If I were to write a letter to my bright and shiny thirteen-year-old self, amongst a multitude of other things that I would say or do (besides advising tequila is NOT your friend) I would snap my fingers in front of that daydreaming face and tell myself to forget about romance and marriage.
That sounds bad. I’m not saying at twenty-three years old that I am against marriage, because I’m not, but knowing what was going through my mind when I thought about college when I was thirteen, I guarantee you it was not the immense amount of knowledge about constructivist theory that I ended up learning….it was the idea of moving on from immature high school boys, to more mature sophisticated college men that was exciting to me then! Can you say delusional?
I wish in that letter I could talk bad about all the ass holes, the ones who got away, and the “Peter Pans” that tore through my heart during the five years of college, but truthfully, I wouldn’t change any of them and since their path of destruction somehow made me stronger in the end, I really don’t know if it would be my main talking point.
No, my main talking point to my thirteen-year-old self would be to stop daydreaming about the man you think you are going to find in college that is going to earn you your MRS. Degree, but rather, get ready to meet the people that are hands-down going to make your wedding the most kick-ass party you will ever have in your entire life. You are going to meet your bridesmaids in college and trust me, they are going to be far more important in your life than just that. No one cares about the groom at a wedding anyway right?
When I start to think about the friends that I made in college, I cannot help but turn into a menopausal old woman watching The Notebook. I cry. A lot. I never thought it was possible to love another human being that was A. not your family and B. not on the team you batted for, but I DO. I love them with everything that is in me and thinking of how awesome they are makes me emotional (do take into account that watching High School Musical sometimes makes me weep). The point is, 99% of my funniest stories begin with “one time my best friend and I did blahblahblah….” I honestly sound like a broken record; it’s so bad that all the people at work know my friends’ names without even ever meeting them. I’m sure they think it’s pathetic but my best friends have given me HILARIOUS stories (in my opinion), the best memories, and the greatest lessons that I will cherish forever.
So lets talk a little bit about these college years. The most terrifying, yet exhilarating part of college is that you are finally free from your parent’s supervision (See what I did there? You still need them, just not their watchful eye). This might sound like you don’t really have that much freedom, but to someone who has always been close with her parents, evading their judgmental eye as you walk through your apartment at 8am the next day with Panera Bagels in your hands and still wearing last nights clothes, is like getting out of jail free. However, the people who do see you are typically the people you purchased that extra bagel for and are possibly the same people you got the ride home from…they are your best friends.
They are the people who crawl into your room imitating a cat for fun, they are the people who will help you pick out the best revenge outfit while you swear off men for the rest of your life, they are the people who stay up and laugh until your stomach hurts even when you are supposed to be studying, and they are the ones who cry with you when life throws you those curve balls. They become the best part of your college years and they become the most cherished part of adulthood.
The truth is, as I am approaching real adulthood (18 & 21 meant nothing) and I am moving away from those special people that fill my memories of college, I have realized exactly how deep those relationships have grown. They always say the best friends are the ones that you can spend as much time apart from, but the moment you see each other again, it’s as if time stood still…you don’t miss a beat. Those are my friendships and I feel like I am the luckiest woman on the planet.
So to my thirteen-year-old self I would say, stop dreaming the perfect man is going to sweep you off your feet in college, bad boys in high school, stay bad boys in college (they just might be immensely better looking) They are not worth the tears and they are certainly not worth your dreams. What you need to dream about are the friends. The ones who will stand by you even when you’re being an idiot, the ones who will drive across multiple state lines and even fly to different countries just to see you, and the ones who make you feel worthy even when you don’t. Those are the life-changers. Those are your bridesmaids. Those are your best friends.
Go find those crazy fools.