Blogger, Out.

May 25, 2013

This blog hasn’t seen a new post in ages. Okay, more like a few months, but it feels like ages. It’d be a wonder if anyone’s still paying any mind to it. But I do owe it–or at the very least, its spirit–one last post. A goodbye, of sorts.

I graduated! I spent the recommended 4 years here at Coastal and will look back on the time fondly. But I move on to greener (or at least more mountainous) pastures in the form of graduate school. So I took a moment to reflect. I run a personal blog elsewhere and was inspired by what I saw someone post…the result? A letter to a prior self. It’s a little specific to my own circumstances, but the gist is this: in college, you’re gonna learn way more about yourself than whatever it is you’re studying. You don’t have to take notes, but you really should pay attention.

To my freshman year self:

This isn’t a warning letter, so don’t widen your eyes yet. It’s more of a pat on the back…a reassurance that it’s going to be alright.


You’re going to have to live at home for a bit. In the moment, you’ll be fine with it. So fine, in fact, that you don’t see why you ought to leave. But leave. It will be the best thing you’ve done for yourself, up to that point. You’re not trying to get away from the parental units (they’re still grand), but you are trying to get closer to yourself.


Your hair? It grows back. And that one paper you decided to skip for Ivanova’s class because you had a solid A? Do it. That sucker is the only thing wedged between you and that shiny 4.0. But I know that it’ll also be due at a very difficult moment in your life. And the B+ is character building. So don’t fret.


Illegally downloading all of that music? Totally worth it. Your conscience kicks in later when you find yourself weirdly emotionally attached to artists, so you’ll pay your dues at some point. But you’ll be really glad you got that entire Zutons zip file. The Zeppelin’s not bad either. It makes you way cooler.


The bed-in-a-bag is your wisest purchase. The sticky wall notes are useless, but the comforter is quite comforting and the yellow/gray/blue combo grows on you. Make more than one friend. She will leave you, rather abruptly. You will understand, but it will hurt and having other friends for support will help.


Speaking of friends: they will come and go. They really will go. It doesn’t make them less of a friend in any way. You’ll go too, trust me. It’s just how life happens. It doesn’t mean that they don’t like you or that you don’t like them. It means that even the greatest rivers in the world eventually split to get to the ocean.


As for dudes. First of all, your taste changes pretty drastically. Start looking for beards early. Later, it gets trendy, and you can’t tell the habitual bearders from the bandwagoners. What’s more, your preconceived notion of what they’re going to be like in college is really wrong. That’s okay, it’s good to be a little overly optimistic. It’s called hope, or whatever. But if you realize that you’re wrong now, you can get out of your blissful state of unawares with more time to spare. Nobody’s really going to strike your fancy. Two kind of will, but you were super wrong about the first and a little off about the second. The library will be a great source of good-looking but fruitless prospects in this category, but so many of your greatest friendships will root themselves there. Spend time there.


Cherish being alone. Your roommates will suck until your last year, so you need to learn how to do that. But the final year is when you learn and come to appreciate what it means to live with someone else. You learn how to share dishes and appliances and movies and fears and quirks.


Cook more and buy less fast food. Embrace the love of tea, it will provide warmth any time you need it. Embrace that you’re just an overly educated nerd and that you have no idea what you’re doing.


Start on grad school applications earlier. Fill out more of them. Make friends with your professors. Some of them will change your life forever. Don’t read everything on the syllabus—but at least read its Wikipedia page. Don’t get too cocky, but trust that your knowledge (what little of it you may have) is worth just as much as anyone else’s. Stop trying to pretend that you’re not in a wheelchair, you’re not fooling anyone but yourself. And that just makes reminders hurt more. But that hurt is good too, because from it comes a rare thing that you didn’t even recognize until you were crying in the library—passion.


Oh, and for the love of God, skip as many of those ethical theory lectures as you want. The professor is just as useless as you suspected during the first class.


You do okay for yourself.


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