Going into my junior year of college, I’ve been looking back on a lot: past relationships, past friendships and, most of all, how I was in the past. I have grown so much in the three short years I have been in college. I have lost and gained friends, lost what I thought were meaningful relationships and I’m finding a better version of myself. If I could go back and preach to my high school self, this is what I would say.
1. You won’t be as close to your high school friends.
I’m sorry to say, but you will slowly grow apart from the people you grew up with. Yes, you will still talk to them. You snapchat them and tag them in memes, but we do not hang out every weekend like old times. It’s sad, and I miss them every day. Not going home will put a strain on relationships.
2. You will make new friends.
You’ll make so many more friends that will help you grow as an adult. They’ll be there when you’re struggling in a class. They’ll be there when you need a quick Mexican date. They’ll be there when guys turn into pigs. They’ll be there when you need them most. You’ll gain friends when you least expect, and they’ll be there for a lifetime.
3. You will lose friends.
Some people come into your life in college and end up hurting you rather than helping you. You will meet people that you dislike, but even worse, some of your friends will turn into the people you dislike. They’ll bring negativity into your life, and you won’t want to believe it. Listen to your gut and your true friends. Don’t let these people ruin your life or have the control that they need.
4. Those boys? They don’t like you.
You will find yourself in a lot of awkward situations when you first come to college. They’ll suck, but ultimately they’ll help you grow. No, long distance will not work out in your favor. You will not keep your high school boyfriend. You’ll be sure to find some rebounds. These guys who you think will be fun and will be useful in getting your mind off your ex-boyfriend will fail you. They’ll hurt you and make you feel like you aren’t good enough. Learn how to recover without using guys.
5. You’ll find love again.
I know you think your high school boyfriend will be the one and only love of your life, but you’re wrong. It works out for some people; just not for you. Yes, you’ll have some trials and errors. After a handful of errors, you will find someone that loves you. He’ll love all of your flaws and all of your perks. He’ll be right under your nose, but you have to wait for him.
6. Your anxiety will get worse.
I know you think it’s not possible, or that you don’t even have anxiety, but it will come. It will be okay. School, work, family and involvement on campus will take its toll on you. Those new friends I mentioned: they’ll be there for you. You will have so many people looking out for you, and you won’t even realize it. Sometimes, you’ll feel overwhelmed. Sometimes, you’ll feel like you can’t take it anymore; sometimes, you’re the only one that can fix it. Just think about all the people that care about you, and remember you’re not alone.
7. Your confidence will grow.
You probably don’t believe it; it will happen. You’ll find things you’re passionate about and strive in those things. You’ll find your love for different organizations that you would’ve never dreamed of being in. You’ll hold leadership positions that you’re thinking are now impossible for you to hold. Your confidence will glow, and people around you will start to see it.
8. Go home.
Work, school, Greek life and other organizations will keep you from driving the short 40 minutes home; don’t let it. Try and find time to see your family. Not seeing them will takes its toll on you and end up hurting you in the long run. Go and listen to the same ten stories your dad tells. Go see your older sister and get treated like you’re still 12 years old. Go see your mom and write down the hilarious things she says. Just go home. You’ll thank me.