A year ago today, you were experiencing your last homecoming week, your 18th birthday week, and most importantly, applying to Iowa. You had so many expectations for college and, for the most part, all your dreams came true. Although I guarantee you would have never guessed the path we took to get here or the people we have by our side today, just know you made all the right decisions to get here all on your own.
I know we planned on applying to more colleges, but you only ever applied to one because your heart was set on it the moment you step foot on campus. Thank goodness your single application led you to a place that feels like home.
We live in the same residence hall our friends did last year, and we ended up in the renovated rooms. You’ve made some unlikely friends – and enemies – with your floormates, but frankly, you wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s easier to make friends now that you’re out of that small town. And, while you miss your best friend and a few other people you have yet to meet, this is still the right place for you. In fact, Kaylie and you are touring apartments for the next school year this week.
The academics in college have been an adjustment for sure. I remember how burnt out you were from the long high school schedules. I promise you; a college class schedule feels so much lighter. But you do need to learn how to study, and what works well for you. Gone are the days when coursework comes naturally. You will struggle and you will need to take time out of your day to prepare for your midterms and put your best work forward.
It is hard being an adult on your own. I know you take care of yourself now. In college you will feel true independence for the first time, finally being away from everything holding you back in life whether you are ready for it or not. Enjoy it. Breathe it in. Being alone can be so overwhelming at times, but you are truly ready for everything life has to throw at you. Most college students feel lonely. Don’t hesitate to reach out to the people who care about you.
If I could go back into your shoes and change one thing I did in the last year, I don’t exactly know if I would. I think no matter the hardships we experienced or the lessons we learned the hard way, we ended up in a good space. Keep your head up and enjoy all the good to come in your next year.
Until then, I wish you the best,