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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Wilfrid Laurier chapter.

Hey Allie,

You’re in your fourth year now, can you believe it? You are graduating from university in June, and I am honestly a little shocked we made it this far, but I am also so proud of you. It wasn’t easy. A lot of plans had to change, and my life now is completely different from the one you are living. You lived through a pandemic. Yup, that virus that you saw on the news and thought was no big deal turned out to be a really big deal. It caused a lot of devastation in your life, and you were really struggling for a while, but long story short, you made it through. Fourth year is tough, but you are the best version of yourself that has existed in a long time. You are getting your sparkle back a little if you know what I mean.

What has changed? A lot.

I know you are probably still going through that “I am going to go to medical school” phase. A phase is exactly what that is, we aren’t going to med school. But that’s okay. We have found jobs that we like so much better. We realized now that school is not something we enjoy enough to dedicate the next 10 years of our lives to, and we have worked hard on accepting that we don’t have to have a Ph.D. or a doctorate to be the successful woman we dream of being.

As for who we surround ourselves with, that has changed a lot. Though we still have some of our old friends around, the people we surround ourselves with have shifted a lot as we have grown up. We know our worth and surround ourselves with people who support and believe in us. There are new people who have come into your life in the past couple of years that now you can’t imagine life without and there are people you thought would be around forever that you haven’t talked to in years. You have jobs both at home and at school that you love and have met so many incredible people through. You wish sometimes that you had more time with some of the people you have met but you are incredibly grateful for the time you have spent with them. You are surrounded by friends who love you and are always there for you. It’s a little cheesy but it makes you cry sometimes when you think about them not living with you or being just up the road from you anymore. You know in your head though, that no matter what your next step is, those friends are somehow still going to be a part of it.

We have learned to embrace who we truly are, and we always strive to be genuine and kind. We have learned a lot more about what we need. We are eating better now and honestly, we are kind of pretty good at cooking. Shocking, right? Looking back, that constantly eating salad grind isn’t doing us any favours. We work out and understand how important it is to give ourselves what we know we need. We have been to therapy a lot and we learned a lot more about taking care of our mental health and giving ourselves breaks when we need them. We have worked so hard to drop the toxicity we had in our lives and work every day to continue creating healthy routines and relationships. We have a good sense of balance between going out and staying in. We have learned that you don’t need to constantly have plans to make memories and have a good time, sometimes we need that night off and an opportunity to be by ourselves. We have learned healthy self-care habits. We love to read, draw, listen to music and watch trashy TV shows. We love to sing (horribly though), and dance and we love doing our makeup, picking cute outfits and going out.

Allie, the life you have built for yourself is an incredible one. You are graduating with honours and a great GPA. You are getting ready to go travelling and to see the world with one of your best friends. You are surrounded by the people who you know are always going to be there for you. No matter how tough first year seems and overwhelming it all is, everything you are doing is shaping you into the person I am today. Everything gets better and while nothing in life is easy, the life you are working for is worth it. You’ve got this!

Allie Lancaster

Wilfrid Laurier '23

Allie is a fourth-year at Wilfrid Laurier University double majoring in Psychology and English. She loves being outside and is a huge fan of hiking, boating and skiing. Some of her other passions include reading, drawing, travelling and her puppy.