston after interviewing for your assistantships, you lit up while talking about your future that was suddenly very soon. I felt like both a proud mom and the little girl looking up to her role model at the same time.

As happy and excited for you as I am, graduation is going to be harder on me than I’d like to admit.

Who will I go to for advice when my life is falling apart? Who will support me through all of my terrible decisions, never judging me? And who will be the kind of best friend to me that only a sister can truly be?

Within these past two years, you have done more for me than I could have ever imagined. And realizing this led me to appreciate you even more than I ever have, B. You push me to not be afraid to fail and to constantly strive to make myself better. Your love for life is contagious and has allowed me to develop a positive outlook that I wasn’t once strong enough to have.

A piece of the University of Florida will be missing when you’re not here to welcome incoming freshmen as a preview staffer, when you’re not here to lead your First Year Florida class and, most importantly, when you’re not here to be the bubbly, outgoing, caring and genuine person who everyone in your life here is so lucky to have.

I see how all of the people you have influenced here look up to you and admire you, and it makes me realize how incredibly lucky I was to grow up with you as a role model for 19 years when everyone else only got you for a few years.

When someone has this much of an impact on your life, it’s obviously going to be hard to imagine the near future without them in it; However, I think anyone that is in a similar position as mine should remember a few things.

Instead of dwelling on how your person leaving is going to affect you, focus your energy on the positivity they deserve for going out there and achieving that life that they worked so hard to get. Then, use this energy to propel yourself out of your daily rut of just going through the motions of college, and rather, do everything in your power each and every day to eventually get yourself to where you want to be after graduation – just like your person did.

As much as I’d like us both to stay at UF forever and continue living out our glory days, I couldn’t be more proud and excited for you and your future. Although our experience together at UF was only temporary, knowing I will have you as not only my sister but also my lifelong best friend for the rest of my life is the greatest gift that this universe could have ever given to me.