(With the excitement of my younger sister getting her LSU acceptance letter, too excited to wait until her graduation in May, I wrote her a letter-- I thought I'd share it because the overall message is relatable to someone in college or starting college)
To my sweet sister,
As you are preparing to embark upon this incredible new chapter of your life I'd like to give you some words of wisdom from things I've learned during my four years in college.
1. Make as many new friends as possible and appreciate the fact that they all live SO CLOSE, because sooner or later hundreds of miles will separate you from each other. Surround yourself with people who challenge you to be the best version of yourself, people who encourage you to aim for the stars, people who have high standards and people who make you want to be a better person. Nevertheless sometimes your friends will not always have your best interest in mind, so just remember that. You will not necessarily have the same friends from beginning to end, but do not burn bridges! You never know what the future holds.
2. Do not get drunk with people you do not trust [this is important] you do not want to be the next drunk internet meme or the profile of an episode of Law and Order: SVU. If someone offers to buy you a drink ALWAYS follow them to the bar and keep an eye on your drink. Don't let a friend who has been drinking get behind the wheel-- you never think it'll actually happen until it happens to someone you love. Although your perception of college is either parties, football games or exam week remember that these aren't the only subjects to focus on. Grab your ASICS and go for a run, I promise it is a better stress relief than grabbing the bottle of tequila or vodka-- the latter never ends well. Alcohol isn't always the answer, BUT sometimes wine makes life better!
3. Exam week will drain your young ambitious mind, but don't let it. All-nighters are kinda a thing in college.... sleeping in the library is sometimes acceptable and drinking a margarita while studying for finals is okay as long as you put it in another cup. ;) One important thing to do on your first day of classes is get to know your professors because like I said earlier- you never know what the future holds. They may possibly write you an amazing letter of recommendation-- whether that be for a full-time job or continued education. Go to them for help! If you ever fail get off you butt, no matter how bruised it may be and get back out there and TRY TRY AGAIN!
4. Do not let anything or anyone discourage you! I will always be there for you and even if I'm not, know that the Lord will be. If you feel lonely, if you question your goals/dreams/desires know that it's normal-- it means you are growing up! So, turn to the Lord for help and guidance during this time of your life. Even if you're super busy, go to mass-- MAKE time for God because he makes time for you every day. When life gets you down, pray! Place all of your fears/worries/frustrations in the hands of the Lord because He loves you more than anyone ever will! With that being said you should know and love God before trying to love anyone else.
5. Speaking of love... do not be in a rush to get a boyfriend. Go on plenty of dates and I mean plenty!! I must warn you, most of the college guys you will come in contact with have two things on their brain: sex and partying. Boys will tell you anything you want to hear... If they are sweet talkin' you during the first couple of days, I'm sure he has used those are lines on just about every other female. Please stay true to your morals and do not be naive. Boys will break your heart. It will feel like the end of the world, but I promise my dear sister it's not. Pick yourself back up and come back even stronger!
6. Just to let you know--you're going to make mistakes, a lot of mistakes. We're human and it happens so, don't beat yourself up over it instead grow from that experience and aim to be better. Do not let the fear of failing keep you from getting involved. Get as involved as you can-- this will help you make many new friends and create memories that you will remember forever. I mean you'll need good stories to tell your children and grandchildren!!
7. Lastly, keep an umbrella in your backpack at all times! Trust me on this one!!
Classy, sassy, but oh so sweet!