To Myself, 8 Months Ago

As junior year is winding down, I can't help but think that there are some things I wish I had known eight months ago as I was just starting out the year. Things that would prepare me and excite me and motivate me. Without spoiling too much, I'd tell myself that junior year of college will be the most trying year yet, but it will be the most rewarding. You will grow and learn and experience so much in such a short amount of time. You will wish you had more time in college, not just one year left. It'll make you sad from time to time thinking about how little time you have left.

Things will change rapidly at first and you will think you can't keep up. You will think that you can't do it, you can't go, that you'll never find your footing again. But guess what? You will. You will thrive off everything that seemingly went wrong.

You'll learn what heartbreak feels like, and believe it or not, you won't learn it from your (ex) boyfriend of three years. You'll understand what it means to truly love someone and know the good in their heart. You'll know what they mean when they say that home is a person. All of this will come when you least expect it. It won't always be pretty and fun, but I promise you that it will be worth it, even if only for the memories and the lessons learned.

You will grow apart from old friends and make new ones, so many new friends. Be open to the people who come into your life and appreciate them for who they are. They will fill the stories you tell to your grandchildren one day. Just don't think too much about what the future holds and where everyone will be after graduation. Just enjoy the time you have left.

You will learn so much about yourself, who you are and who you want to be. You'll have growing pains, but I promise you'll start to figure out this thing they call "life" and "adulting." You'll fall into a groove and learn to love yourself. Happiness comes from within, not from situations, and one day this will click. You will grow in your faith and what it truly means to trust in God. He will never, ever fail you, and always remember this.

Even though you'll have a ton of new adventures, you still will have a good head on your shoulders. There's nothing wrong with going to parties and downtown and having fun with your friends. It doesn't change who you are and what your values are. You'll wish you realized this sooner. You'll wonder how much you missed out on by being the "good student" your first two years, but don't think about that too much.

Finally, you'll come to a lot of realizations, whether about people, yourself, life in general, and so much more. Sometimes those realizations will make you sad, or happy, or angry, but that's all part of growing and living. Don't get too much in your own head with those things. Be open to what you learn and apply it to the future. Have goals, call Mom and Dad whenever you can, read your Bible more often, don't whine when things don't go your way, stay focused, love people, be kind, and always look for the good. Those things will never fail you.

Taylor (8 months later)

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