A Letter to My College Best Friend

College has and never will be easy but the friends you make in college make it bearable, memorable and one hundred times worth it. The time you spend in college is meant to be a few of the best years of your life. Friends that you make in those few years are what make it the best. That experience becomes even better when you find your college best friend.

So here’s to you, my college best friend,

Thank you. Thank you for being you. Thank you for being there in the exact moment I needed you to enter my life. Thank you for taking a chance on me and sharing your college experience. Thank you for having my back and for holding my hand through the hard times. Thank you.

College was something new. I moved far from home and didn’t know a single person. I went through the motions and did the freshman activities you’re supposed to do to make friends. It scared me when those activities produced nothing but phone numbers of people who I’d never talk to again. It was scary to sit alone in lecture halls hoping that someone else would have the courage to say hello. I was scared that maybe, for the first time in my life, I wasn’t going to make any life-long friends.

I had heard the horror stories of the terrible roommates that you were sure would kill you in your sleep, or the friends that only last a term. I still had hope though. I hoped that those stories of finding your life-long best friend would be my own stories one day.

And then I met you.

I wouldn’t say that I found you or that you found me. I’d like to think that we found each other and that circumstances pushed us together at the perfect moment, even though it wasn’t that first year. I know that when I look back on those first moments when we were just starting to get to know each other I don’t think I really knew how far we’d come. I think I felt like I was just meeting another college student and that the only thing we had in common was that we were in the same club, class, major or student job.

I didn’t think that there was so much more to connect our lives. We bonded when we finally took the time to get to know each other. That’s what really started this friendship. It wasn’t long after that day that I think we both realized that we were going to be great friends. We were going to be those college best friends that toughed it out when life got hard, stood tall when others tried to bring us down and celebrated the minor achievements, called each other at two in the morning to talk about our night out.

We became each other’s person (and we bonded over the fact that we both knew what “my person” meant.) We became study buddies, lunch date partners, bar hoppers, sleepover sisters, co-pilots and each other’s home away from home. We made sure we had each other’s backs and we promised to be there for one another through thick and thin. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of our other mutual friends thought we were annoying too, but we wouldn’t have cared anyway.

I hope to hold on to the memories that we made and never forget all the laughter, the late nights, the shenanigans. I wish I had met you sooner so there was even more of those memories. College would not have been the same without you. I’m not sure I would have survived those upper division classes or 2am frustrations without you. I can’t imagine how different my college experience would have been if I hadn’t met you.

Even though it took some time and a lot of sifting through the bullshit, I got that great college experience I’d been told stories about. A large part of that great experience was because of you. I cannot thank you enough for your friendship.

I’m so thankful to have had you by my side for those college years. And now to have you as a life-long friend. Even though we’ve gone our separate directions since graduation, we will always find a way to stay connected. The Snapchats, the phone calls and the Facetime sessions keep us together even though we are hundreds of miles a part. So here’s to you, my college best friend and to all our future adventures.

I will forever be thankful to have you by my side and to have made so many wonderful memories with you.

All my love,

Your college best friend

P.S. Happy Birthday.

A Letter to My Freshman-Self

It’s been a year since I graduated from the University of Oregon and I thought I’d reflect back on my freshman year and write a letter to myself.

I’ve seen several “letters to my freshman-self” or “letters to my high school-self” and after reading them and reflecting myself, I think it’s a great thing to do. Looking back on big transition periods in life can show how much you’ve changed over the years and also see how far you’ve come and what you’ve had to overcome.

I think that Angelica puts it very well in “Why you need to Self-Reflect on your past & How to Start”.

“When you actually take a moment to comb through who you have been in the past, and what made you that person, it’s pretty enlightening.”

As I reflect now on my whole college experience I find it enlightening in a way and I see how I’ve changed over those few years. They say it’s a time of change that you shouldn’t waste and I agree one hundred percent. So here it is, a letter to myself, sent back in time to the fall of 2015.

Kelsey,

First off, congratulations on your high school graduation and your acceptance into the University of Oregon. I know you doubted your worth during this time and you weren’t 100% sure that you’d make it a thousand miles away from home for four years. But I can tell you now that you did and it was an amazing experience that I hope you don’t take for granted.

Finishing high school as a valedictorian was great, but I know it came with lots of hard work and a lot of sacrifices. I want you to take college with less seriousness and enjoy more it more. Make sure to balance school with work and with a social life. This isn’t adulthood yet, it’s your learning trial period. You’re going to do great and I want you to take into consideration a few things.

Firstly, I know that living alone might seem a bit scary and over whelming but it’s going to be a great period of growth for you. Hang things up, get those extra throw pillows and make the space your own. Settle in and get cozy, your apartment is going to be your favorite place to be. And please turn your heater on more often. Yes, I know you’re trying to save money but wearing five layers of clothing is hard to maneuver in.

