Letters to a Young Sister…

Sister, dear:

As an “elder” (ha, ha), I know how important it is to see someone not just follow the path you’ve already walked, but to blaze their own trail and do even greater things. I have NO DOUBT that you are destined for greatness, because you have already shown that you are more than capable of achieving it. Your own greatness, defined and continually redefined by you, not defining you, nor defined by anyone else’s idea of what your greatness should be – that is what should always be your goal. Don’t get bogged down in others’ expectations, or what they would have you be…because in the end, no one is living your life but you. Everyone who truly cares about you should only be concerned that you are happy with the life you’ve built…and comforted by the fact that if ever you aren’t, you are fully capable to changing your destiny.

Also, as an “elder”, I have the honor and responsibility of passing down some lessons learned (that you will likely soon forget and/or quickly ignore :). Either way, these things I’ve learned to be true…

(1) It will not go away if you just ignore it. That goes for physical & emotional pain, debt, people, relationships, everything.

(2) College – especially if you go away – is one of the most interesting of social experiments, ever. So much life is packed into those 4 short years, and I guarantee when you leave you’ll feel like you’ve had a whole lifetime of experiences – the good, bad & ugly. And you should enjoy them all, and always try to keep things in perspective – yes, it’s quite possible you’ve fallen head over heels for the boy you’ve dated the past 6 months, which packed into 24 hour days together feels like 6 years – but in 6 month intervals think about all the rest of time you have to do it all over again! 🙂

(3) This too shall pass…but it won’t feel like it until it has actually passed – that goes for heartbreaks, disappointments, semesters, midterms/finals, etc.

(4) Relationships with professors, advisors, and all other support & instructional staff are invaluable – chat them up early & often

(5) You’ve built up strong relationships with your parents & other family members who can support you – financially & emotionally – don’t be shy to use your connects, it’s acceptable…expected even

(6) Take good notes and hold on to them, I’ve actually made use of my college articles & notes after I left school!

(7) Don’t worry, you DON’T have to have it all figured out. Living life is all about trying to figure it out. I try to figure it out on a daily basis…I’m getting there

(8) Doing your best is more than enough to do us proud – no pressure!

(9) Take lots of pictures!!! Journal if you’re so inclined. Document your life, it’s way more dependable than your memory. It’s fun to take trips down memory lane and laugh at how far you’ve come…all while you weren’t looking

(10) Soak it all in and remember to enjoy the ride.

Congrats, Grad :o)

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