notes to my younger self

Summer2006

Sarah, you've just moved into your first dorm room and will be starting college next week. That's a huge accomplishment! As you're settling into your new life as a college student, I want to let you know what's in store for the next eight years. Maybe it'll help you feel more at ease knowing that everything turns out just fine.

  • You are going to meet your closest college friends this first year. Love them to death because they will be there for you for a while. Things will change as time goes on, but cherish them while you have them.
  • When you decide to leave the math department, check out more majors before settling on one. It might help you save a shit ton of money in the future. 
  • If you do settle on the social science major, be prepared for grad school. Don't put it off. Look for the best programs instead of applying somewhere two weeks before the application deadline.
  • You will end up graduating in the middle of a recession. It's going to be unavoidable. But you will make it through.
  • Avoid the Asian boys. They bring nothing but trouble. You'll find your soulmate a couple of years later.
  • You like whiskey and (good craft) beer so much more than vodka, especially that cheap Popov you'll live off of during your sophomore year. Save yourself the hangovers and spend your money on the good stuff (and yes, you'll have an alcohol connection next year).
  • Keep blogging. Make it something that people will want to read. You're already on the blogging bandwagon before it explodes in a few years.
  • Take a couple of web design courses in college. Remember how much you loved making those Xanga layouts in high school? While you're at it, it wouldn't hurt to learn a programming language or two. It's not scary, I promise.
  • Spend less time on Facebook and more time outdoors. The campus is gorgeous. You'll really enjoy that pond out past the fine arts building once USF gets campus-wide wifi (yes, it's coming).
  • Buy the Macbook. Just do it. And don't kick it off the couch the night before a midterm.
  • Go see an ENT specialist about your sinus problems now. You're not making yourself sick from stress, as you have thought for years. There is a legit problem and it'll be so much cheaper to fix on Dad's insurance and will save you soooooooo many miserable sick days and weeks.
  • You'll lose a lot of weight at the end of college. Try to keep up the healthy habits so it doesn't all creep back on.
  • Stop trying to leave Tampa. In eight years, you'll actually have a "Love Tampa" piece of artwork on your walls. It gets better when a new mayor takes office in 2011.
  • Stop trying to be so "different." You like Belle and Sebastian, wearing cardigans, and drinking black coffee. You're different enough already.
  • Finally, no facial piercings and no wrist tattoo. You'll thank me later.

There is so much more that isn't here that I want you to know, but they'll be great learning points for you. So much will happen and so much will change over the next eight years, but you'll find yourself happy and healthy and in the right place. If you're curious, in eight years you have an office job, live in an amazing apartment with a guy you've been dating for three and a half years, graduating from grad school with two (!!) degrees, saving up for a house in Seminole Heights (yes, you're still a "hipster"), and be an amazing cook. Most of all, you'll be happy, which is all that matters in the end.

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