When you sign up for classes always give yourself some time in the middle of the day to go home and take a nap. Naps are super beneficial and you should definitely take more of them when you can. Also don’t forget to take classes that are interesting. Don’t worry about it not directly pertaining to your ultimate goal, a degree. Take it because every class is going to give you something in return. Have fun with it, you’re only going to be in college for a few years. See an advisor at least once a year. They know the class offerings and what will be best for you. They are there to help and you should definitely take advantage of their knowledge.

Make friends in your classes. Don’t be afraid to sit next to someone else who is sitting alone and say hi. Befriending others in class is beneficial and they’re probably looking for someone to get through the class with as well. Also don’t be afraid to ask for help. Professors and graduate students have office hours for a reason. Don’t struggle with something because you want to figure it out yourself. There are plenty of resources to help you and the majority of them are free. I’ll give you a little peak into the future: you meet some of your best friends in class.

Go out and get a campus job. I know you’re already looking and hoping to find something easy but go to the campus database and look at what’s available to students. A student job at the university is going to be much more flexible and understanding of your schedule. This is also a great place to find friends. Trust me, you make many many friends at work.

Check out clubs and organizations to join. FIND APO AND JOIN RIGHT NOW! I mean it! You made life long friends in that amazing group and you only got to spend a year with them. If you find them early, you get more time with them. Go do it, they’re always recruiting. And if you want to try more, try more! You can always decide later that a certain group might not be your cup of tea.

Listen to everyone’s advice. Even if it sounds like complete BS, listen. Sometimes getting a new perspective is worth it and again, it’ll help you grow as an adult. I have found that learning to listen is a great skill to have in a world where everyone likes to talk, but not everyone is heard. Be the person listening and take everything you can. Teachers, fellow peers, supervisors and the like have been through something that you will probably go through, so please listen and take it all in.

And finally and most importantly, have fun. When people say that college is some of the best years of your life they mean it. It’s a time to let past you go and start new. It will give you a chance to really find yourself and you’re going to be in an environment where everyone is going through the same thing so there is a support system set in place and it’s easily accessible.

With your new found freedom, growth and knowledge let go and live in the moment. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. You’ll find many things that scare you but they will ultimately teach you something. I suggest you try that weird yet interesting class, that you say yes to hanging out with that new group of friends and that you experience every moment with gratitude.

College was amazing and even though it’s over I’m still learning every day from my experiences. Don’t take things for granted, listen well and have fun.

Best,

Future You

A Letter to my Future Husband

Since I’ve been thinking about letters recently, I’ve decided to write a few.

These letters are meant to simply express how I feel about certain topics. This one is to my future husband. Now if you’ve been following my posts you’ll know I’m currently in a relationship. This letter is not pointed to this person (unless he’s seriously thinking it should be pointed at him).

 

Dear Future Husband,

I want to start by saying you are one brave man. I’m not going to be easy. I promise. I hope that doesn’t scare you away. But I know if you’re truly the one then you aren’t afraid. 

I know this might seem like a lot, but bear with me. 

I’m stubborn and I know it. I won’t pick the restaurant because I don’t want you to hate my choice. I don’t like waiting for anything. If I want something, I want it now. I won’t tell you when I’m ticked off about something, but if you seem ticked off I’ll bug you about it until you tell me. I’ll beat it out of you if I have to. Double standard I know, but it’s how I’ll handle that. Being stubborn also comes with being far too organized. I’m stubborn about my organization. Yes, those DVDs have to be in alphabetical order. So do the books too, but by author’s last name. And I hope you like watching DVDs and reading because I love them and they are a part of me. 

I’m an anxious person. I like having a set schedule and sticking to it (see about organization above). Now don’t get me wrong, I like surprises, but when it’s a box of chocolates or a spontaneous night out, not an extravagant trip or a surprise life-changing decision. 

I want to make decisions together. No going off and trying to figure it out on your own. I need to be a part of your world. That’s how this marriage is going to work. I’m not going to do anything without you so I hope that you extend that same courtesy. 

Decisions are a big deal. Our wedding will be a big decision. I’m not going to lie, I want a wedding that I’ll never forget. You won’t get away with a quick courthouse wedding (Sorry, not sorry). It won’t work that way. I want to be surrounded by friends and family when I say I do. I know most guys aren’t a huge contribution to the decisions of a wedding, but I want you to be a part of it. Even if that’s just getting your opinion on flower arrangements or what not. To really get inside my head about weddings, I highly suggest you stalk my Pinterest. It’s got all my ideas and then some. 

After our wedding, we will travel. I want to travel to so many places. I want to explore the world and I hope you do too. Traveling alone is definitely not something I want to do. I like being with other people and who better to travel with than the love of my life. I want to camp and road trip and explore the world we live in. 

I want pets. A dog is a must. 

I don’t want kids. I know a lot of people say that will change when I get older but they’ve been saying that and my thoughts on the matter haven’t changed. Period. 

