A Letter to My New College Graduate Self
Dear 2012 Roxy,
It’s May 12, 2012. I know this day felt like it would never come. You spent the last year and a half pulling all-nighters, crying, and wondering if you’ll ever graduate or get a job. Well it’s 2017, 5 years later, and damnit, it was all worth it. Today is bittersweet – you finally did it, but you’re faced with a huge life decision. The best thing you could hear right now is this – just trust yourself.
2017 is amazing. You get the ‘dream job’ you wanted, the city apartment with the walk in closet, and you even the car you always wanted (you named her RiRi LOL). You’re one of the rare few who can say you love what you do and you get paid pretty damn well for it. But you’re about to walk into one of the worst seasons of your life. 2012 – 2013 ill be a series of ups and downs and I wish so much that somebody was there to give you some advice and tell you it’s gonna be okay.
Sometimes you can be emotionally inept. It’s only because you feel everything so deeply that it’s almost easier to ignore. When you hit a rough patch, your first instinct always says, black it out and run away. You’ll literally try to run away to another city for a weekend or drown your sorrows in alcohol. I just want you to know, it’s okay to be hurt. To feel hurt. But no matter how many out of town trips you take or bottles you drink, you will have to deal with it sooner or later. The sooner you confront it, the faster you can move on. But also know, it gets better. Feel all the emotions, but don’t let it rule you. Embrace who you are and don’t be ashamed. You’re a little weird and a complete child at heart – smile big and laugh loudly (I think people secretly love it).
ON SELF CONFIDENCE
You will have a bad case of Imposter Syndrome. You were always the awkward, smart girl in high school but when you get to college, you’ll realize, you’re just average and the awkwardness feels magnified. It’ll start in your engineering classes – you’re only one of a handful of girls and those engineering guys never make eye contact or speak to you in class. It’ll continue into your career when people say things like, “Oh you don’t look like an engineer..” or “You’re not technical enough.” You are beautiful and smart and you are more than enough. You’ve always worked hard to earn your place, don’t you dare apologize for it.
ON LIFE DECISIONS
You will have several life decisions in the next few years and whenever you have a big life decision to make, in true Roxy fashion, you will avoid and defer. But I want you to know that one thing is always true when it comes to these decisions:
Your gut instinct is always right.
Whenever you come to a fork in the road, one decision will be safe and comfortable. The other will be scary and give you that knot in your stomach that comes right before a big roller coaster drop. You will always hesitate and overthink, but your gut knows what you have to do –
Close your eyes, hold on for dear life and wait for the drop.
It’s worth it every time. Promise.
ON DATING AND RELATIONSHIPS
You lucked out in pretty much every other area in your life except this one. You have a huge heart and horrible taste in men, but I think your gut also knows they weren’t right. Boys will say a lot of things, but try to remember to
watch what they do and not what they say.
You wear your heart on your sleeve and come off as intense (see point one on emotions), but when you do love, you love hard. You’ll have a thing for douchebags and guys who just aren’t ready, but don’t let the bad apples make you bitter. The right guy will show up and stick around. If he doesn’t do either, you know what to do.
Adulting sucks and life is hard, but always be thankful and enjoy the ride. You’ll come such a long way from nerdy Coke bottle glasses Roxy – from that little old house in Kalihi Valley all the way to Dallas, Texas to be exact. You will hear over and over again that you’re “too something” – too young, too inexperienced, too sensitive, too nice, or even too much. Don’t listen. Pray more, pull no punches, and don’t apologize for who you are. You won’t regret it.
P.S. Be fierce, but stay kind – the world needs less assholes.