To be trendy, my column this week is going to be the letter I would have written to myself had I gone to Proclamation Night when I was a first year, but with a little twist. I didn't miss Proclamation Night because I didn't want to go; rather, I didn't go because I didn't know about it. I transferred my sophomore year and because of a lack of communication, I missed it. To be honest, I felt a little left out on Sunday when I went as a senior and everyone was laughing at themselves and getting all teary while opening their letters. So, I'm going to join in on the fun. This is going to be more of a what-I-would-tell-my-past-self, because I have no idea what I would have written when I first got here.
Here goes nothing.
Dear younger me,
Welcome to Richmond! These next three years are going to be amazing - challenging, but amazing. You'll learn so much about yourself and the world and what defines you. You'll meet some of the best friends you will ever have, discover your passions, grow stronger in your faith and learn that although the world does not revolve around you, you can make a difference in it.
Do not believe anyone who tells you these are the best years of your life. They are amazing, but the best years are those that you live with intention, integrity and intelligence. (You will also learn to love alliteration. Thank you, journalism.) Life does not end after graduation. In fact, an entire new chapter of your life will begin and it can be just as amazing as college life.
But still enjoy the life you have now and the passion you feel for causes. Now is the time to fight for what you believe in because you never know what the result will be and who will benefit in the end.
That goes both ways. Think about what you say and do because you never know who will be hurt.
I know this is all sappy, so, WOOH! Have fun! Go party!
On that note, and to not give the wrong impression, have fun. Enjoy life. Make your priorities clear, and recognize those who care about you and then stick with them. And having a LOT of fun is definitely high on that list. Never again in your life will you be as healthy as you are AND have people feed you, clean up after you and expect you to be a little crazy. This will probably happen again in life, but you might not be as limber.
Try to not fall behind in classes, and if you do, don't stress too much. Grades are not the most important thing in college. It's the fact that you learn the concepts and life lessons that are being taught. It's a possibility that professors might know what they're talking about, maybe.
Be a tourist and see Richmond. Do NOT start wearing your winter coat in September. It is not that cold. Sit out by the lake and take a deep breath every now and then. (But watch out for the geese and do not get anywhere near the water. Maybe just sit somewhere far away where you can see the lake.)
Sign up for a gym class. Don't miss your shows and if you do, watch them on hulu.com. Do not park where you're not allowed. Get to know faculty and staff members. Get overly involved. Do what you love.
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Don't forget to be awesome.
The future you
P.S.: Proclamation Night was awesome. Being a senior rocks.
Contact staff writer Stephanie Rice at firstname.lastname@example.org
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