Looking back at my time in Auburn sends a wave of nostalgia, sadness and excitement crashing through my brain. It’s hard to reflect on my time here without having to reach for the tissues. Out of laughter or longing to be “young” again, there’s never a dry eye. I’m not usually a sentimental person, but I’m currently listening to “Wide Open Spaces” by the Dixie Chicks and it’s not helping the flood of memories coming in. Here are some final thoughts on my freshman year and how it’s made me who I am today.
Just To Have A Laugh Or Sing A Song
The first piece of advice I’d give to my freshman self is…girl, you have GOT to get rid of those bangs. They’re annoying and make you look like Debbie from “The Wild Thornberrys.” Pin them back until they grow out because they’re not worth it.
Now, on to the deep stuff. My biggest piece of advice to my freshman self is to not be afraid of failure,
because it will happen. I came to college making a promise to myself that I would make perfect grades, have the perfect social life and be this rare form of a perfect person. It didn’t take long to break that promise.
The idea of being perfect is overrated. Failure is a part of life and necessary in order to grow as a person. All of my failures have shaped me into the person I am today. For that, I have no regrets about my choices. Every mistake, every horrible thing that happened, everything I wasn’t good at, made me a better person. Carol Burnett (my favorite comedian) said, “You have to go through the falling down in order to learn to walk. It helps to know that you can survive it. That’s an education in itself.”
Seems We Just Get Started And Before You Know It
Carol got it right, and that’s why I would suggest to celebrate the failures. Failing doesn’t define who you are, but it’s how you handle failure that shows who you truly are. “You fall down seven times, and you get up eight.” That’s what Denzel Washington said, and if you can’t get behind Denzel, then I don’t know what you can get behind.
If I could tell my little blond-haired, banged and doughy-eyed self a memory that I would enjoy, it would be to not worry about that stand-up routine and go out there and get it. Here’s a small letter about that memory to my past self I’ve decided to write:
By now, I hope you know that this is your older self. No, I’m not anywhere near being as funny as Tina Fey but baby steps, girl! First of all, I’m going to need you to stop throwing up and sweating over your stand-up comedy routine tonight. Everyone’s going to love it and laugh really hard. The second you get that first laugh, you relax and comedy becomes a drug to you. So, good luck with that because you’re going to spend the rest of your life trying to make people laugh. It’s too late to turn back now, so just accept it. Remember the love and support of your friends who are in the audience tonight. I know right?! How’d they know? Anyways, I must be off. We’ve got a long ways to go, but we’re getting there. Keep it up, because you’re doing great. Make sure to look up from the ground once in awhile and take this life in. It gets real good, just wait.
All my love and confidence to you,
P.S. One Direction broke up so you might want to throw that love letter to Harry Styles away.
It’s Time For Us To Say “So Long”
The same advice I would give to my freshmen self is the same advice I’d give to myself now. I need it now just as much as I did then. The final quote I leave myself with is a reminder from Mr. Rogers in his final years:
“I’m just so proud of all of you who have grown up with us, and I know how tough it is some days to look with hope and confidence on the months and years ahead. But I would like to tell you what I often told you when you were much younger…I like you just the way you are.”
You’re a little weird, you know way too many movie quotes, you worry a little too much, you laugh too loud but you laugh a lot…and I like you just the way you are.
Just like the closing of every episode of the Carol Burnett show, I close with a song sung by Carol herself. It’s time for us to say “so long.”