I’m not religious. I have never practiced any particular faith and I don’t intend on changing that. That goes for our wedding ceremony as well. I personally would love for a close friend to marry us. 

I want to stay close to my family. I don’t want to move to some foreign country. I’d love to travel to one, but not live in one. I love my family and I want to be close enough to where it doesn’t cost me an arm and a leg to see them. I also want to be close to my friends. I have very few close friends and I don’t want to be miles and miles away from them. Essentially as long as we stay in the United States we will be alright. 

I never want to get in the way of your happiness. I want to be a part of it. If there’s something stopping you from doing whatever, communicate with me and we can work it out. Communication means the world to me. As I said above, I’ll beat it out of you if I have to. On the contrary, I don’t want to pressure you into anything. I don’t want you to feel uncomfortable about anything that has to do with our relationship. 

I love to cook, but I definitely don’t have the energy to do it all the time. There’s a strong possibility that we will have a drawer full of take-out menus. I also love to bake, but I never finish things I make in time and I end up throwing it out. Hopefully, you can help with this. 

I like to keep a clean house too, but I don’t necessarily like the cleaning aspect of it. I think the best way to conquer this is to work together. I hope that’s okay, no, it better be okay. We will share our household responsibilities. This isn’t the 1950s and no I won’t make sure dinner is hot and ready the second you arrive home from work. 

I love to decorate for the holidays. Like, prepare for our house to be that really cool house with the scary (but not too scary) decorations on Halloween that gives out the good candy. That goes for Christmas as well. I love the holiday season and I usually go way overboard but I don’t expect you to reciprocate unless you want to. I just expect you to join in the holiday spirit and be merry. 

I’m addicted to TV. I love sitting in bed and watching Netflix, Hulu, HBO, good old cable, you name it. I hope you do too because I foresee a lot of it. It’s how I wind down and how I relax at the end of the night.

I really like shoes. Like it’s not quite an addiction because shoes are expensive and all, but I definitely have a lot of them. And I’ll continue to get more over the years so closet space may be tight. 

I have moments when I might not be the nicest person. I can be mean and harsh, but I don’t ever truly mean it. I can be impulsive with the things I say and sometimes my filter has disappeared. Just be patient with me and call me out on my bullshit. I’ll be pissed off, but in the end, I’ll learn a lesson.

I hope that we can get through the hard times and love each other more and more each day. I hope we can endure the hardships of life together. I hope that we can be open during the tough times and the greatest of times. I hope we can laugh together until we cry. I hope that we can have the same friends and that our families get along. I hope that we share the same interests and that we can connect on so many levels.

I hope that our love for each other is unconditional. Always. I hope there are never any doubts about our commitment. I hope that you bring out the best in me and that I bring out the best in you. I hope that we push each other towards greatness. I also hope that we never falter. I want to grow old with you. I want to spend the rest of forever together. 

 

Love,

Kelsey

 

P.S. I hope that our engagement is spectacularly magical. Yes, I said spectacularly magical. I want that day to be the second best day of my life, following the day we commit ourselves to each other. If you are unsure of how to best defeat this task check that Pinterest board and contact my best friend. She’ll know best. 

I’ve Been Thinking About Letters

They say that letter writing is a lost art. I’d have to, sadly, agree.

It was once considered a romantic notion to receive a hand-written letter from an admirer. I personally wish that writing hand-written letters were still a grand gesture and were common in the “courting” ritual. Now the closest thing we have is a like on an Instagram photo, and maybe a comment (if you’re lucky).

The art has certainly been lost as a romantic gesture but I’ve seen a comeback in the art as a simpler gesture for telling someone something simple or even long-winded. It has definitely changed with the change in technology over the years.

I’ve been thinking about letters lately (can you tell) and how much they can convey. I know sometimes I have a lot to say but I don’t necessarily have the patience or the mental filter to get my opinion stated appropriately. I’ve found that writing letters when you’re angry can help relieve that anger and put things into perspective, but the trick is to never send it.

I’ve also seen a couple letter ideas that are quite the opposite of angry mail. I’m sure we’ve all seen the “A Letter to my High School self” or “A Letter to my Future Husband” and so on. I think these are wonderful letters for so many reasons. A letter to a former-self shows growth and allows for time for reflection. A letter to a future spouse, or to a best friend or a close family member gets expectations, praise or even criticism out without having the awkward and potentially silent conversation. Even keeping it simple can be beneficial.

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With these types of letters, I feel that it’s up to the author to either send the letter via snail mail, present the letter in person to the recipient or to simply keep it private.

I also personally think that handwriting a letter is magical in its own way. You can add your own little flourish and put your personality right on the page just through your handwriting. I know I personally love receiving a handwritten letter or even a card with a nice message. It shows me that you care and that you put thought into what you wrote.

Now I’m sure you’ve guessed it, but I will be posting some letters in my next posts. I have a couple of ideas in mind but of course, I’m open to any suggestions.

Stay tuned for my letter posts and more.