March 26, 2017

A Letter To My College Self

**This post is in collaboration with Earnest**

**Background for those who don't know me personally or have not been following from the beginning: I studied at Liberty University for three years where I pursued a theater performance major. While it did not work out for me, I then left school because I had no idea what I wanted to do after that.

Dear College Junior Brooke,

I know you feel like shoveling mac-and-cheese into your mouth with an actual shovel and calling it a day, for forever. I know you're embarrassed, you feel lost, and you mistakenly feel as though your worth has diminished. Your experiences in college may help shape you, but they do NOT define you. Your worth is not measured in your failures or your success.

Now this is the best advice I could give: SCREW IT.
All of it.

Screw the people who look at you as though you are unworthy because your path is different than theirs! That's all it was Brooke, your path is different. Sure they could have more talent than you in certain areas but guess what? That just means you have other talents that you're more skilled in (even if it feels like it's just knowing how to embarrass yourself or finding out who that b in his snap story was in 10 seconds flat.) I'd bet money they can't social media sweep like you can, and that skill comes in handy!

Screw the pity party! (It may occasionally come out when you've drank a little too much Malibu, we can forgive it...) Slacking off on your work because you lost your motivation will get you no where. It will just leave you regretting what you did, and creating more obstacles when you finally know your next move. *insert poop emoji* happens, it's a part of life! Throw off the covers, pick yourself up from the ground, throw out the tissue box, and let's move on. You can hurt, you can feel, and taking time off to figure out what you should do next is the right move too. Just don't be afraid to move or to "make a fool of yourself again", I believe in you and so do SO many others. Get up, work hard and show everyone what you're made of.

Screw the plan! So you were wrong, you aren't going to study theater and leave with a degree. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there will be plenty of other plans that fall apart too. Remember when you swore to yourself that you'd NEVER see Spring Awakening with a boy because you'd explode with embarrassment? HAHAH talk about that one to 2016 Brooke. Here's the cool thing though: there will be many big life events and people introduced  to your life who never would have been if this 'plan A' had succeeded. It's exciting because you get to have a new plan. Remember how you grew up wanting to be a teacher for years? See, plans change because life happens there will be many twists and turns along the way... enjoy the ride.

I know you had a full ride to LU and feel like you squandered that, but there are companies like Earnest who help you build your new dreams with services like personal loans AND student refinancing. Spoiler alert: you're currently applying for college again and have a plan. Life works out, don't worry about it ;)

Screw the fears and doubts! Life is too short to be tied down by your insecurities. I know the inside voices, the ones that tell you that you will never be good enough no matter what you do. That's not reasoning, that's doubt and the devil whispering in your ear. One of my favorite lyrics come from a musical called [title of show], that I think sums it up:

The last vampire is the mother of all vampires and that is the vampire of despair. It will wake you up at 4am to say things like:
  • Who do you think you're kidding?
  • You look like a fool.
  • No matter how hard you try, you'll never be good enough.
Why is it if some dude came up to me on the subway platform and said these things, I would think he was a mentally ill asshole. But if the vampire inside my head says it, it's the voice of reason.

Life is about fear. That moment when your stomach feels as though three giant catfish are flopping around in there, all because his name popped up on your phone and you like him. When you're sitting in your best friend's car begging her to turn around and go home. You aren't actually prepared to see a guy for real not just through the phone screen thanks to Snapchat, which is much more preferable at the moment: as you have a panic attack but it's too late because he's approaching the car now.

You know how in The Game of Life you make certain choices to go down the more risky paths, just like that our decisions lead down different paths. Typically, every choice we make gives us those butterflies. It's okay to feel, it's okay to sit down with hundreds of questions bouncing around in your head because you're sitting analyzing every moment of a night that means nothing, what's not okay is letting those feelings define you.

When you first started this blog, you didn't want anyone to know about it except three friends. Now strangers read and get a glimpse of your life and like it. We all have things that scare us, but doesn't that just mean we're passionate?

Girl, don't give up. That doesn't mean you can't have new dreams but it means you can't let circumstances keep you from achieving those new dreams. You are in for a world of great surprises, crazy stories, and the greatest people in your life a girl could ask for.

-- love your still paranoid and anxious but slightly wiser self, we got this xoxo

PS everybody was right- you are not that guys type- try guard or frat instead 
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